Steve Yzerman preaches internal depth following a quiet trade deadline

A quiet, boring deadline is probably the right thing down the road for the Detroit Red Wings.

Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 3
Next

The Detroit Red Wings didn't make a splash ahead of the NHL trade deadline, but looking at their situation as a whole, no move of substance is probably the best thing moving forward for this organization.

General manager Steve Yzerman did make a minor move on Friday, shipping out forward Klim Kostin for veteran defenseman Radek Simek and a seventh-round draft pick via New Jersey. Kostin hadn't played much for Detroit since the calendar turned from 2023 to 2024, and reports suggest he was a bit upset with his lack of usage. Simek, 31, was the captain of the San Jose Barracuda this season and will directly report to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Simek is a pending free agent earning a mere $1.1 million; he will add some depth to the Griffins' stout backend.

The move also frees up Kostin's contract, which has one year remaining following this season and averages $2 million annually. It's one of those Yzerman signings that didn't work out the way many of us expected. As he's been in the past, Yzerman is quick to move on from a player if he feels it's best for the organization. The savings will likely be spent on re-signing the likes of Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider, and hopefully Patrick Kane this summer. Let me clarify some of the nit-pickers; obviously, the $2 million savings aren't enough to re-sign these three, but the added $2 million to the pool of funds available following the season adds more flexibility.

Derek Lalonde mentions that no deadline addition might be the best addition.

The chemistry within a roster is important. Although the Detroit Red Wings didn't make a splash, it's not all bad. I am disappointed about two things. Despite the fact that Detroit could unload Kostin's salary, they could not rid themselves of Justin Holl's horrible contract that averages $3.4 million annually. Holl, 32, is under contract for two more seasons and hasn't been able to solidify a role with the Red Wings. Detroit's defense rotation from earlier in the year has dried up, with veterans Jeff Petry and Olli Maatta garnering the coaching staff's trust. Many Detroit fans have grown to despise Petry, but it's clear that Bob Boughner and Derek Lalonde are comfortable playing him alongside Ben Chiarot on the second pairing. That unit takes on a lot of the challenging assignments each night, plus they've really contributed to Detroit's impressive penalty kill (aside from the recent game in Colorado).

Maatta has performed well with Gostisbehere, but that third pairing does find themselves in trouble at times, particularly while on the road when Lalonde can't protect them matchup-wise like he can on home ice. Moving Holl this summer to create extra space to re-sign some of Detroit's pending free agents should be a top priority for Yzerman.

"Our best addition may be no addition because of the group we have," Lalonde said