No major moves for Detroit Red Wings

No major moves for Detroit Red Wings

Many people had a close eye on the Detroit Red Wings on Monday afternoon as the National Hockey League’s trade deadline approached. There were those who believed the Red Wings would make a major move to help build for the future, but according to general manager Steve Yzerman that was never the plan, and the deadline went exactly as he had expected.

“Kind of what we expected to do as you’re leading up to the deadline,” Yzerman reflected, via “You get a good gauge of what interest there is in your players, kind of get a good idea what the return is going to be. Pretty much went as expected.”

The Red Wings weren’t entirely silent at the deadline though as the team did make a total of three trades between Sunday and Monday. Yzerman moved three impending free agents out of town in order to acquire future assets for players who were likely to leave anyway.

On Sunday, he shipped defenseman Troy Stecher to the Los Angeles Kings for a 2022 seventh-round pick. He then traded defenseman Nick Leddy to the to St. Louis Blues in exchange for center Oskar Sundqvist, defenseman Jake Walman and a 2023 second-round pick. Yzerman finished off on Monday by trading winger Vladislav Namestnikov to the Dallas Stars for a 2024 fourth-round selection.

“I don’t really say a lot and I think a lot of times…it’s very misconstrued that I’m up to something,” Yzerman said. “I’m really not. I prefer to keep things quiet to myself. I’m not trying to do the unexpected. I’m not trying to outsmart people or trick people or anything like that. I just don’t believe that a lot of things need to be shared.”

While Walman will become a restricted free agent after the current campaign, he provides the Red Wings with a left-shot defenseman that the club desperately needs. The team will also get time to see how he plays in Detroit and whether it makes sense to re-sign him to a longer deal.

“He was playing behind some pretty good players in St. Louis,” Yzerman said. “We watched him for a while going back to his days at Providence and kind of followed him through the minors and had some discussions with Doug [Armstrong, Blues GM] earlier in the season when he was looking at doing some other things.

“He’ll get some opportunity to play here. We think he has a chance to be a regular in the NHL, just hasn’t been able to do that with a pretty good defensive corps in front of him in St. Louis. Skates well, shoots the puck hard, competitive. With the acquisition of Olli Juolevi and with Jake, a couple of guys we get to try out and see what they do and decide where they fit for us for next year.”

The Red Wings haven’t qualified for the playoffs since 2016 and they will likely miss out again this year, but Yzerman understands he must stay on course to improve the franchise, regardless of how frustrated fans may be. He made it clear after the deadline that he hadn’t received any offers that really made him think and wasn’t going to change the course unnecessarily.

“You have conversations going up to the draft and periodically through the season, and really got nothing beyond that regarding our signed players or restricted free agents that was ever even close to what you’d consider an idea,” said Yzerman.