blueadams

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  1. blueadams

    Let's talk about Tyler Bertuzzi (re-signed for 2yrs)

    You guys are talking rationally. Desperate Gm's behave irrationally every off-season.
  2. blueadams

    2023-24: The Year I think we'll be SC-contenders. A look..

    You said it. We're a better team.. but we're back in the Atlantic division again next yr. We might not necessarily win more games, or even as many. Big '22 pick and a big FA signing or two and we could be legit contenders earlier
  3. Bultman: 10 observations on the Red Wings’ prospects at the World Junior Summer Showcase By Max Bultman 1h ago 3 It did not take long to see why the Red Wings liked left-handed defenseman Shai Buium enough to trade up for him at the top of the second round in last weekend’s NHL Draft. The day after he saw his name called, Buium — a 6-foot-3 blueliner who split this past season between Shattuck St. Mary’s and Sioux City (USHL) — headlined a group of seven Red Wings prospects competing at the World Junior Summer Showcase up the road in Plymouth, Mich. The annual showcase serves as a great checkpoint for competing countries (this year, the U.S. hosted Sweden and Finland) to get a feel for their potential World Junior rosters. And this year, it also served as an immediate opportunity to get meaningful looks at three newly-drafted Detroit prospects, as well as an updated look at four members of the 2020 draft class. 10 thoughts on what I saw over the course of the week: 1. Buium will play next season at the University of Denver, so before the showcase started, I reached out to Pioneers coach David Carle to ask what stood out about the big blueliner’s game. “I think it’s his brain, his vision, his deception with the puck,” Carle said. “He breaks pucks out well, he transitions pucks (through) neutral ice well, and he’s really dynamic on the offensive blue line. He asserts himself in his transition and offensive game very well, and I think for that it makes him really hard to play against.” All of that showed up in Plymouth. His hands were better than I realized, too, and he certainly showed a real inclination to activate offensively. There’s a nice prospect here. For me, his skating played up when he had the puck — perhaps because of his size, perhaps because of his hands and smarts, but either way, he just looked dangerous with possession. There’s still room for improvement in his skating overall, though, particularly in order to defend speed in transition. I saw at least two instances where a player got by him by chipping the puck off the wall and beating him to it for a chance off the rush. Certainly, that’s understandable for a player who stands 6-foot-3, 214 pounds, and adding more strength will help Buium there — as he gains more muscle in his legs, his stride should get more powerful. Going the college route gives him tons of time to spend in the gym between games. But there’s already an exciting tool kit here. 2. I also wanted to share Carle’s description of how Buium compares and contrasts with the other Red Wings defense prospect he coaches: 2019 second-round pick Antti Tuomisto. “They do it a little bit differently,” Carle said. “I think we’re going to see Antti take really big steps this year. Our internal analytics, he rates very high and he’s had a very good summer thus far. … They’re both very smart hockey players. I would say Shai does it by attacking a little bit more and asserting himself, where Antti likes to kind of let people come to him a little bit more and look people off — does it maybe a little bit more cerebrally. Maybe not quite as flashy as what Shai might be when you talk about their offensive game. “And then from their size perspective, I would expect Shai to go through a similar transition on the defensive side as Antti went through this year. He’s a big man, it’s a step up with the pace and the level that way. But the way we play, I think, and the brain that Shai has, he’s going to assimilate himself very well.” 3. Another prospect who made a strong impression throughout the week: Third-round pick Carter Mazur, who not only killed penalties (as one would expect from a prospect whose favorite player growing up was Darren Helm) but also played on the power play at various points for Team USA (the Americans had two teams, Blue and White, and Mazur spent most of the week with the Blue). “I liked him a lot,” U.S. coach Nate Leaman said at the end of the week. “Obviously relied a lot on him — we gave him a lot of penalty kill minutes to see how he was going to process that. He made some plays. Played him a little bit in the bumper of the power play. I think he’s definitely a guy in the mix.” Being “in the mix” would seem to indicate Mazur has a legit shot to make the World Junior team, which would be a strong outcome for the local kid. 4. Mazur opened the tournament with a game-winning goal that he called “probably the greasiest goal” of his career, jamming it through the crease. Later on, he showed he can score from distance too. Mazur more than tripled his point total in the USHL from the 2019-20 season to 2020-21 — surely a big reason he was drafted as a re-entry prospect. That’s a massive jump and one that he chalked up in part to adding weight. “I felt like that was kind of huge in the USHL, because you’re playing against kids that are 190, 200 pounds,” he said. “So I felt like that was something that really helped me evolve my game into how I play.” He notably led the league in short-handed points, and unsurprisingly, killing penalties is an area of the game the Denver commit said he takes “big pride” in. “Carter is very much a team-first guy,” Carle said. “Does not care about individual accolades or results. We had that experience numerous times throughout the year, where they maybe lose a game but he plays well or he scores a couple goals, and you reach out to him and he could care less about it. The only thing he cares about is winning.” Mazur also didn’t seem like one to back down from conflict, which really fits with the overall aura of his game. “Honestly I love doing that,” he said. “I feel like when you get under people’s skin, that’s kind of when I’m at the best of my game, and it makes the game more fun to me, in a way. I feel like when people are coming after you, you just embrace it more and become better from it.” 5. Detroit’s fourth-round pick last weekend, NTDP center Red Savage, didn’t play in the early parts of this tournament as he worked back from an illness. Savage said he practiced just about every day of the week, though, bag skating himself with Matty Beniers to get themselves back in shape. It must have worked: Savage was able to return Friday and Saturday and showed well. It certainly helped that he scored in the first period of his first game back, but really that entire shift showed the completeness of his game. It started on a hard backcheck, cleanly poking the puck off first-round pick Isak Rosén’s stick to a teammate. On the ensuing breakout, he helped along the zone exit by chipping a puck up to his teammate, then made the offensive zone entry for the U.S., curling and shooting the puck deep, then reappearing in the slot for the goal. It was a strong sequence. Later in the game, he added an assist on the penalty kill, when he got to a loose puck just outside the defensive blue line, beating a retreating defender for it and springing a 2-on-0. At the end of the showcase, Leaman had really positive things to say about Savage’s intelligence, citing a specific read he made while short-handed (in the third period of Savage’s second game) to break up a chance for Finland. He’s a good skater with obviously strong defensive traits, and as he gets to Miami (Ohio) this year, there’s a chance he’s able to pop for more offense. “I think a lot of my offense stems off of my tenaciousness and my work ethic,” Savage said. “I think I work for a lot of my goals and a lot of my points. Whether it’s being hard in corners and trying to break away from guys or stealing pucks in the neutral zone like I did yesterday and going down, I think it all just stems off my work ethic and speed.” 6. The Red Wings prospect I had no idea what to make of entering the tournament was U.S. forward Cross Hanas, who had a rocky draft-plus-1 season in the USHL and was a late add to the showcase roster. Early in the tournament, I did ask Hanas about his 2021 season, just to see what he made of it. Here’s what he said: “I think I had a little bit of a rough year, a little bit of a rough patch. But I think it was good for me just to go through some adversity for kind of the first time in my life. You never know when that next adversity’s going to come, and I kind of know how to deal with it now.” All told, I’d describe his showcase showing as “solid.” I don’t think he’s going to push for a roster spot in December, but he didn’t look out place throughout the week, and he played a decidedly different kind of role than I was expecting. Hanas showed flashes of skill and had three assists in five games, but he was used in more of a defensive capacity. He was on the penalty kill in every game, while getting power-play reps in just two. If you’ve seen his WHL highlight reel, you’ll know why that was an interesting development. There weren’t many memorable plays like those that caught my attention in Plymouth, but he did seem to be competing hard, and as he tacks on strength, that could open some dimensions in his game to complement his hands. It’s still really in the development timeline for Hanas. 7. I’d say that “solid” descriptor also applies to fellow 2020 second-round pick Theodor Niederbach. You still saw his skill, smarts and elusiveness with the puck. He also looked bigger than I expected. But he finished the week with only one point, part of an overall down week for Sweden, which won just one game over the course of the showcase. The Swedes went 0-5 in their first five games, scoring just eight goals in that span before breaking through for a 7-1 win in their final game, and considering Niederbach is one of their returners from last year’s World Juniors, it brings up a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg question between his down scoring week and the team’s. “He’s strong on the puck and you can play him in all situations, but he needs to get a little bit quicker with the puck,” Sweden coach Tomas Montén said. “I think he can slow the game down, but you’ve gotta play the high-paced game. But he’s been good, he’s been solid.” Of note: Niederbach played on the wing in Sweden’s final game, and it sounds like that’s where he’ll play with Frölunda this coming season. 8. Defenseman William Wallinder, meanwhile, still moves really well, but overall he underwhelmed, especially early in the tournament. Sweden was playing Wallinder as a penalty killer and bottom-pair defender, which certainly meant some challenging defensive situations. And he’s long been labeled more of a long-term project. But it appears that a lot of that work remains. Wallinder did get a bit better as the week went on, finishing with three points in his last two games. “I think he got more physical, he looked stronger (Friday and Saturday) and I think (he had a) really good game (Saturday),” Montén said. 9. The Swedish team was missing two highly-rated Red Wings prospects in Simon Edvinsson and Lucas Raymond, neither of whom were at the camp (nor were fellow recent top-20 picks Alexander Holtz, William Eklund and Jesper Wallstedt). I assume Edvinsson will be on the team when it’s time for the actual tournament, but it’s a little less clear with Raymond, who has already played at the tournament twice in his career. That’s similar to the situation Moritz Seider was in entering last year’s tournament, and he ultimately did not attend with Germany. There’s no doubt Raymond would have a spot on the Swedish team if he’s available, though. “We would love to have him,” Montén said. 10. It was a shorter-than-planned week for 2020 third-round pick Eemil Viro, who missed the later games of the showcase for Finland after getting banged up (the early word was it was nothing serious). Partly as a result of that short tournament, I don’t know that any opinions of Viro will have changed from this tournament one way or the other: He continued to show the positive traits he has, with his strong skating, defending and competitiveness, while not putting up much offense (one big shot aside). He will be competing with a crowded group of prospects on the Detroit blue line as he continues to climb the ladder, so the more offense he can develop, the better. Defense is Viro’s first job, though, and Finland’s staff spoke highly of him throughout the week. Mobile defensemen who can defend well and kill penalties never go out of style, and it’s a great foundation to have.
  4. blueadams

    2023-24: The Year I think we'll be SC-contenders. A look..

    I hate to continue this argument, but that's just flat out inaccurate. If we sign a big FA (MacKinnon, Barkov, whoever). And if we draft a big time center in the 22 draft (Wright, whoever), who's on an ELC. We could afford to pay Larkin like a top-6 guy to be on the 3rd line until the 22 pick needed a raise. You guys believe whatever philosophy you want to offensively. I believe in strength down the middle. Three really good centers. And I'd much rather have a good 3rd line center than a big time 2nd line wing.
  5. blueadams

    Let's talk about Tyler Bertuzzi (re-signed for 2yrs)

    He's getting almost $6M in the 2nd yr of this new VERRRY team friendly contract coming off a yr where he played like 9 games. You don't think someone will offer him $8M/per if he has two good old Bert yrs? You underestimate the stupidity and short-term thinking of desperate GM's trying to keep their jobs, friend. ****** I like everything about Bert. I like vets. You guys make lots of accurate points (although.. I would call his injury history very significant, and an emerging pattern, relative to 'everybody's'). But I don't like him as a big contract player, and especially not at 28-34 yrs old, and especially not with all these rising Yzerman picks we'll be needing to pay. I'd rather have a young player LIKE him on the roster and a vet LIKE him on the roster taking up the same amount of cap space... or less.
  6. blueadams

    Let's talk about Tyler Bertuzzi (re-signed for 2yrs)

    You like signing 28yr players w injury histories to 6yr $50M contracts? Because that's about what he's gonna get if he performs as expected. I don't want 34yr old bert on the books at that slice when I'm scrambling for room to retain our stud Yzerman picks. Think big picture.
  7. Feel this topic is big enough for its own thread. 2yrs, $4.75M/yr. I see almost no realistic scenario in which he's resigned as a 28yr old UFA in 2yrs. We're gonna have to be real picky about big contracts on our books. The Yzerman picks that hit likely won't be cheap to keep. If he plays well.. someone else will overpay for him in 2yrs. If he plays mediocre.. someone else will probably overpay anyways. If he's hurt on and off.. someone else will probably overpay based on potential. Steve's not gonna be the guy to overpay. Biggest contract of Bert's career, he won't be able to afford to be nice Red Wing. Ideal scenario.. Put him on the top line all year. Get his point numbers up. Trade him (and that 2nd reasonable yr on his contract) to a contender at the deadline. Could get a 1st or 2nd, or equally valued young player. I like Bert. But he's a little old for the rebuild. And his body's already starting to break down. Just a business decision. Should be able to turn him into a younger version of himself. I think Vrana and Hronek are both about to get reasonable Mantha-like deals that take them to about their 30th bday. Those are the kinda deals Steve's gonna give out to core guys, I think (ironic, I know, given that Mantha was dealt lol.. no one's safe).
  8. blueadams

    2021 Off-Season (Too Soon?)

    This is the end of Bertuzzi's career in Detroit. Scenario 1: He has a great two years and is too expensive for us to resign. Scenario 2: He has a middling two years and is probably still too expensive for us to resign. Scenario 3: He's injured over the next two years and some other team overpays for him on the market based on potential. Scenario 4: He plays on the top line for us. Racks up a ton of points. Has a lot of trade value with that second year under control at a modest price. And is dealt for a 1st or 2nd rd pick or promising younger player or prospect. Great deal by Steve. This would probably be a holdout with any other GM trying to get the same. I like Bert a lot. I just think he's a little old for the rebuild and that his body's already starting to break down a bit. I think we could swap him for something younger and of equal value. If the two sides you're referring to are Steve Yzerman and the Illitch family. Bert's 26 and probably the 2nd or 3rd best player on an NHL team. He just got a show-me contract. Yzerman really pulled off an amazing deal for us here.
  9. blueadams

    2023-24: The Year I think we'll be SC-contenders. A look..

    I edited it to 2023-24. A big free agent, a rookie on an ELC and Larkin is not too much cap-wise. Trade Larkin when the rookie needs to get paid.
  10. blueadams

    2023-24: The Year I think we'll be SC-contenders. A look..

    Edited OP. Seeing things more clearly...
  11. ESPN's The Season that covered the 2002 Red Wings (available on youtube and outstanding) is the best look I've ever gotten at him in his natural life. He is all business. But very funny when he chooses to be. And so incredibly respected and revered by Hall of Fame teammates and Bowman... Shanny, Fedorov, Chelios, Hasek, Lidstrom, Hull, Murphy, Robitaille, McCarty, Probert, Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Larionov, Fetisov, Konstantinov... the respect he's just given naturally by these legends (and foreigners, and partiers) is really just so insane.
  12. blueadams

    2021 Off-Season (Too Soon?)

    Stephens is the aforementioned competition for Veleno as our 4th line center, correct?