Detroit Red Wings trade deadline plans will take shape this month

Steve Yzerman's trade deadline plans for the Detroit Red Wings will start to take shape this month.
Steve Yzerman talks to fans about the 1997-98 Stanley Cup run during a ceremony honoring the team.
Steve Yzerman talks to fans about the 1997-98 Stanley Cup run during a ceremony honoring the team. / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Detroit Red Wings General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman has made things clear that his vision is for the long term. Yzerman came into 2023-24, telling Detroit fans that this was not the year to go all out. They were not going to claw and fight just to make a postseason appearance.

However, the Detroit Red Wings could very well be moving into a spot where they are buyers at the trade deadline. They already went out and brought in some firepower in the form of Patrick Kane. While it was a team-friendly deal for the Detroit Red Wings, it was still a move that brought the Red Wings into a spot with added firepower, giving at least somewhat of a notion that the Red Wings will push to compete.

While it may not seem like a big deal, it might mean that Yzerman had a change of heart. The models out there certainly do not like the Red Wings anymore. After their abysmal performance in December, it's easy to see why they have fallen to the bottom of the barrel when it comes to teams in the playoff hunt.

Detroit is on the outside looking in and no longer in the driver's seat as they were early in 2023-24. This Red Wings team needs to tighten some things up, and they need to go on a run if they want to keep playoff hopes alive. The next big question is going to be what the trade deadline is going to look like.

The Detroit Red Wings may be passive buyers at the trade deadline.

As the trade deadline starts to come into focus beyond the All-Star Break, it's about time for the rumor mill to start churning. I think there is a world where the Red Wings passively buy at the deadline if the right deal comes up. But that narrative is going to change at least ten times until then.

On top of that, the Red Wings were a mystery team last year leading up to the deadline before Yzerman swiftly stepped up, moved a bunch of players, and knocked out a contract extension for Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin. The Red Wings may not be in the position to swing a major deal, but never put it past Yzerman to make a couple of deadline moves and bring in some fresh faces.

If the Red Wings can piece together a big month of January and start adding to their point totals, a busy trade deadline could end up coming into focus for Detroit. Yzerman moves in silence, and his plans will not come out until much closer to the deadline.

But, my early thoughts on the trade deadline lead me to believe that the Red Wings might be cautiously buying some extra help and insurance.