Red Wings Organization Grade: Yzerman and Blashill

Steve Yzerman. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Steve Yzerman. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Yzerman’s Trades

Yzerman only had one trade during the offseason, as he weaponized the Red Wing’s plentiful cap space to absorb Marc Staal’s $5.7 million contract for a second round pick from the New York Rangers.

2021’s biggest moment for the Red Wings came during the trade deadline. The deadline seemed to have been a slow one for Detroit, as 3 p.m. came and passed. The only trades leading up to the day were Merrill for a fifth and Patrik Nemeth for a fourth. But just minutes later, news leaked Yzerman’s blockbuster trade with the Washington Capitals. In exchange for Anthony Mantha, Detroit received a 2021 first round pick, a 2022 second, Richard Panik and Jakub Vrana. At the time, most considered the trade a huge victory for Detroit – and that opinion was validated as the season came to a close. Vrana practically exploded offensively, averaging a point-per-game in his 11 as a Red Wing. Not only did Detroit receive a player essentially at the same level as Mantha, they also increased their already impressive amount of draft capital.

TRADES . A. The Anthony Mantha trade alone boosts this category to an easy A. If I were nitpicking, I’d say Yzerman could’ve gotten a better return for Jon Merrill, but the loss of a depth defensemen pales in comparison to the massive return for Mantha. Vrana already looks like one of the best players in Detroit – he already has the best shot on the team. Even if the 11 game stretch was an aberration, it should comfort fans knowing he has the ability to play at such a high level. To get a full view of the trade, we’ll have to wait and see who is picked with the new draft picks, but for now, Yzerman gets high-marks for such an important move.. . Detroit Red Wings