Quick Hits: The Youth Taking Over Edition

In Red Wings Land

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“The fan base wants to see that we’re headed in the right direction,” general manager Ken Holland said. “The record would indicate we haven’t had a very good year. If you dive deeper, we lose a lot of games that are really close. We’re still learning how to win, but we are competitive on a night-to-night basis. The team has been taken over by the younger people — that’s the direction we want to go.

I really want to be snarky here and make fun of Holland for mentioning that the team has been taken over by young people (because most of them will probably start in Grand Rapids next season), but Holland is right when he says the youth is running the show right now.

I’ve been #TeamTank since the NHL trade deadline and it’s been tough watching the Wings rise up the standings the last two weeks or so, but the fact they’re winning on the backs of Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, Andreas Athanasiou, Anthony Mantha & co. is encouraging. It’s newcomers like Taro Hirose contributing to the wins. The hot streak isn’t because of old vets like Thomas Vanek and Justin Abdelkader.

It’s fun to watch, but probably cost this franchise a realistic shot at Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko. So Ken Holland (or Steve Yzerman) better bet the house on these young players at the start of next season and this team must take a legitimate step forward.

Around the League

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Agree with the headline here. There are also a few Detroit-related thoughts in this one, including an update on former Red Wings forward Stephen Weiss and his post-NHL life. We also get this small nugget:

3. Edmonton’s interview list for the GM position is around 10 to 13 names long. As Mark Spector reported last week, you should add Pat Verbeek’s name to whatever roster you’ve put together. My suspicion is he was recommended by Steve Yzerman. His candidacy could be affected by Yzerman’s own decision, since he might want Verbeek with him should he go to Detroit.

I’m here for an Yzerman/Verbeek tandem running things in Hockeytown.