The Detroit Red Wings must show improvement 2020-21

The Detroit Red Wings rebuild has gone on for about three full years now. With current Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman overseeing the past two years. The 2020-21 NHL season is critical to the rebuild. Since Yzerman arrived in Motown the organization has been trending upward.

This season in order for a light to be seen at the end of the long rebuild tunnel, The Detroit Red Wings need prospects to play, in Detroit, at Little Caesars Arena to be exact.  Prospects such as  Mathis Bromé, Gustav Lindström, , Evgeny Svechnikov Joseph Veleno, and Filip Zadina an others need NHL playing time.

By perhaps adding a goalie in free agency and another player the Red Wings will not become a contender during the 2020-21 season. They organization can however takes steps towards becoming a contender.

Yzerman, understands todays NHL is a young players league now. The Red Wings have long believed in sending prospects development. No matter a players draft position they are sent to the minors to fine tune their skills.

That said the Red Wings do have players who need to take the next step which is NHL time. It is something the Columbus Blue Jackets have done with most of their top prospects.

The future of the Red Wings will be centered around the teams top line of Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, and Anthony Mantha. The Red Wings now need to fill in other lines with players who will be playing on the other three lines.

This is where the Detroit Red Wings rebuild is. It is time to the next step or phase (depending how you like to say it.) The team is preparing to add another prospect during this years NHL draft.

This season will be a measure marker for the Detroit organization.

With the sudden retirement of manager Ron Gardenhire, the Detroit Tigers should get a good manager

Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park, Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila met with manager Ron Gardenhire in their usual pre-game meeting. It was then Gardenhire told Avila he was retiring effective immediately. Tigers bench coach Lloyd McClendon will manage the team for the remainder of the season. That said with a much improved minor league prospect pool the Detroit Tigers should have little problems hiring a good manager.

First off one thing I will not do is drop names and speculate who could be in the running for the sudden managerial opening. What I will do is explain why the Detroit Tigers will be able to attract a good solid manager.

As mentioned earlier, the Tigers prospect pool is an attraction on it’s own. Casey Mize, Spencer Torkelson, Tarik Skubal to name a few have the Tigers rebuild now moving along at a faster rate.

The fact that Tigers owner Christopher Ilitch publicly said he would spend money on high priced free agents the closer the prospects got to the major leagues also helps making the Detroit managers job attractive.

Ron Gardenhire did his job. He lost (as expected) a lot of games in his three seasons in Detroit. That was not the point. He was brought on board to get prospects up to major league playing standards. He did his job.

In my opinion, the next Detroit Tigers manager needs to be a person who can get the team to take the next step. That is the key. Gardenhire coached prospects to things the right way, now come the need to get the entire team on the same page and begin to win.

The Detroit Tigers opening will have it’s fair share of coach’s who will throw their names into the mix, because the Tigers have a history of spending money something Ilitch said he would do.

The key is for the Tigers to nail the hire. No former fan favorite player, nor a coach with a big name. The hire needs to be able to balance a largely young roster with some veterans sprinkled in and begin to move up the win/loss column.

These are the final steps of the rebuild.

The Detroit Red Wings could draft defensman Jamie Drysdale

HAMILTON, ON – JANUARY 16: Jamie Drysdale #4 of Team Red skates during the 2020 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game against Team White at FirstOntario Centre on January 16, 2020 in Hamilton, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

The 2020 NHL draft is stocked with high-end talent. Alexis Lafreniere, Quinton Byfield, Lucas Raymond, Cole Perfetti, Anton Lundell, Alexander Holtz, Tim Stutzle to name a few. The Detroit Red Wings already have solid defensive prospects in players like, Filip Hronek, Gustav Lindstrom, Kasper Kotansalo and Moritz Seider. Yet, the Red Wings could look to draft defenseman Jamie Drysdale with the teams first round draft pick.

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman understands you build (or in this case rebuild) a team from the back end out. The Red Wings are armed with some very good defensive prospects. Jamie Drysdale could be the icing on the cake for a unit that has some teeth to it.

Jamie Drysdale, has a superior hockey IQ he also has lightning quick feet, and playmaking ability that is well above average. Drysdale is viewed as the best defensive player in the 2020 draft.

Another aspect of Drysdale’s game that really stands out is his speed. At 5′ 11″ Jamie does not have ideal size but makes up for it with hands and stick to disrupt his opponents. The number of turnovers Drysdale has created this season by stick checking was absurd.

Even with his size it is difficult to poke holes in his game. If Yzerman decides Drysdale is the player to help push the Red Wings rebuild forward the organization will not only get an elite hockey player, but they will also get a great leader and someone of very high character.

When Jamie Drysdale is on the ice  he is a dominant player who uses excellent speed, agility and rapid decision making to make himself the most dangerous player on the ice at all times. Drysdale is close in style to 2017 fourth overall pick Cale Makar who was selected by the Colorado Avalanche.

Jamie Drysdale has the ability to be both a shutdown defender on a teams top pairing and also power play quarterback.

At 0-2 the Detroit Lions need to fire Matt Patricia

DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 28: Detroit Lions Head Coach Matt Patricia reacts to a defensive call during the fourth quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on November 28, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. Chicago defeated Detroit 24-20. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions lost Sunday afternoon to the Green Bay Packers, 42-21. That is 11 straight losses, something needs to be done ASAP to save (if that can be done) the season. It is simple Matt Patricia needs to go. After two seasons and two games Patricia’s coaching record is 9-24-1.

At the end of last season both general manager Bob Quinn and his hand picked head coach Matt Patricia was given by then Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford and win or else ultimatum for the 2020-21 season. So far it does not look good for the tandem.

The Lions have started this season 0-2 with both losses to divisional rivals. While replacing Patricia should take place sooner than later, GM Bob Quinn should be shown the door as well. If one goes they both should. For the fact it has not worked.

The Detroit Lions should start fresh. That means a rebuild. Sure the Lions do have some talented players to build around. Taylor Decker, Kenny Golladay, T. J. Hockenson, Jeff Okudah, Frank Ragnow, D’ Andre Swift, and a few on defense would be keepers if a total change is made.

Getting back to Matt Patricia, it simply has not worked in Detroit. Players have been rumored to not like him and do not give maximum effort for him. Patricia has made many poor coaching decisions that has left fans and Detroit Lions beat writers scratching their heads.

In the last five quarters of play Matt Patricia’s Lions have given up 63 points. Let that sink in. Bob Quinn brought in his friend Matt Patricia to coach a team that posted back-to-back 9-7 playoff seasons under then head coach Jim Caldwell. Because Quinn thought the team needed more.

With only 9 total wins to his name and falling to 0-2 not only on the season but in the division it already feels like this season may be on the brink of a disaster. There is no excuse Quinn and Patricia can come up with. The two friends time in Detroit should be up sooner than later.

 

Why the Tampa Bay Lightning playing for the Stanley Cup is good news for the Detroit Red Wings

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – JUNE 21: General Manager Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings looks on from the draft table during the first round of the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Since the 2016-17 NHL season no team has accumulated more wins than the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning have accumulated one President’s Trophy, two 100-plus point seasons and plenty of regular season records as well. For all the winning the Lightning have done one thing has eluded them, a Stanley Cup championship.

It is fair to say the Tampa Bay Lightning are due. Being a consistent NHL regular season winner has paved the way for the organization to face the Dallas Stars in this year Cup Finals.

So just how does the Lightning playing for the Stanley Cup bode well for the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings? Let’s start with the obvious. The same man who built the juggernaut Tampa Bay hockey team is the same man tasked with rebuilding the Red Wings. Steve Yzerman.

When Yzerman took over as Lightning general manager he took over a bad hockey team. Through shrewd traded and savvy  free agent signings, the Lightning became a regular season giant and a regular in the NHL playoffs.

Things are a bit different in Detroit. Yzerman is building a young core around Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, Anthony Mantha and Filip Hroneck. Yet, Yzerman has made some rather nice trades for the Red Wings, such as trading for Robby Fabbri from the St. Louis Blues.

Seeing the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 20129-20 NHL Stanley Cup finals, should be a welcomed sight for the Red Wings organization and the Red Wings fans base. Yzerman stated over and over during his time as Red Wings general manger, it takes time to build a winning. Yet, that is what he does.

There are different expectations in Detroit. Yzerman himself acknowledged this by saying he understands the Detroit Red Wings play for championships. He is tasked with getting the organization back to that level of play. There is next to no doubt Yzerman will deliver.

Who will be on the 2020-21 Detroit Red Wings opening night roster

DETROIT, MI – MARCH 06: Filip Hronek #17 of the Detroit Red Wings talks with teammate Dylan Larkin #71 on a play stoppage during an NHL game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Little Caesars Arena on March 6, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit defeated Chicago 2-1. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

The rebuilding Detroit Red Wings look to take a step forward during the 2020-21 NHL season. Young prospects should get at the very least a nine game call up. Others may be on the opening night roster for the Red Wings. So who exactly will be on the roster. At this time that is unknown, based on the players now (free agency starts October 9, due to COVID-19) here is a guess.

The NHL is targeting December 1, 2020 as the season opener, the season would end July 5, 2021. The NHL is watching the NFL’s mold for allowing  limited capacity attendance to see if it is possible.

The Detroit Red Wings are on a mid-November target for training camp. The camp will be at Little Caesars Arena and not Traverse City. The Red Wings are hopeful for a 2021 return to  Traverse City for training camp.

The Red Wings have some glaring needs which general manager Steve Yzerman will need to address and fill during the free agent signing period. The Red Wings have the cap space to begin to improve the roster this off season, but not at the expense of prospect development.

So let’s look at who could be in the Winged Wheel opening night,

Goalie- Jonathan Bernier, He is currently the only goalie under contrat for Detroit. He will enter the 2020-21 season as the guy. His numbers last season were not bad. Bernier posted a .915 save percentage in 25 games.

There are good goalies that will hit the open market. This will be worth paying attention to for Red Wings fans.

The Detroit Red Wings first line, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi have excellent chemistry. While   Robby Fabbri and Filip Zadina can help the second line with scoring. Valtteri Filppula should once again center the second line. Filppula is not the goal scorer he once was but is solid in passing the puck.

Luke Glendening, Darren Helm and Adam Erne Should be the Red Wings third line. It is a solid yet not spectacular third line. With Helm the really only scoring threat and Erne providing the physicality of the line.

The Detroit Red Wings was (to put it nicely) a hot mess last season. This season, Frans Nielsen, Evgeny Svechnikov, Dmytro Timashov, Justin Abdelkader, Michael Rasmussen, Christoffer Ehn, Givani Smith and Mathias Brome will battle it out in training camp in hopes players step up.

On the defensive front for the Red Wings, Danny DeKeyser, Patrik Nemeth and Filip Hronek are locks for the top four. I fully expect 19 year old defenseman Moritz Seider will be in the opening night lineup as well.

The rest of the Red Wings defense needs upgrade. Otherwise it will be another tough season.

Can Detroit Lions fans trust the hype surrounding the team?

ALLEN PARK, MI – AUGUST 21: Detroit Lions WR (1) Jonathan Duhart and Detroit Lions S (35) Miles Killebrew pair off in drills during NFL football practice on August 21, 2019 at Detroit Lions Training Facilities in Allen Park, MI (Photo by Allan Dranberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Year in and year out the Detroit Lions are projected to improve, some years enough to make the playoffs. Most years the Lions season ends in disappointment. Heading into today’s season opener against the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions hype is at fever pitch. Should fans trust the hype?

Football Outsiders, have listed the 2020 Detroit Lions not just a team that will move out of the NFC North’s basement, but a team that will go from worst to first. In this seasons Detroit Lions hype train the bold predictions started last January when multiple analysts said the Lions would take a massive step forward this coming season.

Sure the Detroit Lions offense lead by quarterback Matthew Stafford is a dangerous group. Stafford, WR, Kenny Golladay, TE, T.J. Hockenson and others give the Lions the best offense in the NFC North division. So that is reason for hope and hype.

On the flip slide, the Detroit Lions defense last season was abysmal and that is being kind. Lions general manager Bob Quinn has rebuilt the defensive unit for 2020. Signing LB, Jamie Collins, Danny Shelton and Reggie Rangland and some others give the defense at least signs of hope.

The question is did Bob Quinn improve the defense enough? Also the offensive line looks like a hot mess at this time. There has been no preseason games this year due to the pandemic. So it is hard to get a pulse on what the Lions have on the defense as a whole and offensive line.

With two games right out of the gate against NFC North teams the Bears week 1 and Green Bay Packers week 2, the Detroit Lions of 2020 can not afford a slow start.

Both general manager Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia were told by then Lions owner Martha Ford they needed to win or else at the conclusion of last season. Martha Ford turned the team over to her daughter, Sheila Ford Hamp who now serves as Principal Owner and Chairman.

It remains to be seen if Hamp will make changes if needed at the end of the season after the win or else mandate came from the previous owner.

So here we are on the verge of another Detroit Lions season and the hype train, all aboard with caution.

 

The Detroit Tigers are two games out of a playoff spot, what it means

DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 17: A Detroit Tigers batting helmet sits in the dugout during Game Five of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox at Comerica Park on October 17, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The rebuilding Detroit Tigers entered the 2020 COVID-19 shortened season with by- and- large low expectations from the media and fans. Yet, that same rebuilding Tigers ball club sits just two games out of the eighth and final playoff position. That is both good and bad news.

The good news is the Detroit Tigers young players and prospects they called up are keeping the team afloat in the playoff chase. Shedding a little light the Tigers rebuild may in fact be working. This coupled with the fact that the organization has not called up more or all top prospects lends it’s self to what looks  like a bright future in Motown.

The bad news. The Detroit Tigers will not have the top pick in the 2021 MLB draft. In fact the Tigers may not even have a top 10 draft pick. This is bad simply because the team is not done rebuilding. Even with a minor league system ranked anywhere from No. 6 to No.2 depending who you read.

One thought here is that as players now appear to be major league ready (Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, Isaac Paredes) Detroit Tigers owner and president Christopher Ilitch has said he will spend money to put a winning team on the field. The organization could begin to look at big name free agents as many experts are say next season many Detroit top prospects will be added to the roster.

If the Detroit Tigers make the playoffs it is not the end of the world. It does however mean they may have to get creative how to improve the organization without the aid of a top five draft choice.

The same could be said if they do not make the playoffs. The Tigers record is better than all of the bottom feeders in MLB. The Tigers still would be looking at a non top 10 draft pick, they could eek out perhaps the No.9 pick in the draft.

The good news in all of this is Detroit’s young players and prospects are keeping the team in the playoff race.

The Detroit Lions have established the 2020 practice squad

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 22: A Detroit Lions helmets prior to the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 22, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Having identified the 53 man roster Saturday, the Detroit Lions practice squad will  will look familiar to fans who follow the team closely. The 16 players who make up the practice squad have been in training camp with the Lions. Roughly three-quarters were with the Lions in some capacity last season.

The players chosen for the practice squad were, offensive lineman Beau Benzschawel, quarterback David Blough, wide receiver Victor Bolden, safety Jalen Elliott,  defensive tackle Frank Herron, wide receiver Tom Kennedy, tight end Isaac Nauta, linebacker Anthony Pittman, safety Bobby Price, punter Arryn Siposs, defensive tackle Kevin Strong, cornerback Dee Virgin, guard Kenny Wiggins, running back Jonathan Williams, long snapper Steve Wirtel and defensive end Jonathan Wynn.

This year the NFL has expanded practice squads from 10 to 16 players. This is the first year that practice squads could include veterans. Which allowed the Detroit Lions to sign Kenny Wiggins (  offensive lineman  ) to the squad.

The NFL practice squads function differently. NFL teams can protect up to four players per-week that other teams are not allowed to sign. The 12 players who are not protected can be eligible to sign with another team’s active roster during the week.

One player the Detroit Lions cut Saturday but were hoping to bring back to the practice squad was running back Jason Huntley, who was claimed by the Philadelphia Eagles.

The practice squad or taxi squad, is a group of players signed by a team but not part of their main roster. They can be used in practice as part of the scout team or a fill-in for an injured player.Because the NFL does not have a minor league these players serve as a minor league of sorts. They can be signed to the active roster if and as needed.

This is the group the Lions feel can help the roster most. So the 2020 Detroit Lions are ready for the season to start Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

A look at the Detroit Lions 53 man roster

GLENDALE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 08: A detailed view of a Detroit Lions helmet during the NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Arizona Cardinals on September 8, 2019 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

At first glance the Detroit Lions roster is heavy at wide receiver, linebacker and cornerback. When the Lions entered Saturday’s cut down day, the roster stood at 79 players. Detroit head coach Matt Patricia said ” I hate it, it’s the worse,” when addressing the media about cut day. So let’s look at the newly constructed Detroit Lions roster.

Quarterbacks (2)-

Kept, Matthew Stafford, Chase Daniel

Gone- David Blough

Blough is gone at least for now. The quarterback had show improvement in training camp, enough to be a backup. Perhaps the Lions will look to sign him to the P.S. (practice squad) if he is not claimed by another team.

Running Back (5)

Kept- Kerryon Johnson, D’Andre Swift, Bo Scarbrough, Ty Johnson, Jason Cabinda

Gone- Jonathan Williams, Wes Hills, Jason Huntley

The surprise in the running back group is fifth round draft pick Huntley was cut. Huntley had a very good camp. The running back looked like he had some real playmaking ability with the ball in his hands during camp practices.

Wide Receiver (6)

Kept- Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., Danny Amendola, Marvin Hall, Quintez Cephus, Jamal Agnew

Gone- Chris Lacy, Tom Kennedy, Victor Bolden

No surprises here. The only question is how Patrica and his coaching staff rotate players.

Tight End (3)

Kept- T.J. Hockenson, Jesse James, Hunter Bryant

Gone- Isaac Nauta, Matt Sokol

Hunter Bryant beating out Isaac Nauta is an eye raiser, simply because Bryant was an undrafted rookie and has been sidelined with a sore hamstring the past two weeks.

Offensive line (8)

Kept- Taylor Decker, Frank Ragnow, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Joe Dahl, Jonah Jackson, Tyrell Crosby, Logan Stenberg, Matt Nelson

Gone-  Oday Aboushi, Kenny Wiggins, Beau Benzschawel, Dan Skipper (waived injured)

The Lions are going light on interior linemen. Kenny Wiggins was supposed to be the replacement for Graham Glasgow who signed with the Denver Broncos as a free agent, the fact the Lions cut Wiggins was a bit of a surprise.

Defensive Line (7)

Kept-  Trey Flowers, Danny Shelton, Nick Williams, Julian Okwara, Da’Shawn Hand, Romeo Okwara, John Penisini

Gone- Kevin Strong, Frank Herron, Will Clarke, Olive Sagapolu, Albert Huggins, Kevin Wilkins

The only interesting thought with the defensive line unit is Da’ Shawn Hand has been dinged up at different times during his career. The Lions did not opt to keep and extra linemen for injury.

Linebackers (7)

Kept-  Jamie Collins Sr., Jarrad Davis, Christian Jones, Jahlani Tavai, Reggie Ragland, Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Elijah Lee

Gone- Anthony Pittman

No surprise Patrica went heavy at linebacker as they drive his defense.

Defensive Backs (12)

Kept- Desmond Trufant, Jeff Okudah, Justin Coleman, Amani Oruwariye, Tracy Walker, Duron Harmon, Will Harris, Darryl Roberts, Tony McRae, Miles Killebrew, C.J. Moore, Mike Ford

Gone- Dee Virgin, Jalen Elliott, Bobby Price

Patrica again went heavy with defensive backs. Detroit Lions 2020 first round draft pick Jeff Okudah did not win a starting job in training camp. Detroit will go (at least for now) with Amani Oruwariye as a started when they face the Chicago Bears next Sunday.

Specialists (3)

Kept-  Matt Prater, Jack Fox, Don Muhlbach

Gone- Arryn Siposs, Steven Wirtel

In a very close competition Jack Fox won the Lions punting job. Fox had the stronger leg and showed to be more consistent in training camp.