The Detroit Red Wings traded Jake Walman for...nothing?

The Detroit Red Wings traded defenseman Jake Walman to the San Jose Sharks and received nothing in return.
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I'm one of the biggest Steve Yzerman defenders in existence. I believe that he's done a great job at rebuilding the Detroit Red Wings by adding quality prospects and surrounding them with solid veterans to help them adapt to the professional level.

Drafting players like Moritz Seider, Nate Danielson, Lucas Raymond, and Carter Mazur and then surrounding them with NHL vets such as J.T. Compher, David Perron, Ben Chiarot, Andrew Copp, and Jeff Petry. While some of their contracts may not be popular among the fanbase, they all bring what was expected.

Jake Walman was one of these players that Yzerman brought in to help the team's blue line. He ended up breaking out as a top-four defenseman, largely playing on the top pair with Moritz Seider. He quickly showed that he was worth everything that Yzerman gave up for him and then some. So this latest move by Yzerman is a massive head-scratcher.

Jake Walman Traded to San Jose for future considerations

On June 25, 2024, at about 3 pm, the Detroit Red Wings traded defenseman Jake Walman and a second-round pick to the San Jose Sharks for Future considerations. What?

Jake Walman was on the top pairing with your star defenseman for the last year and a half, and you get what is quite literally the equivalent of nothing in return. The only positive I can take out of this deal is that they didn't use their own second-round pick. They actually used Tampa Bay's second-round pick acquired in a trade done earlier in the day that consisted of the team trading right-handed defenseman prospect Andrew Gibson to the Nashville Predators in return for Tampa's second-round pick and right-handed forward prospect Jesse Kiiskinen, who was drafted in the third round of the 2023 NHL Entry Level Draft.

For those who don't know, when a trade involves "future considerations," Steve Yzerman can revisit the deal and negotiate what Jake Walman is worth at that time. For example, if Jake Walman pops off and wins the Norris trophy, Yzerman can say, "Walman is worth a first-round pick," and negotiate with San Jose from there.

I was very against trading Jake Walman in general. He added too much to the team's blue line to move. Not only that, he had just signed a $3.4 million three-year deal with the Red Wings for the 2022-23 season. I saw no reason for Walman to be traded and didn't think he would be.

Let me be clear: If Walman had to be traded, then he had to be traded, and this seemed like a Cap dump for Yzerman to be able to re-sign Patrick Kane or make a move for a goaltender. But why Walman? We all know that his play had suffered in the back end of last season and that he was "not himself," according to Head Coach Derek Lalonde. What that means, we will likely never know, but I can't fathom that it was bad enough, quite literally, to give him away.

Again, I ask, why Walman? If it was a cap dump, there is no real reason that moving a top-four defenseman with that little of a cap hit would require a second-round pick while also receiving nothing in return. If they wanted a cap dump, a second-round pick should be more than sufficient to move Justin Holl, granted San Jose isn't on his no-trade list, or Olli Maatta, who has an even cheaper cap hit and is a defenseman that teams would love to on their team, not to mention he has only one year left on his contract.

My point is that while moving, Walman may have freed up some much-needed cap space, but the deal just doesn't make sense. I hope that Steve Yzerman has some sort of plan in mind, or this at least leads to him re-signing a player like Patrick Kane. Otherwise, this will be considered one of the worst and most confusing trades Yzerman has ever made.