Red Wings Weekly Review: Trade Rumors & Yzerman’s Blueprint

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is apparently “up to something” according to BostonHockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy who was featured on DetroitHockeyNow’s website. What does this mean?

In his “Off the Record” segment, Murphy indicates that as the Seth Jones trade rumors abound, the Wings are a team to watch as he then makes the Yzerman remark there. It’s behind a paywall, but Murphy indicates it’s a “high ranking exec” making the claims.

In other trade rumor watch, DetroitHockeyNow’s Kevin Allen listed a number of players that are available which include Jordan Eberle, and of course Jack Eichel.

Allen broke down what it would take for the Wings to acquire Eichel but in his recent entry, he notes that the Wild are apparently in on the disgruntled Buffalo captain–which would cost them defenseman Matt Dumba. With that kind of asking price, which Allen broke down in detail in the former article, it would include one of the biggest pieces in the organization (Lucas Raymond) and draft picks which we all know Yzerman won’t do.

Not to mention an intra-division trade is highly unlikely–and probably costlier.

I’m actually more excited to see what Yzerman does leading up to the Expansion Draft and beyond. I think it will be the most movement the team has as free agency promises to add more complimentary parts and looks to “ice a team.”

But it’s likely any of the big fish are going elsewhere.

Is Tampa’s Success a Beacon of Hope for Red Wings fans?

I know how divisive the Tampa Bay Lightning are within the Red Wings fanbase–everything from how they gamed the salary cap with Nikita Kucherov (which many other winners have done before) to how they’re dirty and cheap shot artists. As someone who remembers this first hand from the last playoff gasps of 2015 and 2016, it never escaped me that the architect of those teams was Yzerman.

Perhaps it’s the only way I contained unbridled hatred against the Bolts.

As they are on the cusp of back-to-back Stanley Cups, Wings fans–through gritted teeth–should marvel at the handiwork that Yzerman left before embarking on one of the greatest challenges of his managerial career in Detroit.

I mean no disrespect to Julien BriseBois who is about to slide another ring on his finger, as he has certainly made the right moves to keep the Lightning on top. But it’s heartening as the Red Wings are moving their way through a rebuild that Yzerman is the one who built that team from Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman into the juggernaut that they are now.

Also if there are any Toronto fans reading this–it’s why you don’t blow things up. 2019 was a colossal upset and disappointment. Two seasons later, they’re about to hoist the Cup in consecutive seasons.

Of the 36 players within the organization according to CapFriendly, 15 were drafted (41.7%), 11 were signed (30.6%), and 10 were acquired via trade (27.7%). Of those in the lineup for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final: 47.4% were drafted, 31.6% were acquired via trade, which leaves 21% signed out of free agency.

Obvoiusly, BriseBois affected these numbers for the past couple of seasons as well, but it shows the blueprint. Yzerman is going to hunt first in the draft, trade to get what else he needs (often using some of those draft choices like Jonathan Drouin) and then sign to fill in the remaining holes.

But just to make sure everyone has a sobering reality, here’s a quoted tweet from Winged Wheel Podcast’s Brad Krysko that is absolutely true:

At the end of the day, no one really knows what’s going to happen. As the old saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I will be the first to admit I’m caught up with this often–looking for any semblance of hope that this whole damn thing is going to work out.

Prospects factor into that hope. Hell, it’s why Red Wings fans suffer through tanking and watching some pretty bad hockey games. It’s the payoff (never mind the crummy lottery luck) for a top prospect.

Watching Tampa dominate now for over a half decade and potentially snatching two Cups–back to back–provides even more hope knowing who built it.

Here’s hoping this next decade will be better than the last.