Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Appears Jeff Blashill Will Return As The Coach For The Wings

What I am hearing from an insider, one of my few, is Jeff Blashill will be returning as the coach of the Detroit Red Wings.

It will be a two-year contract.

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Is Today The Day For A Jeff Blashill Resolution?

Many people are saying you have to assume Blashill will be returning.  My question is then why not announce it?

Same can be said his contract won't be renewed, but then again why not announce it.

The GM has us wondering and confused.

I am still sticking with my prediction that Jeff Blashill will take on another role in the organization.

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A Confident Joe Veleno

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

“I got some play some pretty good minutes and was trusted in all areas of the ice,” Veleno said. “It definitely boosted my confidence. Now I’ve got a little bit of a taste of it, how those NHL games are, and what to bring to the table. It was just good to have that experience.”

Veleno, 21, was assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins when the Wings’ season ended May 8; the Griffins are scheduled to wrap up Saturday, after which Veleno plans to return to the Montreal area for the offseason. That’s where he spent much of 2020, after COVID-19 shuttered sports in mid-March. The extra time Veleno (6 feet 2, 220 pounds) was able to spend working out and training paid off when he was loaned to the Swedish Hockey League in October. Veleno tallied 11 goals and nine assists in 46 games for Malmö, averaging around 16 minutes per game....

“He is bigger, he’s stronger,” Griffins coach Ben Simon said. “He’s playing with confidence. His experience in Europe, it’s helped him mature not only as a hockey player but as a person. He’s got a little bit more of a presence about him. That confidence is translating and correlating on the ice.

“He’s a high-end player who can make plays and he’s got the confidence to make plays. But his play away from the puck — he’s a pretty smart hockey player. He puts himself in good spots. He competes hard. He has a tremendous future ahead of him.”

more (paid sub.)

I ppsted this in the wrong place earlier today, now it is in its proper place.

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The Benefits Of The Jakub Vrana Trade

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

As the world awaits the identity of the next Red Wings coach — will it remain Jeff Blashill or be someone else — it appears there’s one less question mark regarding the team.

Jakub Vrana is going to be an exciting and possibly impactful player for the Wings. The 11 games at the end of the season, though a snippet of information, sure looked promising.

General manager Steve Yzerman, who hasn’t yet announced his decision whether to retain Blashill, has made a flurry of deals already in his two years retooling the roster.

But acquiring Vrana at this season’s trade deadline (along with Richard Panik and two draft picks) for Anthony Mantha could be an important one going forward.

The draft picks were Washington's 2021 first-round pick and 2022 second-round pick, so both players could be legitimate prospects. But more so, Vrana, in a brief sample size, looked special.


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Are The Wings Missing Out On Other Coaches?

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Still No Decision On Jeff Blashill

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Steve Yzerman’s silence on the Detroit Red Wings coaching front would seem to favor Jeff Blashill, but hold off on placing any bets.

Yzerman is as deliberate and patient as they come; when he was named general manager in April 2019, he announced he wanted to spend his first year observing. He held off on naming a captain, made low-key signings to patch the lineup and set about steering the rebuild in the direction he deemed fit.

That included keeping Blashill on as coach, honoring the two-year extension Blashill had signed 17 days before Yzerman’s return....

Yzerman is not at the point where he’s looking for a coach who can guide the Wings to the Stanley Cup. The Wings need someone who can develop players, as Blashill has done with Larkin, Bertuzzi, Filip Hronek, Filip Zadina, Michael Rasmussen and more.

But maybe Yzerman wants a fresh voice. When he left the Wings’ front office in 2010 to accept the Tampa Bay Lightning GM position, Yzerman hired Guy Boucher for his first NHL head coaching job. Yzerman fired Boucher on March 24, 2013, and, the next day, announced the promotion of Jon Cooper. Yzerman had hired Cooper to coach the Lightning’s AHL affiliate in 2010.

more ($$$)

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Video- Sam Cosentino’s Top 10 Prospect List

via Sportsnet,

Sam Cosentino joins Hockey Central to discuss his top-10 NHL Prospect list where Owen Power tops the list.


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Video- Talking Wings Today On The Word On Woodward

Video starts with the segment of Art Regner and Helene St. James,


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Defensemen At The Top Of The Draft

from TSN,

This year’s prospect class is shaping up to be a boon for teams looking for blueline help, with defencemen holding down the top four spots on the latest edition of TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button’s rankings ahead of the 2021 NHL Draft, scheduled for July 23.

Owen Power, the towering 6-foot-5-1/2, 213-pound Michigan Wolverines defenceman, is Button’s top prospect available after scoring three goals and 16 points in 26 games at the NCAA level. And his talents will be showcased again later this month as he'll play for Team Canada at the IIHF Men's World Hockey Championship in Latvia.

“Power’s combination of skills is unique,” Button said of the left-shot defenceman. “He’s got superb hockey sense, very good skill and superior size.”

Barrie Colts defenceman Brandt Clarke, who spent this season with HC Nove Zamky in the top Slovakian professional league while the Ontario Hockey League was on pause during the pandemic, comes in second in Button’s rankings.

Clarke, a right-shot defenceman who is 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, helped Canada win gold at the under-18 men's hockey championship in Frisco, Texas with two goals and seven points in seven games.

“Clarke brings a skill set that includes creativity, boldness and confidence,” Button said. “His game combines elements of Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns.”


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from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The wait continues around Little Caesars Arena.

The regular season ended Saturday for the Red Wings, but a decision regarding the future of coach Jeff Blashill has yet to be announced.

Tuesday came and went with no word from general manager Steve Yzerman regarding a decision as to whether Blashill will return for a seventh season.

The delay is a mild surprise.

Yzerman said during his news conference after the trade deadline in March that he would meet with Blashill quickly after the season.

Maybe the two have met, but an announcement on Blashill’s future still hasn’t made public, leading to more speculation and guessing regarding Blashill’s job security with the Wings.

The lack of news surrounding Blashill comes at a time while other NHL teams already have made decisions.

continued (paid monthly subscription)

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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. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com


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