from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,
Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman’s blunt assessment of his hockey team is that they’re not good enough. Then again, you probably already were guessing that to be the case, based on the deals the club made leading up to Friday’s NHL trade deadline.
Yzerman sent four veterans packing – forwards Tyler Bertuzzi, Jakub Vrana and Oskar Sundqvist and defenseman Filip Hronek – determing that his club has a ways to go to be at the level where he wants them to be.
“Do I think we’re a Stanley Cup contender this year?” Yzerman asked rhetorically. “No. Did I think we had a chance to make the playoffs? Yes. And if I thought we were a Stanley Cup contender, I would not have traded our unrestricted free agents. I would have continued to play it out.”
As much as he values playoff hockey, Yzerman has no desire to build a team that is going to sit on the bubble year after year. Maybe get in the playoffs, maybe not.
That isn’t his style. It wasn’t how he built his club in Tampa Bay. Certainly, it wasn’t how things were playing out for the majority of his career as captain of the Red Wings.
Yzerman wants the Wings to be the kind of team that people look at each fall and realistically believe they have a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,
Ryan Dixon of Sportsnet with his view of deadline day,
On one hand, respect to GM Steve Yzerman for potentially selling high on Filip Hronek and for having the fortitude (not that there was any doubt with that guy) to move Tyler Bertuzzi before the pending-UFA had a chance to leave Detroit for nothing in the summer. It’s wonderful that Detroit has hung around the Eastern Conference playoff picture, but the odds the Wings actually emerge from the glob of teams gunning for those final two wild-card berths is pretty slim.
From that perspective, picking up two first-round picks is probably a shrewd move.
Still, anybody who saw Dylan Larkin choking up talking about how hard it was to say good-bye to Bertuzzi with these team — at least in the minds of its players — firmly in the battle for a playoff spot could justifiabley wonder if Yzerman took the right tack, especially moving Hronek — a player with some measure of team control left — during the middle of a career (or maybe breakout?) season.
Amadeus Lombardi scored his 40th goal last night for the Flint Firebirds.
Here is a feature the Wings did on him about 3 months ago.
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