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Abel to Yzerman

Will The Wings Be Active In Free Agency?

Dan Rosen of NHL.com answered some fan mail...

Do you think Steve Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings will be aggressive in free agency?

I predict patience from Yzerman as the Red Wings new general manager. I don't think he'll be aggressive in free agency because the need for a splash doesn't outweigh the need for the Red Wings to build it right so they can become a contender for several years. The caveat to this is the potential for Yzerman to use the rarely used offer sheet. I've heard around the League that nobody would be surprised if he tried to get Lightning center Brayden Point to sign an offer sheet. But I also think the Lightning will match it so it's probably not going to go very far.

When he was introduced as executive vice president and general manager on April 19, Yzerman repeatedly mentioned how building the Red Wings back into a contender will take time. He likes the foundation put in place by former GM Ken Holland. The plan will be to build around forwards Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi, Filip Zadina and Michael Rasmussen. He likes defensemen Filip Hronek and Jared McIssac too.

Yzerman's plan is likely the same as it was with the Lightning. He let it build slowly in Tampa Bay. He had Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, but he eventually added Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson, Palat, Killorn and Point, making them a part of the core. He infused veterans like defensemen Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi and Braydon Coburn, and forward Ryan Callahan, albeit in a trade for Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis. He could allow goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to develop properly because he acquired Ben Bishop. Eventually he added Miller and defenseman Ryan McDonagh, and the next wave of younger players started to come through too, making the Lightning what they were this season, the best in the regular season.

more Q & A on other teams...

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Comments

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I sure hoping Yzerman ISN’T too aggressive in free agency. The really need to continue to unload/wait out some of this big contracts and let the younger players develop before they make the kind of big splash that could vault them to the next level.

That being said, Yzerman will probably explore options available for making the defense better in the long-term. If that means adding a player like Trouba, Myers or even Karlsson makes sense he’ll see if that is possible. Buying out Ericsson or Daley (assuming they can’t be traded) should are viable options if roster space is needed for an acquisition.

I realize he’ll likely have to add a piece or two to fill out the roster but hope I’d prefer they keep the longer range plan in mind. No more long-deals for marginal or past their prime deals. It should all be about competing for a cup in 3-4 years.

Yzerman’s biggest deals might come on draft day where those 3 extra 2nd round picks can be used as ammunition to possibly move up into the bottom of the first round to get another difference maker.

Posted by evileye on 06/06/19 at 12:11 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Anyone else but me loving the way Yzerman is working, no media leaks, no interviews, no nothing from him

To me it is a good sign, he has work to do and he is doing it his way.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/06/19 at 12:13 PM ET

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Karlsson just had a groin surgery I believe

Posted by VPalmer on 06/06/19 at 12:37 PM ET

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Anyone else but me loving the way Yzerman is working, no media leaks, no interviews, no nothing from him

To me it is a good sign, he has work to do and he is doing it his way.

I can be a bit frustrating from a fan’s perspective having little clue about what the GM is thinking but it is the way I’d prefer they operate.

The end results are much more important. No reason to tip your hand to anyone else.

Posted by evileye on 06/06/19 at 12:39 PM ET

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Karlsson just had a groin surgery I believe

I don’t think that is going to stop teams from pursuing him. But any smart team would do due diligence on the injury before offering any contract and perhaps make some of the money bonuses tied to playing time/games.

Posted by evileye on 06/06/19 at 12:41 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

I think there are only two viable options here - either stay the course in drafting/developing for the time being, or go all out in FA by trading the farm for some established prospects and players. 

I certainly hope it’s the former but I have no idea what to expect.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/06/19 at 12:45 PM ET

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——having little clue about what the GM is thinking
——Even when they talk, we usually have little clue of what they are actually thinking

Posted by VPalmer on 06/06/19 at 01:31 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

Anyone else but me loving the way Yzerman is working, no media leaks, no interviews, no nothing from him

YES and No more HSJ quotes from KH, Thank God.

I wonder if Stevie Y can get rid of some old too highly paid pylons. (buyouts)?

I can’t remember when St Louis and LeCavalier (god I sure trashed the spelling there).

Tampas Cap might have been a lot lower when he started.  I just hope some NTC players will take good advice and allow trades to some teams.

He has had a lot to think about with the Wings for the last year, I imagine

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 06/06/19 at 01:41 PM ET

d ca's avatar

If that means adding a player like Trouba, Myers or even Karlsson makes sense he’ll see if that is possible. Buying out Ericsson or Daley (assuming they can’t be traded) should are viable options if roster space is needed for an acquisition.
Posted by evileye on 06/06/19 at 12:11 PM ET

1)Trouba isn’t an UFA. He’s set to be a RFA. And he’s not even that yet. To officially be a RFA,  Winnipeg must give him a one-way, 1 year qualifying offer at $5.5M or elect salary arbitration (where Trouba can then pick a 1 year term) by June 25th at 5pm. The qualifying offer gives the Jets the right to match another team’s offer sheet or receive draft picks in return.

Once Trouba is qualified, he can make contact with all teams regarding their interest, but he can’t sign a contract including the qualifying offer until noon on July 1st.

Trouba can only accept the qualifying offer from July 1st-15th (at 5pm). He in the meantime can file for salary arbitration up to July 5th (which he won’t do because then the Jets could pick a 2 year contract).

If another team signs Trouba to an offer sheet, the Jets would have 7 days to match that offer or accept the picks (and they can’t trade him during this window).

The picks are based on salary.
$4,227,438-$6,341,152: 1st, 3rd
$6,341,153-$8,454,871: 1st, 2nd, 3rd

If the Jets chose to match the offer sheet, they are not allowed to trade the player for one year from the date of exercising their right to match.

If Trouba signs a 1 year deal and fulfills it. He is set to be an UFA next off-season.

So the point is that Trouba would be very expensive to obtain right now in terms of assets that have to be given up (either through trade or draft picks).

2) Myers and Karlsson are UFA and just cost money.

3) There is no reason to buyout players on 1 year contracts. Wings have 13.68M in cap space and another 10.03 in LTIR. A buyout spreads out the hit, there is no reason to do that when they have the cap space this year.

4) Don’t discount taking on 1 year bad contracts (such as Callahan’s) from teams against the cap in return for draft picks. The Wings could also trade Franzen’s contract to a cap ceiling team for assets—and bundle those assets with the picks you mention to move up.

I think there are only two viable options here - either stay the course in drafting/developing for the time being, or go all out in FA by trading the farm for some established prospects and players.

I certainly hope it’s the former but I have no idea what to expect.

Posted by TreKronor on 06/06/19 at 12:45 PM ET

3rd option as mentioned above is to acquire 1 year of bad contracts (think Tampa and Callahan or Ducks and Patrick Eaves or not likely Leafs and Marleau) which gets them a player and an asset. And then using the players/picks you acquire to get other players back by retaining salary on your cap and making a trade.

An NHL memo closed a loophole after the Orpik fiasco and makes it impossible to trade the player back to the same team anymore—but left open trading to another team. Also could hang onto the player until closer to the trade deadline then trade them for other players.

Posted by d ca on 06/06/19 at 01:51 PM ET

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I don’t see any reason to buy out Daley or Ericcsson, even though both of them are dead weight. They are gone after this year and if they can get a bag of pucks for them at the trade deadline, go ahead and do so. Otherwise just wait it out a year as dca mentioned above and start to be more active next year.

IMO, the main focus should be shedding at least 1 long term contract off the books from a group of Helm, Nielsen, or Abdelkader (easier said than done obviously). Clear up some more cap space and open up another roster spot for a young player.

This year is likely going to be another painful one, but whenmore of the declining vets clear out and another year of development for the younger prospects then this franchise can really start to make some strides next year with some luck.

Posted by Charles1986 on 06/06/19 at 04:44 PM ET

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1)Trouba isn’t an UFA. He’s set to be a RFA. And he’s not even that yet.

I wasn’t suggesting Trouba as an offer sheet target, more of a POSSIBLE trade target. Several sources have indicated the Jets may be looking to move him. I’m not sure what that cost would be except the Jets don’t want salary.

I don’t see any reason to buy out Daley or Ericcsson, even though both of them are dead weight. They are gone after this year and if they can get a bag of pucks for them at the trade deadline, go ahead and do so. Otherwise just wait it out a year as dca mentioned above and start to be more active next year.

I was thinking the benefit would be to free up a roster spot without adding too much to future cap. Alternatively you could just waive them I guess.

MO, the main focus should be shedding at least 1 long term contract off the books from a group of Helm, Nielsen, or Abdelkader (easier said than done obviously).

Abdelkader seems insane as a buyout option because his contract would spread across 8 years. Neilsson wouldn’t be much better because he has would spread across 6. Helm would make more sense but one could argue he is the most valuable of the 3.

 

 

Posted by evileye on 06/06/19 at 05:04 PM ET

d ca's avatar

^^^
Helm can be traded after June 15th when the team voids his NTC because the Wings missed the playoffs (that was the escape clause).

The other guys,well, the Wings are pretty much stuck with them.

Posted by d ca on 06/07/19 at 02:08 AM ET

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Helm can be traded after June 15th when the team voids his NTC because the Wings missed the playoffs (that was the escape clause).

This is definitely a trade Yzerman can explore. Helm is versatile enough that he still has value to the Wings but that is also why he’d have value elsewhere. I’d prefer to see the Wings groom a younger player to fill that role. At the time Helm was re-signed I thought AA could be that player but now he’s moved onto bigger things. Hirose might be a decent choice.

It’ll be interesting to see who ends up as the 13/14 forwards and the 7th defensemen this season because it is looking like it’ll be someone who isn’t used to that role. I know it isn’t entirely exactly the GMs decision but you know a coach has to keep a GM happy. Perhaps Yzerman will be more willing to allow a big salary to sit in the stands (ie Abby, Neilsson, Ericsson) so more young guys get ice time and learn new roles.

Posted by evileye on 06/07/19 at 09:27 AM ET

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Abdelkader seems insane as a buyout option because his contract would spread across 8 years.

So what? If bought out his cap hit is NEVER high and getting rid of dead weight is a perfect reason to buy him out.
Nielsen is, of course, a different story because if they buy him out there are two years of a pretty massive cap hit (just below and just above $4M respectively). Abdelkader’s highest cap hit would be $2.4M which is practically negligible because the Wings have no reason to be worried about spending all the way up to the cap for the next couple years.

As far as free agents? I say replace Witkowski with a hockey player, or failing that maybe a cardboard cutout of a hockey player, and that’s about it.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 06/07/19 at 11:24 AM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com