3 major mistakes the Red Wings and Steve Yzerman must avoid this offseason

The Detroit Red Wings are facing that ‘moment of truth’ offseason, and general manager Steve Yzerman must find a way to get this team into the playoffs.
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Refusing to bring back key contributors will hurt

While Steve Yzerman must call up prospects and play them full-time at the NHL level, the real issue is that he had a borderline playoff team. Instead of calling many of them up, doing so systematically would be the smarter route to go in 2024-25 while hanging onto those players who made the team more than relevant this season. 

Patrick Kane, for example, needs to come back, and the sooner Yzerman gets a deal done with the 35-year-old, the better. Kane’s 47 points and 20 goals put him sixth on the team in points, and if you adjust his total and those above him to 82 games, he finishes even higher. 

David Perron and Shayne Gostisbehere are another pair who need to be back, and the former may not be so expensive at this point in his career. Retaining them still makes room for another prospect or two, and regarding the state of the team by the 2025 trade deadline should decide whether Yzerman ‘sells’ those listed above to make room for even more prospects. 

But there’s a good chance bringing the established talents back while limiting but not eliminating the call-ups will make the Red Wings better. Then, in 2025-26, Kane, Perron, and perhaps even Robby Fabbri can go elsewhere, and the “Yzerplan” will finally be complete with another round of call-ups, but doing this in 2024-25 isn’t the best route.