Once again recalled, Filip Zadina describes Steve Yzerman’s demotion phone call

The Detroit Red Wings have once again recalled Filip Zadina from the Grand Rapids Griffins almost immediately after sending him back down.

Following Tuesday's 5-1 loss at Winnipeg, Zadina took a phone call from general manager Steve Yzerman, and Zadina immediately knew what that meant. However, he felt better once the call was over.

“Only when he calls me, he’s about to send me down,” Zadina said after Thursday’s morning skate. “I didn’t know what to think about it, but he told me what it was about. It’s fine.

“I just heard the first words were like, ‘we are sending you down.' I was kind of like sad. But then he was talking about why he had to do that, and it was a better day. … It’s like nothing has changed. I am still here in Detroit, trying to prove that I should stay here as long as I can. He had to do that for some reasons.”

In seven games with the Red Wings this season, Zadina has yet to score and has three assists. While he's not scoring, he looks and feels more comfortable.

“It’s tough in these days to feel comfortable but I think I’m doing the best I can to help the team at least score goals and provide offense,” Zadina said.

“It’s tough but it’s also the reality of this business,” head coach Blashill said. “You have to the opportunity to be sent down. It’s a super competitive business. My message to him is control what he can control and that’s go out and play great hockey. Everybody wants guys that are playing great hockey. He just has to continue to focus on what he can control and that’s his play.

“He’s a better player today than he was a year ago. He’s a better player today than he was in the fall. Those things are for sure. So that’s great for him and great for the organization and great for us. Why is he better? Is it strength that he put on this summer? Potentially. Is it confidence? For sure. I think all those factors – added strength, learning how to create space, and confidence have all allowed him to be a better player today than he was at the beginning of the year.”