Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

What If The Red Wings...

12/28/2019 at 6:14am EST

from Ryan Ford of the Detroit Free Press,

All four of Detroit’s pro teams had their “What if?” moments, turning points in a mostly disastrous decade. Here, then, is a look at our three favorites, continuing with the Red Wings:

May 25, 2010: What if the Wings hadn’t let Steve Yzerman leave for the Tampa Bay GM job?

... But what if … Mike Ilitch had insisted Yzerman take over? Even with the stars of the ’08-09 playoff runs aging – Nicklas Lidstrom was 40, Chris Osgood 38, Pavel Datsyuk 32 and Henrik Zetterberg 30 – the Wings’ championship window still appeared wide open. The Wings’ roster only seemed to need a few tweaks – a young forward here, a reliable goalie there, and, well … unfortunately, those players were few and far between for Holland after Yzerman’s departure, lost through a combination of draft busts and “playoffs now” trades of picks and prospects.

Take for example, 2011, at the end of Yzerman’s first full year in Tampa. The Wings, picking three times in the second round (they’d dealt away their first-rounder), went with forward Tomas Jurco (No. 35), defensemen Xavier Ouellet (No. 48) and Ryan Sproul (No. 55). The duo has combined for 90 points in 417 NHL games. Yzerman, picking 58th overall, took Nikita Kucherov, the reigning 2018-19 MVP who entered Saturday with 502 points in 481 NHL games. Later, in the seventh round – pick No. 208 – Yzerman took left wing Ondrej Palat, who has 308 points in 462 games.

two more what if scenarios are July 4, 2012: What if Ryan Suter and Zach Parise had signed in Detroit, rather than Minnesota? an May 29, 2013: What if the Wings had beaten the Blackhawks in Game 7 of the Western semifinals?

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that.