Detroit Red Wings: no embracing the tank

While the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings, could tank in an attempt to get the first pick in the 2019 NHL draft. That does not seem to be the plan. Free agent signings show the team is re-writing the rebuild rule.

While players who have been developing in Grand Rapids with the Griffins will vie for roster spots. Ken Holland Red Wings general manager, made a few shrewd moves. That will help the Winged Wheels hover around .500.

Defensmen Mike Green who’s contract was up was resigned to a 2 year contract. He will in all likelihood tutor two or three Detroit, rookie defensmen. Green, and all-star is a great pick to help the young players reach their NHL stride.

Thomas Vanek, who played in Motown two seasons ago will help Red Wings, young offensive talent. Players like first round draft pick Filip Zadina, can learn a lot from the crafty veteran Vanek.

With Detroit Red Wings, captain Henrik Zetterbergs future up in the air due to a lingering back injury. Vanek, appears to be the insurance policy. A very solid signing by Ken Holland.

Next the Detroit, brain trust went with what has been a sore spot for four years. Goal tending help.  Jonathan Bernier, who spent last season in net for the Colorado Avalanche. Is certainly and upgrade over Petr Mrazek and others who tried yet failed in the Detroit pipes.

The easy way out is to tank and attempt to get a lottery draft pick. But that is not a given. The lottery ping pong ball does not always come up with the worst teams logo on it.

Ken Holland, is re-writing the rebuild. His way. Bringing in players to help the team stay competitive while younger players are introduced and inserted into the Detroit, starting lineup.

In my opinion, other teams should attempt this. It makes it a lot less complicated if there is talent to work with. Players like Evgeny Svechnikov, Filip Zadina, Joe Veleno, Joe Hicketts, Filip Hronek and a few others give the Detroit Red Wings a bright future.

Detroit Red Wings: infuse young defensmen is a must.

I don’t pretend to know more than Detroit Red Wings, general manager Ken Holland. But when a team is rebuilding they tend to move out under preforming  veterans and bring in younger players.

In my opinion, Jonathan Ericsson, Nicklas Kronwall and Danny DeKeyser should be replaced. Ericsson has woefully under preformed for three seasons now. Kronwall, once a defensive force because of two bad knees is a shell of his former self. Danny DeKeyser’s play has taken a nose dive.

The rebuilding Red Wings need to and should being giving roster spots to Filip Hronek, Joe Hicketts and  Dennis Cholowski. Joe Hicketts is the shortest defender in the Detroit Red Wings pipleline. But, he just may be the best.  Filip Hronek, may be the biggest riser in the Detroit system. He will remind many of the Anaheim Ducks Sami Vatanen. Great speed and great vision. Solid on offense. A force on defense. Dennis Cholowski’s game has grown by leaps and bounds. Nobody out works Cholowski in practice or games.

These three defensive players are all ready. To send them to the minors would be a slap in the face to the players, the rebuild, and Detroit Red Wings fans. It would also stunt the players growth.

With that Ken Holland, must do the hard thing. Remove players who are past their prime or who have under preformed. It is nothing personal. I really liked Nicklas Kronwall but it is painful to watch him struggle on two bad knees.

It is time for the future. Detroit, selected four more defensive players in the 2018 NHL draft. They will be ready soon. It is time to move on.

Detroit Pistons: add front office and coaching assistants

Embed from Getty Images Wanting to groom a young general manager Detroit Pistons, president Ed Stefanski, who is also acting general manager went out and found the Malik Rose. Also this week Pistons head coach Dwane Casey brought in two assistant coaches.

Malik Rose, a thirteen year NBA veteran player. Began his post playing days as a memeber of the New York Knicks, broadcast team. He also did announcing work with the Philadelphia 76ers. A total of five years in the broadcast booth.

The Atlanta Hawks, offered Rose the position of president basketball operations. Seen as a quick riser and a man with a big vision. Malik Rose, had his eye’s set on being an NBA general manager. This week the Detroit Pistons, helped Rose get one step closer to his dream.

In other Pistons news. Head coach Dwane Casey, hired Former Detroit player and coach Sidney Lowe and former Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Sean Sweeney.

Dwane Casey who has a reputation of being one of if not the best player developer in the NBA went after two coaches who also share the label of developing players.

This seems to be a very good fit. The Detroit Pistons, got an up and coming general manger. One they can groom to run the show on his own. The coaching staff is committed to developing players. Not just rookies mind you. But veterans as well.

Pistons fans, hope the team is on solid ground for the first time in Tom Gores seven year ownership of the franchise. It certainly has the appearance of brighter days.

Now the team needs to get rid of dead weight contracts. Something that has plagued Detroit sports teams for some time.

Detroit Lions: Matt Patrica voted worst NFL coach

Embed from Getty Images It is both laughable and yet somewhat practical that new Detroit Lions, head coach Matt Patrica, has been voted the worst coach in the NFL.

I find these little polls both interesting and sort of stupid. Matt Patrica, a very decorated defensive coordinator in his time with the New England Patriots. Has seen his Detroit, coaching start being listed in less than flattering light.

Lions fans, should not hit the panic button. I totally get it. Matt Patrica has never coached a football game as a head coach. Respect is earned. Patrica, who literally is a rocket scientists (by degree) understands this.

To me this is not a slap in the face for the Detroit Lions, or the head coach. It is simply the pecking order. Many Hall of Fame coaches started at the bottom.

This is a show me moment for Patrica, more than the Detroit Lions. If he fails the organization will make changes. It is time for Patricia, to come to grips with the fact he is THE guy.

Every time the Lions, fail or are successful he will be the man in the cross fire. Good or bad. Such is the life of any head coach in any sports.

It is probably safe to say Matt Patrica, probably saw that poll and laughed. Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn is hoping his hand picked head coach gets the last laugh. As is Lions nation.

Detroit Tigers: the kids are alright

As the Detroit Tigers, have come down to earth. 9 losses in a row will do that. There is good news. Detroit, has moved several top prospects around in the minor leagues.

Having one of the worst minor league systems in all baseball last season. This seasons the Detroit Tigers, systems has gone from being ranked #30 to being ranked #9 this season. Not to shabby.

In a full rebuild, the Tigers had a great 2018 draft. One that will speed up the rebuild. It gets better. This week the Tigers, have promoted many of the teams top prospects. All of them needed to be bumped up. They earned it.

Pitcher Matt Manning, went from A-ball West Michigan Whitecaps, to High- A Lakeland Flying Tigers. He should make around six starts before being moved to the Erie Seawolves Double-A team.

Pitcher Alex Faedo, moved from Lakeland to Erie. In 66 innings pitched Faedo has 58 strikeouts on the season. He was far too good to be in Lakeland and was never going to be there long.

Outfielder Daz Cameron, Also started the season with the Flying Tigers. Last week Cameron, was named Double-A player of the week. He should arrive in Toledo with the Mud Hens, before the season ends.

Pitcher Tyler Alexander, was promoted from Erie to Toledo. He will be a welcome arm in the Detroit bullpen at some point this season.

Outfielder Jacob Robson, also went from the Seawolves, to the Mud Hens. Robson should get a September call up when the MLB rosters are expanded.

Al Avila, and the Detroit front office and coaches are trying to figure out where the prized new draft picks will be placed. All of them including top pick Casey Mize will be putting in work this Summer.

While the Tigers, begin to fade in the standings. The top prospects are being moved up in the system. This is great news going forward.

Detroit Red Wings: Ken Holland’s demise was a lie

Embed from Getty Images Heading in year two of a rebuild the Detroit Red Wings, needed a solid draft to speed the process up. As the media and fan base had Detroit general manager Ken Holland with one foot out the door. Holland struck back.

Ken Holland, a very proud man. He should be his work as Detroit Red Wings general manager is both legendary and Hall of Fame worthy. Holland, had a few bad years that is no secret. While many thought his best days were behind him the 2018 NHL draft showed everyone Holland is still one of the very best general managers in sports.

Yes the Red Wings, were given two first round draft gifts in the form of Filip Zadina (forward) and Joe Veleno (center.) Then came day two of the draft and Holland reminded Red Wings nation, he’s still got what it takes.

In desperate need of defense starting in round two Holland rolled up his sleeves and went to work. The Red Wings, drafted Jared Mclsaac who at 6′ 1″ is one of the taller Wings defense prospects. Very good skater. Very solid two way player who can quarterback the power play.  Ken Holland stole this pick. Mclsaac was first round talent.

Also in the second round the Red Wings, took another forward Jonatan Berggren from Sweden. He is fast and has a nice shot but will need to add weight before he is Motown bound.

In the third round Ken Holland, and the Red Wings, selected Alec Regula. A player from the Detroit area. At 6′ 4″ he is a towering defenseman. For his size he is mobile and is great passing the puck. He needs to work on not being hesitant with the puck. Grand Rapids bound for sure to sure up his game. The wait will be worth it.

Next defensman Seth Barton, was the Detroit, target in the draft. His game is close to Chicago Blackhawks defender Brent Seabrook’s.  After just turing 18 Barton is headed to college to play and develop his game.

The Detroit Red Wings, thanks in large part to general manager Ken Holland were the big winner at this years draft. Obtaining help for right now and in a few years. The Detroit Red Wings, draft has now  sped up the rebuild Knocking at least two years off the table.

Red Wings, fans should be rejoicing.

Detroit Red Wings: draft profile Joe Veleno

Embed from Getty Images Much the same way Filip Zadina fell in the Detroit Red Wings, lap. So did center Joe Veleno. He was viewed as a lottery pick. Yet Joe Veleno, fell all the way to number 30. The Detroit Red Wings, with their second first round draft pick ended his fall.

The 6′ 1″ Quebec native has a quick first step. He is blessed with fantastic  acceleration. Joe Veleno’s skating sets him apart. He is strong on the puck and is viewed and projects as a line two center.

Veleno, is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer. He has great vision and is able to get the puck to teammates in tough areas. He uses his blinding speed to open up passing lanes. Most likely headed to the Grand Rapids Griffins, Joe needs to add muscle and get power behind his shots.

He is not afraid to help out on defense. Solid on the backcheck. And a willingness to block shots make Joe Veleno, a very good pick.

His game will remind some of Edmonton Oilers Ryan Nugent- Hopkins. As he puts in the work and his game evolves to what scouts say he is going to be and the Detroit Red Wings and the Wings, fan base hopes he is going to be Joe Veleno should be in Motown within two year.

 

Detroit Red Wings: draft profile Filip Zadina

As the Detroit Red Wings, entered the 2018 NHL draft they had two areas that needed addressed. Center and defense. Thanks to the Arizona Coyotes, Detroit was handed a gift.

How often does an elite goal scorer get past the top 5 picks? Not often. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, in a pre- draft interview said he was looking for the best player available. When the Arizona Coyotes, reached for center  Barrett Hayton. Holland struck.

Yes, the Red Wings need defense. While Quinn Hughes was still on the draft board and two other elite defensmen were also there for the picking. Ken Holland made the right pick.

Filip Zadina, from the  Czech republic. A 6′ 0″  superb two way player. A guy who can and does score from anywhere on the ice. His puck handling is other worldly. He does not get shoved around on the boards.

Zadina, projects as a winger but he also has the ability to play center. Thought to be gone in the first 3 picks Filip Zadina, landed in the Wings lap. It was a no brainer of a pick.

Filip Zadina, is the kind of player that makes it just fine they skipped over defensive help for. I am going to say it. Zadina, should be, better be at Little Caesars arena come October. There is no reason he should spend any time in the lower levels.

A first line of Filip Zadina, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha is enough to make coaches restless at night. It is also enough to bring smiles to Detroit Red Wings fans.

Detroit Pistons: the draft

Embed from Getty Images With no wiggle room for free agents. The Detroit Pistons, needed to look to the 2018 NBA draft for depth and roster help. Not having a first round draft pick. Detroit, did well.

When the Detroit Pistons traded for Blake Griffin, back in January they gave their first round draft pick in the deal. So basically the drafted Griffin.  Now new Pistons head coach Dwane Casey, has two new tools to use.

Detroit, traded two future second round picks and used one to draft Khyri Thomas from the university of Creighton. Both an offensive and defensive force. The 6′ 3″ Thomas is exactly what the Pistons, both were looking for and needed.

While at Creighton, he averaged 15.1 points while shooting a very good 53.8 success rate. He is very good off the dribble and very quick. He has a reputation of being an above average two way player. It seems the Pistons may have stolen this pick.

Detroit, then used their pick at number 42 to draft Miami Hurricanes two guard Bruce Brown. It is a pick that is somewhat risky as Brown, was injured and missed half the season.

The assumption must be the Detroit Pistons, were good with the medical reports. At 6′ 5″ Bruce Brown adds both depth and a 15.0 average off the bench. Defense he is extremely solid. It could be Detroit, plans on sending Brown to the G league and let him play himself back into shape.

Then allowing coach Casey to do what he does best and is known for. Developing young players and maximizing their talents.

Detroit Pistons, fans should like what the team has done in the draft. Getting a steal in Thomas and getting future guard help in Bruce.

Father’s Day 2018

As a father has compassion on his children, the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. Psalm 103:13

If Mother’s are the staple of who we are. Father’s are the backbone. It is a gift from God to be a father.

Some father’s are involved. Some father’s are more distant. Some father’s are absent. But they all give us lessons to make us grow.

I have been blessed with a great father who leads by example. Even when I did not always get it. I got it. He gave me the space to grow and understand.

Beyond my father, I have been grateful for my wife’s father. We have shared many laughs and disagreements over the years. But, there has always been respect.

Even now as he struggles with his memory. To honor the man is, was and still is important. It is important because my children are watching. Something that is not lost on me.

The same way I watched my father and learned. In the same vein as my father who paved the way and lead by example. I hope to be the example of the grace I saw. Sometimes it pays to watch and learn.

It is Father’s Day.It is a time to reflect on the lessons taught and learned. And it is a day to watch baseball. And to remember what a gift it is to be in the position of being a father.