How the Red Wings hurt themselves at the NHL trade deadline

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman likes making big moves at the NHL trade deadline, but he shocked us by making no notable moves.
Washington Capitals v Detroit Red Wings
Washington Capitals v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman found himself in quite a predicament as the 2024 NHL trade deadline approached. He lost one of his best players in Dylan Larkin to an injury, and his team hasn’t had that same, high-octane edge without him. 

So after pulling off a major trade in the offseason to bring Alex DeBrincat to town before winning what were major sweepstakes for Patrick Kane, there was little doubt Yzerman would have done something to initially replace Larkin, before the star center returned. But that didn’t happen, and you really have to question what Yzerman was thinking.

The only trade Yzerman made involved sending Klim Kostin to the San Jose Sharks for Radim Simek and a seventh-round pick in 2024. And to be honest, it was a forgettable trade, and one that should have disappointed Detroit fans. 

Red Wings do-nothing approach at the NHL trade deadline was shocking

There were so many players Yzerman could have made a serious push for following Larkin’s injury, especially considering how poorly the team had been playing since he went down. So now, we will see if the Red Wings can get back on track without making a major trade and without Larkin for the foreseeable future. 

Yzerman could have helped the organization with a major acquisition so they could keep up their high-octane pace in Larkin’s absence. When Larkin returns in such a scenario, few would have kept up with the Red Wings. But since their star center’s last game on March 2nd, Detroit has lost five in a row, and opponents have outscored them 25 to eight. 

There is also the ‘what-if’ factor to consider: What if Larkin isn’t the same player when he returns to the lineup for the first few games? With teams like the New York Islanders getting hot and the Buffalo Sabres sticking around the outer perimeter, Yzerman’s lack of action at the deadline has hurt this team in the most pivotal time of the season. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference, trade information provided by Cap Friendly)