Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

A2Y- On Trading Tyler Bertuzzi

02/03/2023 at 5:26pm EST

via Eric Duhatschek of The Athletic ($),

If there’s a trade target out there where a bidding war could develop, it might be for the Red Wings’ Tyler Bertuzzi. The sense is that before the Red Wings start seriously entertaining offers for Bertuzzi, they’ll see about trying to get the pending UFA to sign an extension. He’s a priority, but not to the same extent as extending Dylan Larkin is a priority. If they can’t get Bertuzzi under contract, he’ll likely be on the move. He’s the type of nose-for-the-net winger Calgary could use to play with Nazem Kadri and Jonathan Huberdeau.

But he might also be a fit with Vegas, alongside Jack Eichel once Stone’s salary goes on LTIR. Then it’d come down to what a team is prepared to bid for a player, on an expiring contract.

A2Y- After The All-Star Break

02/03/2023 at 10:41am EST

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman has a lot of work to do over the next month in preparing for the March 3 trade deadline, deciding who to re-sign and who to move while trying to reach common ground on a contract extension for captain Dylan Larkin.

Derek Lalonde and the coaching staff have their priorities. No. 1 is gaining traction. The Red Wings haven’t won more than two games in a row since November. They have been inconsistent. They’ve looked good in beating top teams like Toronto and Vegas only to lose to bottom-feeders like Columbus and Arizona.

They have improved slightly in most areas but aren’t flourishing in any aspect – ranking 22nd in goals per game, 21st in goals against, 21st on the power play and 20th on the penalty kill.

With 50 points, the Red Wings (21-19-8) are only two points ahead of their pace following 48 games a season ago.

But unlike 2021-22, when they collapsed down the stretch, going 11-19-4 the rest of the way and getting blown out a few times, the Red Wings expect to be more competitive and at least remain in the postseason conversation much longer.

They are seven points out of the final wild-card spot but would need to pass five teams to get there, making the task more difficult despite having up to four games in hand on a couple of those clubs.

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A2Y- Dylan Larkin On Contract Talks

02/02/2023 at 6:57pm EST

from Greg Wyshynski of ESPN,

"I've said it all along, and I stand by it: I really see myself as a Red Wing. [But] there's contract negotiating to be done," said the Detroit center, who was named to the Atlantic Division team for this weekend's NHL All-Star Game. "This is my first time in this position as an unrestricted free agent. But I doubt contracts really ever go smoothly until they're done."

The Detroit Free Press reported Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman had offered Larkin an eight-year contract worth $64 million. Speculation about an impasse between the sides has grown, especially with the NHL trade deadline approaching on March 3. Larkin has a full no-trade clause this season.

"I wouldn't say that, like, the [contract news] that's been made public is really the most truthful," Larkin said. "It just seems people are fishing and speculating. I don't really want my business out there. I understand we're in the spotlight and fans want to know. They deserve to know. But I think it's not really the most truthful, you know? It's just speculation, and I don't really read into that too much."

Larkin said being able to focus on hockey has "been a blessing" as the talks have continued. He said he doesn't take his role as team captain lightly.

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A2Y- Tyrone Wheatley Understands Rivalries

02/02/2023 at 5:54pm EST

Wheatley is a former Michigan football player and he also played in the NFL.

Your All-Star Game Performers

02/02/2023 at 5:42pm EST

NEW YORK (Feb. 2, 2023) – The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced the entertainment lineup for the 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The two-day showcase of top NHL talent begins with the 2023 NHL All-Star Skills™ presented by DraftKings Sportsbook on Friday, Feb. 3 (ESPN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports) and concludes with the 2023 Honda NHL® All-Star Game on Saturday, Feb. 4 (ABC, ESPN+, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports) at FLA Live Arena, home to the Florida Panthers.

Participants For The All-Star Skills Competition

02/02/2023 at 5:25pm EST

NEW YORK (Feb. 2, 2023) – The National Hockey League (NHL®) today announced the player assignments for the 2023 NHL All-Star Skills™ presented by DraftKings Sportsbook, featuring seven events that will showcase hockey’s top talent on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN+, Sportsnet, TVA Sports) at the home of the Florida Panthers, FLA Live Arena, in Sunrise, Fla.


The Ranking Of Steve Yzerman The Player

02/02/2023 at 2:24pm EST

Most of you know The Athletic is counting down the 99 top NHL players of the modern era.

On January 20th, they selected Steve Yzerman at #15. Since then...

At #14 is Guy Lafleur, 13 Joe Sakic, 12 Mike Bossy, 11 Patrick Roy, 10 Ray Bourque, 9 Phil Esposito, 8 Nick Lidstrom, 7 Dominik Hasek, 6 Alex Ovechkin and at 5 is Jaromir Jagr.

They have already announced Gretzky is #1 and so only 2, 3 and 4 remain and names like Howe, Orr and Lemieux have yet to be ranked. I am not sure about Howe after reading this...

Our thorniest and most complicated choices involved players who straddled the two ends of the spectrum. Some slipped through the cracks because their greatest impacts came prior to 1967. Some, who will eventually qualify, didn’t make the list because they are still in the early stages of their careers.

My question is the ranking of Yzerman. I would have put him ahead of Lafleur and Sakic but I know that is a judgement call.

How do you feel about it. Clicking the link will take you to the player page and remember The Athletic is subscription only.

A2Y- Filip Zadina Activated And Assigned To Grand Rapids For Conditioning

02/02/2023 at 9:55am EST

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today activated right wing Filip Zadina from injured reserve and assigned him to the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins for conditioning.

A2Y- Work It Out

02/02/2023 at 6:45am EST

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Larkin has been a key part of the rebuild since the former management group chose the metro Detroit-area native with the No. 15 pick in 2014. He was named captain by general manager Steve Yzerman in January 2021, and now it’s on Yzerman to find a way to fit Larkin into the budget beyond this season. ...

The Wings have offered the 26-year-old an eight-year, $64-million contract. The $8 million annual average value would give Larkin a nearly $2 million raise and would give Yzerman flexibility as he faces extending the contracts of young stars Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond, both soon-to-be restricted free agents, next season.

Larkin’s side — he switched representation last May from KO Sports to CAA — can counter with a comparable courtesy of New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello: Last October, the Islanders signed Mathew Barzal for $73.2 million over eight years, which averages out to $9.15 million per season (with the extension kicking in for the 2023-24 season). Barzal is a year younger than Larkin, was drafted at No. 16 in 2015, and has 103 goals among 354 points in 413 career games.

Teams can offer their own pending UFAs an eight-year contract, while no other team can offer more than seven. A seven-year offer at $9 million per year works out to $63 million, $1 million less than the Wings’ total offer. The Wings’ offer comes with something Larkin can’t do anywhere else: Captain his hometown’s Original Six franchise.

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A2Y- Jake Walman Must Be Signed

02/02/2023 at 4:26am EST

from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

The uncertain future status of captain Dylan Larkin and frequent linemate Tyler Bertuzzi is drawing most of the attention among the plethora of impending unrestricted free agents currently populating the roster of the Detroit Red Wings.

While that’s certainly understandable, there’s another UFA in Red Wings colors who is an absolute must sign for the club.

That would be defenseman Jake Walman.

Enjoying a breakthrough season as an NHLer, Walman is performing with poise and confidence. He’s competing and battling between the boards, an aspect of his game that’s been crticized in the past. His strong and consistent play is earning Walman top-pairing work alongside reigning Calder Trophy winner Moritz Seider.

“He’s a really strong skater,” Seider said of Walman. “Very talented. Can outskate everyone in the league. That gives him confidence and I think he’s been playing with that a lot lately.

“You see that he’s hard to defend in the O zone. We’ve been doing a really good job of shutting the top line down.”

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A2Y- The Boston Bruins May Have Interest In Dylan Larkin

02/01/2023 at 12:12pm EST

from Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now,

One NHL source though confirmed that the Detroit Red Wings were also in on the Horvat NHL trade sweepstakes at one point, but opted out earlier than the Bruins and the other mystery teams because they weren’t allowed to speak to Horvat and his agent Patrick Morris about an extension.

Could the Red Wings’ interest in Horvat pave the way for the Bruins and other NHL teams to make a push for Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin?

The 26-year-old, 6-foot-1, 198-pound center is in the final season of a five-year contract that carried a $6.1M AAV and has a no-trade clause that kicked in this season. After scoring 31 goals and finishing with 69 points in 71 games last season, Larkin has 15 goals and 28 assists in 47 games this season. His best season came in 2018-19 when he had 32 goals and 41 assists in 76 games.

“By all accounts, it doesn’t look good for Dylan Larkin staying in Detroit,” the source said of the negotiations between Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman and the pending unrestricted free agent. “That’s why they’re exploring other options there.”

According to Larkin’s agent Pat Brisson though, things don’t seem as dire between the Red Wings and his client.

“I’m not alarmed at all,” Brisson told hall of fame puck scribe and Detroit Hockey Now Red Wings reporter Kevin Allen last Thursday. “We are talking more the last few weeks.”

That hasn’t quelled the NHL trade speculation around Larkin though, and on Tuesday an NHL pro scout opined to BHN that he thinks Larkin could make tons of sense for the Bruins if they feel like there’s a strong chance Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron and fellow center David Krejci are in their last hurrah.

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A2Y- Decision Time For The GM

02/01/2023 at 3:03am EST

from John Niyo of the Detroit News,

For Yzerman, though, that’s just one of many inflection points here. Is Bertuzzi part of the true core of the Wings’ next Cup contender or a bridge that’s about to be crossed? And what about selling high on Filip Hronek, who has been one of Detroit’s most effective players this season and won’t be a restricted free agent until 2024? The Wings reportedly were in the bidding for Vancouver's Bo Horvat, a top-line center who was dealt to the Islanders on Monday, so is Yzerman, who also has plenty of cap space to work with, ready to make a similar splash at the deadline?

We’ll know a lot more about where Yzerman thinks the Red Wings really are in another month. And as Larkin noted before heading to Florida as the Wings’ lone All-Star for a second straight year, there’s still time to influence his decisions, perhaps.

“That’s my hope," Larkin said, "is to see this thing through and to stay in it and make going to the rink meaningful every day down the stretch."

But, if that sounds like a stretch, well, it probably is. Because, as Perron, one of Yzerman's key additions back in July, put it Friday night after the loss to the Islanders, “There’s a reason why we’re not there yet in the standings. And that means usually you’re not there yet as a team.”

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A2Y- How Tradable Is Tyler Bertuzzi?

01/31/2023 at 7:02pm EST

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

At the start of the season, you could make an argument that the Red Wings could probably get a package that includes a first round pick for Bertuzzi. Now the first-round pick seems less guaranteed, although there is a certainly a romance with Bertuzzi’s blend of offense and spunk.

Bertuzzi feisty playing style seems perfect for the postseason. Plus, his $4.75 million salary is easier to move than some of the other big-name salaries. Yzerman could make Bertuzzi more attractive by eating half of the salary/cap hit. If a team can get a player they think can fit into the top six forward group for a $2.375 million cap hit, they might sweeten the offer.

Here are five teams that might be interested in Bertuzzi:

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs were rumored to be interested in Bertuzzi last season. He can give them more bite for the playoffs and might be nice fit playing with John Tavares. Bertuzzi’s hard-to-play against style should work well in a playoff series, although he has not gotten any playoff experience wearing a Detroit jersey.

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A2Y- The Athletic Ranks Dominik Hasek #7 In Modern Era Ranking

01/31/2023 at 11:36am EST

from Tim Graham of The Athletic,

Otherworldly flexibility was only part of his mystique. A spindly 5-foot-11 and less than 170 pounds, he filled the net with his quickness, competitiveness and fearlessness.

“By now, Dom is 6-3 or 6-4 and 155 pounds!” Martin Biron, Hasek’s former teammate, said. “He gets taller and skinnier over the years.

“He has achieved legendary status, where stories are being told that aren’t true but people still believe. You don’t hear that about Patrick Roy or Marty Brodeur so much. But you hear all these stories about Dom because he was so unique and great.”

Larger than life, he relied upon every bit of his scrawny frame, every wit of research, every stitch of padding to deny his opponents. He would ditch his stick to cover the puck with his blocker hand. Forehead saves were on purpose.

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A2Y- Marco Kasper's Game

01/31/2023 at 10:56am EST

from Max Bultman of The Athletic,

ÄNGELHOLM, Sweden — Marco Kasper is early, because of course he is.

It’s a few minutes before 4 p.m., and inside the local Espresso House — the Nordic Starbucks — Kasper is already seated near a towering potted plant and a window. The Red Wings’ 2022 first-round pick is here to meet a visitor from the other side of the world, to talk about his season and himself. He also needs to find a moment to eat — with him are a carton of overnight oats and a bottle of lemonade.

“Didn’t get too much lunch today,” Kasper says, “because I had to practice, school, back to practice.”

The second practice isn’t an everyday occurrence, but otherwise, that’s life right now for Detroit’s precocious young center prospect: go, go, go. He’s a professional athlete here in Ängelholm, a small, hockey-loving city in Southwest Sweden, but he’s still going to school anyway — both because he wants to finish his education and because, in Kasper’s words, “to think about something else sometimes is also good.”

If that perspective seems unusually sage for an 18-year-old, well, that’s Kasper: Teammates call him mature beyond his years, and his on-ice play backs it up.

Just months after shedding the cage on his helmet, the tell-tale mark of a junior player, Kasper is among Rögle’s most relied-upon forwards in the SHL. In addition to his 19 points in 38 games — the most among all U20 players in the league — he’s a plus-12, which leads the team.

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A2Y- Nick Lidstrom Ranked #8 In The Athletic's Ranking

01/30/2023 at 6:59am EST

from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic,

Welcome to NHL99, The Athletic’s countdown of the best 100 players in modern NHL history. We’re ranking 100 players but calling it 99 because we all know who’s No. 1 — it’s the 99 spots behind No. 99 we have to figure out. Every Monday through Saturday until February we’ll unveil new members of the list.

It should surprise no one that the player teammates and fans call “The Perfect Human” delivers a scouting report that’s, well, rather good.

Nicklas Lidstrom writes up the reports as part of his duties as the vice president of hockey operations for the Red Wings. Can you imagine getting to read the observations of a seven-time Norris Trophy winner?

“You know what, they’re excellent,” Steve Yzerman, executive vice president and general manager of the Wings, told The Athletic.

Yzerman remembers his former teammate as more of a quiet listener during their playing days. Now that they work together in the same front office, he’s gleaned more from Lidstrom’s brilliant hockey mind.

“I read his reports, and we talk about players, sit with him at games, he’s — not surprisingly — very, very astute and notices everything,” Yzerman said. “His scouting reports on players, I value them. I enjoy reading them. … He knows the game, he knows players and he knows what to look for.”

Yzerman approached Lidstrom about joining the job last season, which led to the official hire a year ago this month.

One of the greatest defensemen in NHL history, who checks in at No. 8 in The Athletic’s rankings of the best players in the modern era, was ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work.

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A2Y- Video - Recap Of Fathers/Mentors Trip

01/29/2023 at 9:14pm EST

A good way to wrap up the trip.

A2Y- Video - Soderblom, Vrana And Edvinsson With Goals Today

01/29/2023 at 5:56pm EST

A2Y- "Progress Is Not Guaranteed

01/29/2023 at 6:41am EST

from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,

The Detroit Red Wings began this NHL regular season with a promising combination of up-and-coming youngsters and seasoned veterans. Unfortunately, as we should all know by now, progress is not guaranteed to be linear, and the Wings have not enjoyed a steady rise through the Atlantic Division standings.

After 48 games, Detroit is 21-19-8, a mark that puts them in sixth place in the Atlantic. Technically, they have a better points percentage (.521) than the fifth-place Florida Panthers (.510), and the Wings have three games in hand on the Panthers. Detroit is also five points behind the fourth-in-the-Atlantic Buffalo Sabres, but they’re only six points ahead of the eighth-place Montreal Canadiens.

As you can see, it’s a true mixed bag for the Red Wings thus far this year. And that leaves Detroit GM Steve Yzerman with difficult decisions as the league speeds toward its March 3 trade deadline: Does he deal away some of his veteran assets, or instead, try to add pieces to get his team into the playoffs? Or, perhaps, both? The only thing that’s clear at this point is that long-suffering Wings fans who haven’t experienced post-season hockey since 2016, and who haven’t had their team win a playoff round since 2013, cannot accept that the status quo is good enough.

If that means Yzerman bids goodbye to winger (and pending unrestricted free agent) Tyler Bertuzzi, so be it. If that means seeing what the market is for depth forwards Adam Erne, Oskar Sundqvist and Pius Suter, and D-men Olli Maatta, Jake Walman and Robert Hagg (all of whom will also be UFAs this summer), that should be fine as well.

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from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

A2Y- Analyzing Detroit's Top Line

01/29/2023 at 5:40am EST

from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

Doing the research, the numbers are bearing out Lalonde’s hypothesis. In five-on-five play, Larkin has been on the ice for 40 Detroit goals and 37 scored by the other team. At +3, his five-on-five goal differential rates 227th in the NHL. And he’s the responsible one on the line.

Both Raymond (10 for, 16 against) and Bertuzzi (eight for, 14 against) are showing -6 ratings in five-on-five goal differential. Raymond is 680th among NHL players in this category, while Bertuzzi comes in at No. 694.

Taking the research a step further and breaking it down analytically, the overall picture grows even more gloomier. Accoring to Naturalstattrick.com, the Larkin-Raymond-Bertuzzi trio has been on the ice for 46 scoring chances for and 49 scoring chances against. When it comes to high danger scoring chances, the numbers are 20 for and 22 against.

Take Bertuzzi off the line, as a series of injuries to Bertuzzi have done this season, and the underlying numbers grow much worse. Playing together with a linemate other than Bertuzzi, scoring chances for Larkin/Raymond are 110 for and 161 against. High danger chances are 46 for and 69 against.

On the other hand, Bertuzzi and Larkin together are like night and day without Raymond on their line. They’ve created eight scoring chances while allowing three. They’ve manufactured five high danger chances while allowing only one, an 83.3% success rate.

The problem with thinking that Bertuzzi and Larkin are better off without Raymond is that Raymond’s stats playing with any other linemates are abysmal.

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Detroit After The Break

01/28/2023 at 1:17pm EST

from Nate Brown of Detroit Hockey Now,

Simply put, the Detroit Red Wings looked exhausted Friday night. Outside of little bursts here and there, Detroit seemed out of gas by the middle of the second period. A short spurt in the dying seconds of the game from a flying Dylan Larkin appeared to maybe inject some life into what was a tired effort.

After playing four games in seven days, including back-to-back contests Thursday-Friday, Detroit gets some much-needed rest that doesn’t see it in another game until a February 7 home date against Edmonton.

It should be a break that will help renew a team that faces another stretch of pivotal games.

In 13 games, Detroit went 5-7-1 through their January stretch, certainly not where the Red Wings wanted to be. When they resume play in February, they will be less than a month away from the trade deadline. Whether the Red Wings will be buyers or sellers is one of many questions that willbe answered over this next stretch of games.

There are other questions, ranging from being a playoff team, to whether Dylan Larkin will sign a contract extension. Detroit’s performance through January, though, saw mixed results. Predictable were losses to New Jersey and Toronto, both top teams in the conference and division.

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A2Y- Talking About A Loss On Long Island

01/28/2023 at 12:19pm EST

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Detroit Red Wings ended their dads trip and entered their week off unable to take advantage of a team that has been crumbling.

There wasn't much energy to Friday's outing against the New York Islanders — the Wings' third game in four nights and second of a back-to-back — with fathers and a couple brothers in the stands at UBS Arena. The Wings came out of it on the short end of a 2-0 final, again unable to string together more than two victories in a row.

It was a disappointing way to go into a weeklong break, losing to a team that had won just twice in its previous 13 games. It was 1-0 after two periods but the Wings' shot at rallying diminished when Brock Nelson used Anders Lee as a screen to score early in the third period.

"I didn't think we played a bad road games, we just couldn't generate offense," coach Derek Lalonde said. "You certainly take the 27 shots we gave up and the goals against, to give you a chance on the road; we just didn't do enough offensively."...

"I”m really proud of the way we played," Dylan Larkin said. "It was tough travel and we’re going into a break. It could easily be one to, yes we have our dads here, but it could be one we don’t show up for and we did. We just didn’t get past Sorokin."

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Below find Larkin, Perron and Lalonde post game plus the game highlights.

A2Y- Quick Recap - DRW/NYI

01/27/2023 at 9:33pm EST

Break time? Not for me. Even though the Wings have a nice break, the NHL continues although it is a light schedule leading up to the All-Star weekend.

So feel free to check in every so often for the latest news from the hockey world.

The Wings lost 2-0 to the New York Islanders tonight and now head for parts unknown.

The Islanders scored early in the second period to take a 1-0 lead and did the same in the third to make it 2-0.

Team stats

A2Y- A Much Needed Break

01/27/2023 at 6:30pm EST

Good evening and welcome. The Wings are coming in tonight after two wins and hopefully have gained some confidence. They matched up pretty well against the Canadians last night in an entertaining game. Moritz Seider marked his fifth multi point game this season and became the first defensemen in Wings history with a trio of three assist games at age 21 or younger. The All-Star break/hiatus will begin and the Wings are out of action until February 7th against the Oilers, so it’s a much needed break for all of us.

Tonight the Wings are venturing onto the Island to play against a team that is winless in their last six, making the Islanders a dangerous team to have to face in their own barn, as they currently sit one point above the Wings and are hungry for a win. The Wings would love to enter the break with 2 points as well.

It’s the Wings vs the Islanders. The puck drops around 7:00 PM, and will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN.

It’s a Live Blog!

From The Other Side

01/27/2023 at 12:20pm EST

The New York Islanders in my opinion have had a disappointing season but like the Wings, could be considered in the hunt for a wild card spot.

After playing Detroit tonight, they host Vegas tomorrow then go on their extended break.

So like the Wings, they need to start stringing a few wins together.

But, they have not been good lately.

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.