5 important questions for Detroit Red Wings, Steve Yzerman with new season in distance

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Early October broke a long, dull lull for the Detroit Red Wings, featuring both the NHL draft and the start of free agency.” data-reactid=”6″>Early October broke a long, dull lull for the Detroit Red Wings, featuring both the NHL draft and the start of free agency.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="General manager Steve Yzerman used the market to sign two forwards, two defenseman and one goaltender, changes that infuse hope the 2020-21 Wings will be more competitive than the team that won only 17 times last season.” data-reactid=”7″>General manager Steve Yzerman used the market to sign two forwards, two defenseman and one goaltender, changes that infuse hope the 2020-21 Wings will be more competitive than the team that won only 17 times last season.

A new season would normally be two weeks old by now, but with the pandemic still raging, uncertainty reigns. The NHL is keeping an eye on how the NFL is doing, as well as other leagues that have or hope to stage a season.

When will we see each other again? Detroit Red Wings forwards Robby Fabbri, left, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha (39) haven't played together since March 10, 2020.When will we see each other again? Detroit Red Wings forwards Robby Fabbri, left, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha (39) haven't played together since March 10, 2020.

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When will we see each other again? Detroit Red Wings forwards Robby Fabbri, left, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha (39) haven’t played together since March 10, 2020.

Here is a look at key topics.

When will the next season start?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="During the draft, which took place two weeks ago, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Jan. 1 as the latest target date. Given how COVID-19 remains a constant threat (on Monday, the Centers for Disease Control reported 387,692 new cases in the U.S. over the past seven days), a New Year’s Day start seems optimistic, even without fans. It was one thing to hold the playoffs in bubbles; that’s not feasible&nbsp;for the regular season.” data-reactid=”35″>During the draft, which took place two weeks ago, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Jan. 1 as the latest target date. Given how COVID-19 remains a constant threat (on Monday, the Centers for Disease Control reported 387,692 new cases in the U.S. over the past seven days), a New Year’s Day start seems optimistic, even without fans. It was one thing to hold the playoffs in bubbles; that’s not feasible for the regular season.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="[&nbsp;Why Bobby Ryan may be Yzerman’s best signing yet for the Wings]” data-reactid=”36″>Why Bobby Ryan may be Yzerman’s best signing yet for the Wings]

How long will the season be?

Eighty-two games is unrealistic. A Jan. 1 start would push the end of a full schedule to July 5. That means the playoffs, which usually last around two months, would overlap with the 2021 Summer Olympics,scheduled for July 23-Aug. 8. NBC is the U.S. broadcasting rights-holder for both events, so that’s not happening. Instead, the NHL may have to do what it did when a labor dispute shortened the 2012-13 season to 48 games. 

‘Howe’ can this be? 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="When the season does start, keep an eye on Patrick Marleau, who signed a one-year deal with the San Jose Sharks. He’s 44 games shy of Gordie Howe’s record 1,767 NHL games played. Marleau (1,723) enters next season in fifth place, trailing also Mark Messier (1,756), Jaromir Jagr (1,733) and Ron Francis (1,731). Howe played his last NHL game April 6, 1980. He was in uniform for the Hartford Whalers, but at least his finale came against the Wings, the team he led to four Stanley Cups.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”40″>When the season does start, keep an eye on Patrick Marleau, who signed a one-year deal with the San Jose Sharks. He’s 44 games shy of Gordie Howe’s record 1,767 NHL games played. Marleau (1,723) enters next season in fifth place, trailing also Mark Messier (1,756), Jaromir Jagr (1,733) and Ron Francis (1,731). Howe played his last NHL game April 6, 1980. He was in uniform for the Hartford Whalers, but at least his finale came against the Wings, the team he led to four Stanley Cups. 

New Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman takes questions Friday, April 19, 2019 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich.New Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman takes questions Friday, April 19, 2019 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich.

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New Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman takes questions Friday, April 19, 2019 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich.

When will training camp be?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Based on recent interviews with Yzerman, it does sound like the NHL and NHLPA will come up with a scenario in which the seven non-playoff teams (the Wings, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings,&nbsp;Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres) will start before the 24 teams that were part of the bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto. That still wouldn’t be until maybe early December, at which point those teams will have not have played in roughly nine months.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”62″>Based on recent interviews with Yzerman, it does sound like the NHL and NHLPA will come up with a scenario in which the seven non-playoff teams (the Wings, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles KingsAnaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres) will start before the 24 teams that were part of the bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto. That still wouldn’t be until maybe early December, at which point those teams will have not have played in roughly nine months. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="[&nbsp;18 thoughts on Yzerman’s first 18 months running the Red Wings&nbsp;]” data-reactid=”63″>18 thoughts on Yzerman’s first 18 months running the Red Wings ]

What’s Yzerman up to now?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="He’s had a busy October, drafting a dozen players and then signing unrestricted free agents Bobby Ryan, Vladislav Namestnikov, Jon Merrill, Troy Stecher and Thomas Greiss. Yzerman still has his two biggest restricted free agents to get under contract in forwards Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi filed for arbitration, so that contract will get done one way or another (the sides can continue to negotiate even if they’re before the arbitrator). Bertuzzi’s arbitration date is Sunday. He’s coming off a two-year, $2.8 million contract and, with two straight 21-goal seasons, is likely to come in in the $4.5-5 million range.” data-reactid=”65″>He’s had a busy October, drafting a dozen players and then signing unrestricted free agents Bobby Ryan, Vladislav Namestnikov, Jon Merrill, Troy Stecher and Thomas Greiss. Yzerman still has his two biggest restricted free agents to get under contract in forwards Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi filed for arbitration, so that contract will get done one way or another (the sides can continue to negotiate even if they’re before the arbitrator). Bertuzzi’s arbitration date is Sunday. He’s coming off a two-year, $2.8 million contract and, with two straight 21-goal seasons, is likely to come in in the $4.5-5 million range.

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