What To Do with All These Good Players?
This new Red Wings roster has actually created a bit of a problem. As you can see, the only prospect in the projected lineup is Edvinsson. That’s not because there aren’t others who are good enough to make the team, but there are now so many good players under contract that there doesn’t appear to be any room for the up-and-coming prospects. And this is what leads me to believe there is more in store for us this offseason.
While no one is going to give out free roster spots (both Yzerman and the organization have been clear on that policy for a long time), Yzerman surely wants to see his prospects continue to develop. And at a certain point, the only way to do that is to get some NHL game action.
Depending on where each of them are at, at least some of Edvinsson, Berggren, Söderblom, and/or Johansson could earn a roster spot. If more than one of them do, that means that one of the projected roster players would be on the outs. And don’t forget about adding Fabbri and Walman back in the mix once they recover from their surgeries too.
Because of this lineup log-jam, I think the Red Wings will approach some teams about at least one trade by the end of training camp, and quite possibly more than that. This is now officially a team in contention for the playoffs on paper.
During this week, Yzerman demonstrated that cap space and draft picks are no longer the goals; our primary targets now are impactful, productive NHL hockey players that can help this team win. And we currently have the surplus players, plus cap space, to acquire more of them.
Personally, I would like to see continued improvement of the forward core. It seems like we’ve built out a serviceable 2nd line, now we need to upgrade the 3rd and 4th. Hopefully we can do that in a meaningful way by dealing some of our defensive depth (imagine having said that a week ago!). Or maybe someone values that enigma Filip Zadina enough to give up a similarly troubled prospect who also needs a change of scenery.
It’s impossible to tell what the Captain is thinking. But even though free agency is over, it’s clear there continue to be lots of options to improve this team.