Just Pursue It

This is NOT to toot my own horn, this is to encourage you to try something.


I have been writing for some years now. When I started it was to get thoughts swirling in my head out. Then came offers, SideLion Report, The Octopus Thrower, and GBM Wolverines from FanSided. I took positions and did so on a short-term basis. To learn how others ran their sites and to learn from great editors. Then I moved to Inside The Rink which was the next step and very helpful.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 05: The Columbus Blue Jackets logo is shown before a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on November 5, 2011 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Being asked by The Undrafted News to cover the Columbus Blue Jackets with media credentials from the press box has been incredible and helpful also it has been a blessing to be able to talk with other sports journalists and learn from them.

Now I will be covering both the Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings for The Undrafted News. So why am I telling you this? Why should you believe I am not tooting my own horn?

I am telling you this because I believe everyone has special gifts and talents that not everyone has. I also strongly believe that many do not work and put effort into growing and refining the talents they have.

MONTREAL, CANADA – DECEMBER 02: A closeup view of the Detroit Red Wings logo during the third period against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on December 2, 2023 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

I can tell you that the more effort you put in, the more doors will open for you. If you are miserable in your job and/or life, perhaps it is because you were designed to do something different.

Even when you do not feel like practicing, do it anyway. Over and over and keep chipping away at it. Once you feel somewhat confident look for areas you want to try. Then take the step, do not listen to anyone else including yourself. Let go and do it.

There is profound freedom in going down another path. I am trying to get out of “Corporate America,” I have taken steps and am currently on a trajectory to do that. When? Whenever God opens that door, which could be very soon.

Get out of your head and comfort zone start the work and trust the process.

Sifting through Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman’s press conference

It is not often Steve Yzerman speaks to the media, roughly twice a year. This past week was one of those times, a pre NHL Draft press conference where in classic Yzerman fashion he left media members, fans and the rest of the hockey world guessing what he is going to do. Armed with 10 draft picks including two in the first round and three (in a row) in the second round Yzerman has the ammo to improve his team, be it drafting or trading.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – JULY 07: General manager Steve Yzerman
of the Detroit Red Wings looks on during the first round of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

This should probably be noted first, Steve Yzerman said that he is willing to do what it takes to improve his team and “I’ll live with the fallout.” This sounds like the savvy GM is willing to part with players who seemingly were though to be part of the Red Wings core. No matter if Yzerman does trade someone or not, he is not ruling it out if it will improve his team.

On draft picks while saying he is planning on making the ninth overall first round draft pick his wording on the #17 overall draft pick was curious as he stated “I am going to use the #17 pick.” So Yzerman is going to make the ninth pick and use the #17 pick? To the untrained ear it sounds like he is preparing to trade that pick. It is known Detroit has spoken to the Philadelphia Flyers about Travis Konecny and are being heavily linked to Ottawa Senators, Alex DeBrincat.

Steve Yzerman understands the value of having multiple draft choices including the three in a row second rounders. “I’ve never had three picks in a row, particularly three in the second round,” Yzerman said. “That’s interesting. Those picks tend to be valuable if you look at every team’s draft grid, a lot of them don’t have first or second-round picks and potentially are looking to acquire that.” Again it does not appear at this time Detroit will be making all of those picks.

DETROIT, MI – MARCH 30: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings gets set for the face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on March 30, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit defeated Carolina 3-2. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

So what will Detroit’s draft strategy look like? The organization will not target a certain position but is seeking the best player on the board. Detroit still trying to build a core of players around center and team captain Dylan Larkin. In a year where this is perhaps the strongest group of draft prospects in a while, the Detroit Red Wings are open for business as Steve Yzerman is ready to improve the roster for a playoff push.

The Detroit Red Wings could go one of two ways

The Detroit Red Wings were in the playoff hunt much of the season, the organization fell a little short and now are at a sort of crossroads. Ranked by many to have a top five prospect pool the Red Wings are in good shape regardless if GM Steve Yzerman decides to stock up for a playoff run or simply give prospects more AHL development time. The guess is Yzerman will add players.

DETROIT, MI – MARCH 20: Ville Husso #35 of the Detroit Red Wings follows the play against the Florida Panthers during the first period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on March 20, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. Florida defeated Detroit 5-2. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Red Wings need a few of key components in order to take a step towards being a playoff contending team. Scoring, goaltending, defense to be more specific a more reliable backup to starting goalie Ville Husso as the perceived goalie of the future, Sebastian Cossa is still developing. With some big names set to hit the free agent market, Yzerman will have little issue finding a backup goalie.

With some big names set to hit the open market, the Red Wings should have enough choices to improve scoring. At 240 GF and 279 GA for a -39 DIFF, the Red Wings need more scoring and better defense. Both D-William Wallinder and D-Albert Johansson are ranked #3 and #4 currently in the Red Wings prospect rankings. Yzerman could and perhaps should look at add a veteran or two in order to get better production out of the blueline.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – JULY 07: Marco Kasper, #8 pick by the Detroit Red Wings, poses for a portrait during the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

It seems that the #2 ranked prospect C- Marco Kasper will get a longer look in training camp he is far from a lock to make the opening night roster. The Red Wings have a long history of wanting o give prospects plenty of development time. Kasper was called up at the end of the season but was limited due to a broken kneecap.

In the end the Detroit Red Wings are closer to the NHL Playoffs, there is still much work to be done. The guess is that Steve Yzerman will make upgrades this summer in order to give his team a push while giving prospects both a long look during training camp and more development time.

What will the Detroit Red Wings do with Dylan Larkin

Detroit Red Wings captain, Dylan Larkin is in the final year of a 5-year contract. It is being reported that Larkin and his reps are seeking the same dollar amount that the New York Islanders signed center Matthew Brazal to, 8 years, $73.2 million. It is also known that the Red Wings and general manager Steve Yzerman does not want to pay a player $9-$10 million per-season. So what happens now?

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – JULY 07: Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings attends the 2022 NHL Draft at the Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Dylan Larkin is a Michigan guy. Born and raised in Waterford, Mi. Larkin attended the University of Michigan where he was captain of the Wolverines hockey team. Larkin was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. He said recently the he could not seeing playing for any team but the Red Wings.

Under his current contract Dylan Larkin has exceeded the 60 point mark 3-times. Larkin has transformed his game into being a top line center, pre draft Larkin was viewed as a second line center.

It appears at this time the Detroit Red Wings and their captain are no where close to a deal. Sure they have time to make one work, but if not the Red Wings could cash Larkin in for prospects, draft picks and NHL players.

What would a possible trade look like? First of all top line centers (1C) do not get traded very often at all, throw in a team captain and the return would ben steep to the team making the trade and a gold mine for the Red Wings as far as the return.

In a hypothetical trade, between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Red Wings a trade could like like:

Detroit gets: Zach Werenski (D), Emil Bemstrom (F), Blue Jackets first round draft pick (from the Chicago Blackhawks)

Columbus gets: Dylan Larkin

Again that is only a hypothetical trade. That is the kind of return an elite 1C would net the Red Wings.

DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 14: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings is introduced before an NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at Little Caesars Arena on October 14, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

As of right now it is difficult to know if Steve Yzerman is leaning towards signing the Red Wings captain, or if he is taking phone calls, which I suspect some teams have called as a check in.

No matter what happens the Detroit Red Wings are and will be in good shape. If they sign Larkin great! If they trade Larkin great! One thing is for sure, this will be a huge no matter which direction it goes.

The Detroit Red Wings emerge from their rebuild a confident, hungry group

The sun is breaking through the dark clouds of a long rebuild over Little Caesars Arena. The Detroit Red Wings under the watchful eyes of it’s architect, general manager Steve Yzerman, are emerging from a long rebuild. There is still a lot of work to be done. The team needs to go out and win more games than they lose. While the playoffs likely remain out of reach this season, the Red Wings are a confident, hungry group and aim to play like it.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 07: Elmer Soderblom #85 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his second period goal with teammates while playing the Toronto Maple Leafs at Little Caesars Arena on October 07, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 4-2. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

26 points. That is how many the Detroit Red Wings need to make up in order to be in the playoff conversation. That is a large number. For a team and organization that is all but set to resume it’s winning ways, 26 points is a lot to make up. The team’s focus should be on closing that gap this season.

When Derek Lalonde was introduced as the 28th head coach in Detroit Red Wings history, he said over and over the team must be better defensively as the Red Wings have been ranked at or near the bottom the past several seasons. This preseason the Red Wings looked better in the defensive end.

For a Detroit hockey team that was above .500 last February only to come undone, more consistent play is needed. The Red Wings have some of their top prospects (Lucas Raymond, Elmer Soderblom, Mortiz Seider) set to impact on ice this season. Raymond is looking for an encore to a rookie season that saw him post 23 goal, 34 assists with 57 points.

BOSTON, MA – NOVEMBER 4: Motitz Seider #53 of the Detroit Red Wings checks against Tomas Nosek #92 of the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden on November 4, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Mortiz Seider is also looking for an encore to a rookie seasons that saw him morph into one of the best defensive players in the NHL and win the Calder as the league’s top rookie. 7 goals, 43 assists with 50 points and Seider is barely scratching the surface of what he can do.

Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin said that he expects the team to fight all season, and at the trade deadline instead of shipping players out, bring some in.

The Detroit Red Wings rebuild is nearly all but finished. Now the march towards making up 26 points in the standing begins. This should be a fun season in Hockeytown.


The Detroit Red Wings need Jakub Vrana to be better on defense

Last season saw Detroit Red Wings left wings (LW) Jakub Vrana score 13 goals, 6 assists 19 points in just 26 games played. Vrana was coming off of shoulder surgery which lead to the forward missing most of the season. Offense has never been an issue for Vrana, defense that is another story entirely. A couple days into training camp the Red Wings are asking Vrana to be more attentive when the other team has the puck.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – JULY 07: Head coach Derek Lalonde of the Detroit Red Wings during Round One of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Detroit Red Wings head coach, Derek Lalonde said he met with Jakub Vrana and explained that he knew Vrana was a gifted goal scorer in order to take the next step in his development Lalonde challenged Vrana to become a complete hockey player.

When the Detroit Red Wings hit the ice on the first day of training camp it was Lalonde who skated with Vrana and showed him where he needs to be and what is expected from him when the Red Wings do not have the puck.

DETROIT, MI – MARCH 30: Jakub Vrana (15) of the Detroit Red Wings shoots the puck against the New York Rangers during the second period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on March 30, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. The Rangers defeated Detroit 5-4 in O.T. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

It is up to Jakub Vrana to take the next step. two-way players are common place in the NHL. They add more value to the team and the the player. The Red Wings do not need Vrana to play at a high level on defense, they need him to be responsible and a trust worth teammate.

When the Columbus Blue Jackets traded for Patrik Laine, Laine was a bit of a train-wreck in the defensive end. The Blue Jackets began to explain that he could be a great goal scorer and dependable on defense. Laine did the things the team asked and is now more dependable on defense.

So the team, head coach can ask, explain, show, but it is up to the player to either grasp ahold of what is being asked or not. Preseason will be a good gauge for Vrana, if he enjoys the ice time and would like to keep or increase playing minutes he will take the advise and begin to show defensively.

A look at the rest of the Detroit Red Wings 2022 Draft class

After drafting Marco Kasper #8 overall in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft, Detroit Red Wings GM, Steve Yzerman and his scouting department headed into day two of the draft still needing to fill more holes both on the Red Wings roster and in the organization. So let’s see just what was done to move the Red Wings closer to playoff contention.

BUFFALO, NY – JUNE 2: Dylan James #128 poses for a headshot at the 2022 NHL Scouting Combine on June 2, 2022 at LECOM Harborcenter in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Armed with two second round draft picks Yzerman drafted two left wings (LW) a position of need to be sure. Dylan James and Dmitri Buchelinkov. Both players are close to being NHL ready. Both players like to push the tempo and force the puck into the greasy areas.

Marco Kasper, Dylan James and Dmitri Buchelinkov will give the Detroit Red Wings a fast trio who are as good in the defensive end as they are in the offensive end very soon.

Needing centers badly and depth at the position throughout the organization, Yzerman drafted five. The draft class is rounded out by Amadeus Lombardi, Maximilian Kilpen, Owen Mehlenbacher, Brennan Ali and big (6′ 4″) defensemen  Anton Johansson who I really like, even though he’s a couple years away from being NHL ready.

The bottom line: This was not the most flashy drafts by Steve Yzerman and his scouts. It did not have to be. This was a organizational filling draft. The Red Wings left the draft with some players (Kasper, James, Buchelinkov and Johansson) who as I said will help soon.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – JULY 07: Marco Kasper poses for a photo onstage after being selected eighth overall by the Detroit Red Wings during the first round of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Yzerman, gave the organization overall help which it needs and has needed for a while now. There is zero reason to doubt Yzerman given his work in Tampa Bay and how he has built the Detroit Red Wings up to #2 in NHL prospects in just three years.

For me I give this draft class an overall grade of  B. The future of the Detroit Red Wings is very bright and it will happen every soon.

Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts on the 2022 Detroit Red Wings Draft class.


So who is leading the Detroit sports team rebuilds

It is still on going. The Detroit Pistons, still rebuilding. The Detroit Tigers, still rebuilding. The Detroit Lions, still rebuilding. The Detroit Red Wings, still rebuilding. It seems like forever all four major sports team in the city of Detroit, Michigan have been rebuilding. While it is a process and rebuilds do take a while it looks like one of the teams is very close to being competitive again. So which team is it? Let’s dive in.

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 19: A general detail view of a Detroit Tigers hat and glove during a game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Detroit Tigers in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 19, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

The Detroit Tigers have had a disastrous season thus far. The Tigers were said to have been ready to end the long rebuild and start taking steps to being a playoff team once again. It looks like the team is still a ways away.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – OCTOBER 30: The Detroit Pistons logo is pictured on the court before the game against the Orlando Magic at Little Caesars Arena on October 30, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)

The Detroit Pistons have begun to put a nice core of players in place. For the Pistons there is still work to be done. I suspect the Pistons will start to take steps towards the playoffs in another season.

LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 08: Detail view of the Detroit Lions logo seen at the Super Bowl Experience on February 08, 2022, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Detroit Lions have done a solid job of bringing in solid young players and the team should improve. Not playoff improve mind you, but in terms of taking another step forward and developing the young player.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – FEBRUARY 16: A view of the logo of the Detroit Red Wings on a player’s jersey during an NHL game against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 16, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

That brings us to the team that I feel is just about done with the long rebuild they have been in. The Detroit Red Wings, with no #1 overall draft picks in the three soon to be four years Steve Yzerman has been GM he has done a masterful job at finding outstanding young talent and developing it.

What Yzerman has done has almost flown under the radar. He has steadily improved the Red Wings pipeline and given some real hope. The Red Wings team he has been working on is going to be a nasty team. The defense is going to be one if not the best in the NHL. Forwards have improved and Yzerman has all sorts of salary cap space to work with this summer.

In about four years the Detroit Red Wings will be serious Stanley Cup Champion contenders. In about three years the Red Wings will be a playoff team that makes some noise.

So there you have it. Drop a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Examining if Jonatan Berggren can be top six for the Detroit Red Wings

Ranked the #2 prospect in the Detroit Red Wings system, Jonatan Berggren is a player Red Wings fans are excited about. For good reason Berggren finished his season in Grand Rapids among the best rookies in Griffins history. Berggren finished with 21 goals, 43 assists and 64 points. So does that add up to a top six spot with the Red Wings in the future?

*For those who may not know or need a refresher, top six is a player on the top two lines.*

DALLAS, TX – JUNE 23: Jonatan Berggren poses after being selected 33rd overall by the Detroit Red Wings during the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center on June 23, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Jonatan Berggren, was drafted in 2018 in the second round. The Swedish forward (he plays left and right wing) was viewed as a playmaker. Berggren’s excellent vision lends itself to him being an outstanding passer, he is solid on the forecheck and boasts elite speed.

The Detroit Red Wings needed more from the young forward. This year Jonatan Berggren added scoring to his game. He is deserving of the #2 ranking in the Detroit pipeline.

Berggren did not get a call-up to Detroit, which at first glance looked odd. Yet, in my opinion I believe was the correct call. Even though Berggren’s play and numbers suggested a call-up was warranted, development trumped the call-up.

CLEVELAND, OH – DECEMBER 06: Grand Rapids Griffins left wing Jonatan Berggren (48) plays the puck during the first period of the American Hockey League game between the Grand Rapids Griffins and Cleveland Monsters on December 6, 2021, at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With his elite speed, vision, defense and now scoring touch Jonatan Berggren has played his way into the top six conversation. Which is good news because the Red Wings are short on forward prospects in the the system.

I believe  a couple of things are in store for the next NHL/ AHL season,

  1. I believe Berggren will get a good long look in training camp, and will be given an opportunity to compete for a job as he should because he earned that last season.
  2. I believe Berggren will start the season in Grand Rapids with the Griffins. Why? While the Red Wings need more scoring, development is vital to a long NHL career. So by starting Berggren in Grand Rapids it will allow him to pick up where he left off. If he is consistent at the start of the season and it matches last season, he will get a call-up and just might not be sent back down.

Jonatan Berggren, gives the Detroit Red Wings a player with a lot of hope given his upside.


What will the Detroit Red Wings do with Tyler Bertuzzi

Tyler Bertuzzi is fresh off his best NHL season. Bertuzzi scored 30 goals, with 32 assists and 62 points, all career highs. He is set to be a restricted free agent. There is one small thing though, Tyler Bertuzzi is worth a lot, not just to the Red Wings but other teams would like his services as well. For the rebuilding Red Wings and general manager Steve Yzerman this is where things could get interesting.

Tyler Bertuzzi is a gritty player who’s teammates love. He plays with an edge to his game. At 27 years old how and does he project in the Red Wings future? Bertuzzi has said he wants to stay in Detroit. Steve Yzerman said he wants to sign him, but…..

If you remember, Anthony Mantha said the same thing about wanting to stay in Detroit and Yzerman said he wanted him. Mantha signed an extension and was traded. In a rebuild the only sure thing is gaining assets.

The toothless Toronto Maple Leafs made yet another first round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Needing toughness and having already talked to Detroit about Bertuzzi, this summer perhaps talks will heat up again. Or another team will come calling.

ST. LOUIS, MO – JANUARY 15: Toronto defenseman Timothy Lijegren (37) passes the puck during a NHL game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues on January 15, 2022, at Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images),

Toronto is in serious salary cap trouble. Perhaps, they make an offer and Yzerman counters the offer by offering to take one of the Maple Leafs big contracts and say young defensive player Timothy Lijegren. This would be a fair deal. Toronto would shed some money for the cap and get a player that would bring toughness to the lineup. While Detroit would get a young defensive player to help the blue line.

Personally I feel that given his age and the fact he could help the Red Wings rebuild by being traded, it makes more sense to deal Bertuzzi and push the rebuild along a bit quicker.

This is going to be year four, for Yzerman as Red Wings GM. The Red Wings need to start to show improvement in the win column. Yzerman’s job is not in jeopardy nor should it be. The rebuild should have started years ago. Yzerman had to come in and clean up the mess which has taken time.

DETROIT, MI – APRIL 12: Tyler Bertuzzi (59) of the Detroit Red Wings turns to follows the play against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on April 12, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. Ottawa defeated Detroit 4-1. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tyler Bertuzzi and his fate will be one thing to watch in the coming days leading up to the 2022 NHL Draft.