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.

With the Detroit Red Wings looking for a new head coach here are some names to know

With Jeff Blashill not having his contract renewed, the Detroit Red Wings are in the market for a new head coach. General Manager, Steve Yzerman said he will look everywhere until he finds the right fit. The NHL is a league of retreads. Unlike other sports, NHL teams have never been shy about bringing in a coach who has been in the league. So which direction will Yzerman go? That is anyone’s guess. Here is a list of names to know.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 16: Rick Tocchet 2021 Flyer Hall of Fame inductee speaks at a press conference prior to his pregame ceremony at an NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Calgary Flames at the Wells Fargo Center on November 16, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Rick Tocchet, who has a history with Steve Yzerman as the two played against each other. Tocchet has worked with rebuilding teams before so that is a plus. Tocchet also has  three Stanley Cup rings (1 as a player and 2 as a coach.)

The Red Wings were by all accounts a “soft” hockey team. If Yzerman wants to instill grit and toughness in his young team then a coach who could fit the bill is John Tortorella. ‘Torts” as he is known as, is abrasive and demanding which is why he has enjoyed success. Tortorella has finished .500 with every team he has coached.

Now we come to two coach’s who would be a bit of a stretch, but this is Steve Yzerman. The same Steve Yzerman who gave a lawyer (Jon Cooper) a head coaching job and has lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. Both coach’s are former Detroit Red Wings and teammates of Yzerman.

TORONTO, ON – NOVEMBER 06: Sergei Fedorov takes part in a press conference at the Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum on November 6, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fedorov will be inducted into the Hall on November 9, 2015. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Sergei Fedorov, who is the head coach of CSKA Moscow and who won the championship. It was Fedorov’s first season behind the bench. While I do not see Fedorov as a legit candidate simply because he needs more seasoning behind the bench, Yzerman’s former line mate could be an attraction of sorts.

Another former teammate and winner of three Stanley Cup Championships in Detroit is “The Professor,” as he is known as, Igor Larionov. Larionov was part of the legendary “Russian Five.”

Named by teammates “The Professor” because he studied the game like few others and has a very good philosophy and understands the game like a coach who has been in the NHL for years. Not that Larionov will get the job, but he fits the bill almost perfectly. He has made no bones about the fact he wants to be a head coach.

Again, no one knows what is going through Steve Yzerman’s mind. He could bring in a retread or go his own way.

Drop a comment and let me know who you think the next Detroit Red Wings head coach should be.

 

Are Moritz Seider and Simon Edvinsson destined to be a top line pairing for the Detroit Red Wings

Just three short years ago the Detroit Red Wings lower levels were in near shambles as a result of the Red Wings 25 year playoff run. Enter Steve Yzerman who when he took over as general manager said one of his first orders of business was to build up the lower levels. The Red Wings were void of any real defensive prospects, but that has changed. The Detroit Red Wings now boast of some of the best defensive prospects in all of hockey. That said the team looks set to have a solid tandem on the top line for some time.

Words can not express just how good defensemen Moritz Seider was this season for the Red Wings. In his rookie season Seider, played in all 82 games and was the best defensive player on the ice for the Red Wings, 7 goals, 43 assists and and eye popping 50 points has landed Seider as the odds on favorite to win the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie.

Seider was much more than numbers for the Red Wings. He was a physical presence on a team that did not have many. Seider also pushed the tempo for the Red Wings when leading the rush up ice.

SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY – JULY 23: With the sixth pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Detroit Red Wings select Simon Edvinsson during the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft at the NHL Network studios on July 23, 2021 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Simon Edvinsson, really took a big step in his development this season playing in the Swedish Hockey League. Edvinsson is a good skater with excellent hands. Where he really improved was in the defensive end. Edvinsson learned to use his large frame to his advantage.

When I say large frame, both Moritz Seider and Simon Edvinsson are 6′ 4″. Steve Yzerman has a history of drafting big defensive players who can push tempo, that are also a physical presence and can help out on both the power play and penalty kill.

It was Yzerman who during his time as GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning, pushed for Victor Hedman to win a roster spot. The 6′ 6″ Hedman is one of the NHL’s best defensive players year in and year out.

DETROIT, MI – MARCH 22: Moritz Seider (53) of the Detroit Red Wings and Oskar Lindblom (23) of the Philadelphia Flyers battle for position during the second period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on March 22, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

So are Moritz Seider and Simon Edvinsson the future top line defensive pairing for the Detroit Red Wings? It sure looks like it. Red Wings fans should be excited for the future of the Detroit blueline. There are some very good players being developed and it starts with Seider and Edvinsson.

 

Drafting #8 overall, the Detroit Red Wings will land elite talent

As many of you who read this blog know by this time, I can not stand mock drafts. I have never been shy about that fact. That said the NHL Draft lottery has found the Detroit Red Wings slotted at #8 overall. Heading into his fourth season as Red Wings GM, Steve Yzerman has yet to draft first overall. That is okay, as he has built the Red Wings pipeline up and it is currently ranked #2. That is why picking #8 is not a big deal. So who could the Red Wings be looking at? Let’s take a closer look.

The 2022 NHL Draft does not have a ton of elite defensive talent to choose from. If a team needs a winger or center, this is a very good draft. After Dylan Larkin who is the teams top line center and Joe Veleno who took positive steps in his development and looks to be a third line center, the Red Wings have a need at that position.

Three players come to mind who I really believe can help Detroit sooner than later. The first is Danila Yurov, right wing (RW) Russia, A smooth skater with speed. Yurov has no trouble going end-to-end and is blessed with a great shot. He could compete for a roster spot in training camp if selected by Detroit.

Next is a player that would have to slide a bit for the Red Wings to nab and it is center, Matt Savoie. This is a highly skilled center and could very well find himself in Detroit and wind up on the second line. With outstanding stickhandling and puck control, excellent vision, great passer and elite goal scorer, Savoie would be my first choice, but I am not Steve Yzerman nor is there any way to tell if he would be there at #8.

My third choice for the Red Wings is a player that played through a shoulder injury and saw his production drop, but is still a great young player. Joakim Kemell, RW, his skating needs cleaned up that said, Kemell is a pure sniper, his one-timer is absolutely lethal and the best in the draft. Kemell is also a very skilled playmaker. If you need a player Kemell sort of resembles I’d say Columbus Blue Jackets forward Patrik Laine is close.

Steve Yzerman is his own man. He has rebuilt the Red Wings future with excellent scouting and great draft picks. I believe this is the year he drafts for need and not best player at the draft slot. The Detroit Red Wings need more high end scoring and this is a draft that can go a long way in helping that deficit.

Drop a comment and let me have you choice for the Red Wings first round draft pick.

 

Detroit Red Wings season review

With another playoff-less season in the books, all was not lost during the 2021-22 Detroit Red Wings campaign. One thing that marred the Red Wings was inconsistent play throughout the season. Detroit played well until the All-Star break and then the wheels fell off, the Red Wings are now looking for a new head coach and to get back on track. Again all was not lost.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – APRIL 03: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates his third period goal against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on April 03, 2022 in Ottawa, Ontario. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)

For the Detroit Red Wings some players took a step forward. Dylan Larkin became a 30 goal scorer and a point-per game player. Tyler Bertuzzi scored 30 goals, Jakub Vrana spent most of the season recovering from offseason shoulder surgery played in the final 26 games and scored 13 goals. Rookie forward, Lucas Raymond was as advertised scoring 23 goals with 57 points. Rookie defensemen Moritz Seider was an impact player in the defensive end and had 50 points.

Those are the highs. The lows are well low. The team lacked consistent play all around. Some players took a clear step backwards (Filip Hronek, Filip Zadina, Danny DeKeyser to name a few.)

I thought Dylan Larkin brought up a very good, very interesting point during his end of the year interview. The Detroit Red Wings captain said there was next to no on-ice communicating going on during games. This is not the first time Larkin has mentioned this.

No players interacting and helping each other out seems odd. It must be addressed by the next head coach. Communication during games on ice MUST take place or the Red Wings will not find traction, it’s that simple.

One player who I felt took a big step forward this season was center Michael Rasmussen. It was more than his 15 goals, 27 points. Rasmussen really looked better in the defensive end and battling for the puck. He became more of a presence in both ends of the ice.

General manager Steve Yzerman has some important details to work on this offseason. Both Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi need new contracts and Yzerman has said he wants to sign both. The team has plenty of cap space to do that.

Yzerman must address the Detroit blueline. The defensive unit that completely fell apart as the season went on. Scoring was not as big a problem however, like many NHL team the Red Wings could use some more scoring.

DETROIT, MI – APRIL 09: Lucas Raymond (23) of the Detroit Red Wings skates up ice with the puck against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the first period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on April 9, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. Columbus defeated Detroit 5-4 in O.T. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Yzerman hinted that he would be using the allotment of cap space for free agents. This is a big summer for the Detroit Red Wings.

What’s next for the Detroit Red Wings after the coaching staff has been fired

In the eye’s of general manager, Steve Yzerman the Detroit Red Wings had regressed this season to the point that head coach Jeff Blashill and his coaching staff have been relieved of their duties. Now Yzerman must open a coaching search to see if the Red Wings can get back to moving forward. Yzerman is unsure what he wants in terms of a new coach, just that a new voice, new coach are needed at this time in order to turn the organization around.

 

DETROIT, MI – FEBRUARY 18: Head coach Jeff Blashill of the Detroit Red Wings watches the action from the bench against the Montreal Canadiens during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on February 18, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. The Wings defeated the Canadiens 4-3. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Steve Yzerman said the Red Wings have some talented players, in his very next breath the GM said they all need to play better. Steve Yzerman said he is going to look everywhere at coaching possibilities and that he will find the right person.

As the 2021-22 NHL regular season came to and end it marked Yzerman’s third as general manager of the Red Wings. When asked where in the rebuild he feels the team is he said “We are the end of year three and heading into year four.” Yzerman went on to say there is no timeline as to when the rebuild will be over and the team will be playoff ready.

The plan as Yzerman laid out is to continue to draft well and to try to sway free agents to Detroit. Yzerman also said  that he had conversations with Jeff Blashill about the defense not playing well. He did quickly say part of it was personnel but overall Yzerman saw no improvement with rookie Moritz Seider being an exception.

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)

Steve Yzerman has been blunt in his assessment of players and the coaching staff. Simply put he expects more from both sides. He sounded frustrated as he began assessing but he is determined to get his hockey team where it needs to be.

In my opinion, Steve Yzerman is right in parting ways with Jeff Blashill. A new voice is needed in the locker room and in players ears. Detroit Red Wings fans took to social media to offer thoughts on who they would like to see as the next head coach.

I will not take part in this, only to say I trust Yzerman to find the right coach.

Detroit Red Wings rookie, Moritz Seider’s impact is being felt

Sometimes a rookie comes along and is so good he lifts his team to a new level. It does not happen often, but when it does it is news worthy. For the Detroit Red Wings rookie defensemen Moritz (Mo) Seider is that rookie. Seider’s play has overshadowed fellow rookie teammate Lucas Raymond who is having his own fantastic rookie season.

TORONTO, ON – OCTOBER 30: Moritz Seider #53 of the Detroit Red Wings looks on against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at the Scotiabank Arena on October 30, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images)

When Red Wings General Manager, Steve Yzerman strolled to the podium in 2019 and announced Moritz Seider as the teams first round draft pick (6th overall) it left the NHL experts calling the draft scrambling. No one saw Seider to Detroit coming.

Flash forward a few seasons and Seider is enjoying a nearly unbelievable rookie season. To illustrate just one small aspect that shines the light on how good Mo Seider has been February 9th’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers was exclamation point to how good Seider is and has been.

The February 9th game caught the eye of the NHL world, fans and media alike. To be clear all fans be it Red Wings or other teams and all media. You see in that game Mo Seider killed an entire two minute penalty by himself. Yes, you read that correctly.

Before the season even kicked off, the Red Wings had every intention of allowing Seider a roster spot. Since day one Mo Seider has gotten better and better. While still at the tender age of 20, and looking like a star in the making, Seider may be on his way to cementing a spot on the Red Wings blue line for years to come.

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 27: Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider (53) reads the play during the Detroit Red Wings vs. Washington Capitals National Hockey League game on October 27, 2021 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

What is scary is the Detroit coach’s, teammates and national media believe Moritz Seider can get even better. This is what Yzerman and the Red Wings scouting department saw in the young defensemen when they drafted him. While it shocked many at the time, it looks golden now.

This is Steve Yzerman, a GM who fearlessly goes off the beaten track and finds absolute gems. What seems like a head scratcher at the time turns up roses for Yzerman both in his time with the Tampa Bay Lightning and now with the Detroit Red Wings.

2021-22 Detroit Red Wings season preview: The Wings are coming

The Detroit Red Wings lead by General Manager, Steve Yzerman have been in rebuild mode for a few years. But many of the big pieces for the Red Wings future are in the organizations system. While the 2021-22 Red Wings will not be a playoff team they will show that the rebuild is headed in the right direction. The team will give up fewer goals while earning more wins all by showcasing the teams future.

DETROIT, MI – JANUARY 18: Filip Zadina #11 of the Detroit Red Wings shoots the puck during warm-ups before an NHL game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Little Caesars Arena on January 18, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

One of the worst kept secrets in the NHL is Steve Yzerman is very good at drafting players. Yzerman is so good at drafting that during his time as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s GM he sped up a long rebuild. Fast forward to Detroit, where Yzerman has you guessed it, sped up the Red Wings rebuild by simply drafting well.

Yzerman is putting on a “how to” rebuild clinic. The past three season have been and brutal ones as far as on-ice product and production go. That has been by design. As Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings scouting department have gone to work. Now the trajectory of the roster and management are on the uptick.

The 2021-22 Detroit Red Wings will give a clear look into the future. As Yzerman has been collecting pieces as well as prospects and trades for the past few years that will begin to show fruit this season.

For this reason the Red Wings will show improvement. It will not be eye-popping, no playoffs or competing for the Stanley Cup, the Red Wings will show more competitiveness as a result they should show a jump in the standings to demonstrate the organizations improvements.

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 22: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider (53) during the second period of a preseason game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings on September 22, 2019, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

I understand, Detroit Red Wings fans do not want to go through another long season. That is what the 2021-22 season will be as far as wins losses go. However, this season should be the last long one for  a while.

Steve Yzerman has done a masterful job at rebuilding the Detroit hockey team, it is about to pay off in big ways.