Prospect Round-up: mixed results in Europe on Wednesday

Of prospect-related note from Europe:

In the ICE Hockey League, Jesper Eliasson was the back-up in the Red Bulls Salzburg’s 2-0 win over the Dornbirn Bulldogs;

In Belarus, Kirill Tyutyayev did not play in Yunost Minsk’s 2-1 loss to Metallurg-Zhlobin;

In the Finnish Liiga, Otto Kivenmaki finished at -1 with 3 shots in 13:10 played, and Kasper Kotkansalo finished even with 4 shots in 24:25 played as Assat Pori lost 4-3 to JYP. It’s good to see Kotkansalo continue to earn more ice time;

Eemil Viro finished at +1 with 1 shot in 16:26 played as TPS Turku won 3-1 over Sport.

Wings prospect Donovan Sebrango’s journey continues, this time to Grand Rapids

Red Wings prospect Donovan Sebrango thought that he was going to play for the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers this season, but the OHL has yet to begin its 2020-2021 campaign, so the Red Wings loaned him to HC Levice of the Slovak 1 Liga. Now Sebrango is coming back to North America, to play on an amateur try-out for the Grand Rapids Griffins:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday signed defenseman Donovan Sebrango to an amateur tryout.

Sebrango, 19, was a third-round selection (63rd overall) of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-1, 190-pound native of Ottawa, Ontario, spent the last two seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League, posting 30 points (6-24—30) and 33 penalty minutes in 56 games last season after compiling 26 points (7-19-26) and 54 PIM in 62 games during the 2018-19 campaign.

The son of former Cuban soccer pro Eduardo Sebrango has played four games this season with HK Levice in Slovakia, totaling two points (1-1—2).

The Griffins will commence their training camp on Sunday, Jan. 31 at Van Andel Arena, in advance of the start of the 2020-21 American Hockey League season on Friday, Feb. 5. The AHL schedule has yet to be released.

While the Griffins remain hopeful for the potential to host fans at Van Andel Arena at some point, it is anticipated that the season will begin without fans in attendance. Fans are encouraged to watch the games via a subscription to AHLTV ($34.99 for all Griffins games), tune in on Newsradio WOOD 106.9 FM/1300 AM, and follow the team’s social media channels. Important information for Griffins season ticket members is available at

The Red Wings didn’t like the ‘new pucks,’ either

This note comes from the Associated Press’s Larry Lage’s recap from last night’s Red Wings win:

The NHL announced games on Tuesday night would use pucks made for last season, temporarily ditching microchipped pucks after concerns were raised about their performance.

“There was no doubt the pucks were not performing up to NHL standards,” Blashill said. “We never used it as an excuse, but there was definitely frustration from everyone I spoke with.”

Morning round-up: On Rasmussen, new additions, a new outlook and praise for Bobby Ryan

Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

  1. The Athletic’s Max Bultman wrote an article discussing Michael Rasmussen’s promotion from the “taxi squad” to the Red Wings’ roster, discussing Rasmussen’s literal, figurative and statistical value to the team:

“Him and I talked about grabbing (this opportunity),” [coach Jeff] Blashill said Tuesday morning, after calling Rasmussen’s Monday performance solid. “He can’t play afraid to make a mistake. He’s got to go out there and do what he thinks is right, and we’ll coach him when he gets back to the bench, and coach him after games, and do those type of things. But he’s gotta go out there and play with confidence, and be ready to grab it.”

One thing that shouldn’t be lost here, though: As much as Rasmussen is the one responsible for proving he’s ready to play on a more prolonged basis in Detroit, the Red Wings would benefit just as much as him if he does so.

Their depth at center is still relatively weak behind Larkin, and Rasmussen, while green, still has the potential to give the Red Wings a unique presence in the middle of the ice and down low with his physicality.

“He’s an interesting player,” [Bobby] Ryan said Monday night. “He can kind of command the middle of the ice and then kick it wide. Really, really good in a lot of areas.”

Bultman continues (paywall);

2. MLive’s Ansar Khan offers a 3-topic notebook via a subscriber-only article, noting that the Red Wings’ new additions and new lines have given the team a refreshed outlook:

Continue reading Morning round-up: On Rasmussen, new additions, a new outlook and praise for Bobby Ryan

Red Wings-Blue Jackets Game 2 wrap-up: OT win on the learning curve

The Detroit Red Wings did what they could not do in Monday afternoon’s loss to Columbus: the Wings rallied from a 1-0 loss, rallied despite surrendering a 2-1 lead, and fought their way to a hard-earned 3-2 overtime win over the self-same Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.

This Red Wings team is 2-and-2 after 2 games, and it will rest on Wednesday ahead of a 4-game road trip (to Chicago and Dallas) starting on Friday, and if the team were to even approach .500 by the end of this 56-game season, many Red Wings fans would be thrilled, or at least satisfied with a team that appears to be learning and growing “on the fly.”

Now all of that is easy to say after 4 games, and, as we’ve seen in previous seasons, the weight of losing streaks tends to wear on this team’s young (and key) players. But we can at least hope that this year’s Red Wings are a different group of individuals, and all of 4 games in, there is room for progress and room for hope here.

On Tuesday night, put bluntly, the Red Wings won because Dylan Larkin’s shot went off Elvis Merzlikins, then Tyler Bertuzzi’s inner thigh, and sometimes you need that grit and jam to make an ugly game pretty.

All of that happened in that one sequence, as well as over the course of the 60:15 played, and that much is worth celebrating for one evening.

Our friends from Columbus were a little baffled as to how the game could have slipped from their grasp, as The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline noted

Continue reading Red Wings-Blue Jackets Game 2 wrap-up: OT win on the learning curve

Prospect Round-Up: A pair of USHL games wrap up a busy Tuesday

Of prospect-related note in North America this evening, pursuant to a busy day in Europe:

In the USHL, Kienan Draper finished at -1 in the Omaha Lancers’ 4-3 OT win over the Waterloo Black Hawks;

Chase Bradley scored a goal, but somehow finished at -4 with 2 shots in the Sioux City Musketeers’ 6-3 loss to the Tri-City Storm. Cross Hanas finished at +1 with a penalty taken for Tri-City.

Post-Red Wings-Blue Jackets Game 2 videos from FSD: Redmond, Larkin, Blashill, Bertuzzi

Of video-related note pursuant to the Red Wings’ 3-2 overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night:

  1. Here’s a bit of Mickey Redmond discussing the Wings’ win…

2. Here’s Dylan Larkin discussing the win…

Highlights are good:

Continue reading Post-Red Wings-Blue Jackets Game 2 videos from FSD: Redmond, Larkin, Blashill, Bertuzzi

Red Wings-Blue Jackets Game 2 quick take: Learning is good. OT wins are also good.

The Detroit Red Wings attempted to earn some redemption after dropping last night’s 3-2 decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets, with the teams squaring off for the second time in 31 hours.

The Red Wings blew a 2-1 lead and looked like they were bound to struggle to a 1-and-3 record after a bad Jeff Blashill challenge in the 3rd, but Anthony Mantha, Bobby Ryan* and Tyler Bertuzzi’s goals and a 22-save effort from Jonathan Bernier yielded a 3-2 OT win (after only 15 seconds of OT) and a 2-and-2 record after 4 games.

Bertuzzi scores with the *ahem* front side— No Context Blinn (@NHLBlinn) January 20, 2021

In this game, your luck can change just that quickly.

Just 15 seconds into overtime, Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi combine for the GAME WINNER. We’re talking all about this one NOW on Red Wings LIVE Postgame. #LGRW— FOX Sports Detroit (@FOXSportsDet) January 20, 2021

Continue reading Red Wings-Blue Jackets Game 2 quick take: Learning is good. OT wins are also good.

On Babs

Former Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is a hard man. He was raised the son of a miner in northern Ontario, Manitoba and then Saskatchewan. He lost his mom to cancer when he was still young due to cancer. He was a hard-working hockey player whose leadership skills exceeded his on-ice skills, and he became a hard-nosed, old-school hockey coach.

We all know by now that Mike Babcock treated Johan Franzen terribly during their shared time in Detroit.

I do believe that Babcock’s comments to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun regarding reaching out to Johan are accurate. I do believe that Babcock is genuinely sorry for what he did to cause Johan to have a couple of breakdowns on and off the ice. I do believe that Babcock’s desire to make things right is sincere.

Babcock has evolved and is a genuine advocate for mental health causes these days, and that’s a good thing.

All of that being said, I didn’t think that much about Mike Babcock while reading his words to LeBrun.

I thought about Johan Franzen, who’s still battling post-concussion issues, who’s been posting on Instagram recently about things other than the outgoing U.S. president–which is great–and I thought about whether it’s within Johan to forgive coach Babcock for what he did.

If it isn’t, if Johan can’t forgive Mike Babcock, that’s okay. If it isn’t, if Johan will always hold some anger in his heart toward his former coach, that’s up to Johan.

If it is, and Johan can find some peace with the situation, that’s fantastic, to use a Babcockian term, but if it isn’t, and it probably isn’t, I feel a lot worse for Johan than I do for coach Babcock, and I think that’s where our thoughts should be tonight–with the sympathetic figure here.

Johan Franzen.