Breaking down latest Shayne Gostisbehere, John Gibson, Patrick Kane rumors

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman sent shock waves through the fan base when he traded Jake Walman and a second-round pick for future considerations, but what's next?
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I wanted to begin by providing my two cents (that's all they are worth) regarding the Jake Walman trade from Detroit to San Jose. As you know, Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman sent shock waves through the fanbase when it was announced that the organization was sending fan-favorite defenseman Jake Walman and a second-round draft selection to San Jose for future considerations. Imagine trading a top-four defender with an affordable $3.4 million annual salary with a second-round pick; there has to be more to this story behind the scenes, but we'll likely never know exactly what that is.

Walman did a lot of good things for the Red Wings. Last year, Walman posted career lows in the possession categories with a Corsi For Percentage of 45.3, paired with a Relative Corsi For Percentage of -1.7 during even-strength play. He also produced an xGF (expected goals for) of 35.5 to go along with an xGA (expected goals against) of 51.0 during even-strength play for a career-worst -15.4 this past season. In comparison, the spread was 7.3 two seasons ago.

Walman's 151 blocked shots last year were second on the Red Wings behind Moritz Seider and Ben Chiarot. He also posted a career-high with 12 goals and 21 points while averaging just shy of 20 minutes per night. Although Walman provided Detroit with a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde performance last season, I still can't fathom why Yzerman needed to attach a second-rounder to move him. It's one thing to move the $3.4 million annually, but Yzerman should have been able to find a trade partner willing to give up some draft capital for his services, even if it were a middle-round selection. I know the return hasn't been set, but it just seems odd. I can see pairing Justin Holl, Andrew Copp, or Olli Maatta with a second-round pick in order to move the contract, but I never thought that would be required to move Walman.

What's next for the Detroit Red Wings following the Walman trade?

This is the million-dollar question. Although it's brief, we're currently in the midst of the rumor season, many of which are just that, but Yzerman clearly wanted to free up some more cap space for something, and it can't just be making room for the recently extended Albert Johansson, or could it?

Detroit can go in several ways. The idea of re-signing star winger Patrick Kane before the start of free agency is a route. Kane operated at a near point-per-game pace last season proving that he's healthy following a complicated off-season hip resurfacing surgery. Kane is represented by agent Pat Brisson, and the two sides have continued conversations, but as of now, Kane is expected to test the open market on July 1st. Maybe Yzerman is targeting his former captain in Tampa Bay. There is a good chance Steven Stamkos will hit the open market this coming Monday, and a reunion with his old boss wouldn't be too far-fetched. The Detroit Red Wings haven't had a true 1-2 punch down the middle of their lineup since Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. Stamkos is a center by trade but also plays the wing when needed. He's a scorer and a weapon on the power play. If Kane doesn't remain an option, don't rule out Stamkos. Some other names to monitor are Sam Reinhart, Jake Guentzel, and Teuvo Teräväinen, who are potential targets, as Yzerman needs to improve the top six.

Next up, defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. It's been reported that Yzerman is interested in re-signing the veteran power play specialist. Gostisbehere posted ten goals and 56 points, 29 of which came on the power play last year for the Red Wings. The problem? Gostisbehere became a defensive liability last season despite head coach Derek Lalonde trying to protect him by pairing him with the ever-so-steady Olli Maatta on the third unit.

Behind door number three, maybe Yzerman is looking to clear up some extra cap space in hopes of landing veteran goaltender John Gibson. I've mentioned that acquiring Gibson makes sense for months for a couple of reasons. Gibson, 31, is still a very good goaltender but his numbers have dipped due to playing behind a young, rebuilding team. Gibson has also battled some injuries over the past couple of seasons, but a change of scenery could do him a world of good. The eleven-year pro has been the go-to guy in Anaheim for the past nine seasons, posting an impressive .910 save percentage and a 2.92 goals against average, and 22 shutouts over 442 starts over that span. Gibson is under contract for three more seasons at $6.4 million annually.

If Yzerman's old pal Pat Verbeek (Ducks GM) is willing to retain some of that salary, Gibson could be the perfect bridge for the Red Wings. The tandem of Gibson and Alex Lyon is an immediate improvement on last season. If all goes well, pairing Gibson for the final two years of his deal with Sebastian Cossa wouldn't be the worst idea. As he breaks into the league, Gibson will provide the Red Wings with stability and the perfect mentor for the youngster Cossa.

Last but not least, a notion that's a bit outside the box.

Many are disappointed by the Walman trade, and it doesn't quite make sense unless Yzerman is looking to take a different route. Many feel as though Detroit is in dire need of a No. 2 defender to help take some of the weight off of Moritz Seider's shoulders. First-pairing defenders are hard to come by, but what if they have that player already in-house? Simon Edvinsson looks the part, although there is some grooming still remains. In the meantime, Ben Chiarot did an ok job over the second half of the year paired with Seider. Chiarot, although not a top-pairing defender, is better than most give him credit for; plus, he can buy the Red Wings some time while Edvinsson continues to craft his game. So if we pencil in Chiarot with Seider to begin the year and Edvinsson on the left side of the second unit, perhaps moving out Walman was to create a spot for someone like pending free agent Brandon Montour.

Montour, 30, is a right-handed shot fresh off a Stanley Cup Championship and would be the perfect player to solidify the right side of Detroit's backend. Montour was born just up the road from Detroit in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, and played his youth hockey in Tilbury, Ontario, a mere 45-minute ride up Highway 401 from Detroit. Signing with the Red Wings could be a bit of a homecoming for the stellar defender. We've wanted the Red Wings to bolster their leaky backend; this would be a great start. Montour played over 23 minutes a night last season for the Panthers while achieving eight goals and 33 points over 66 games. Montour boasted a stellar Corsi For Percentage of 56.2 along with a Relative Corsi For Percentage of 9.7, a career-best.