from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
The Detroit Red Wings began this NHL regular season with a promising combination of up-and-coming youngsters and seasoned veterans. Unfortunately, as we should all know by now, progress is not guaranteed to be linear, and the Wings have not enjoyed a steady rise through the Atlantic Division standings.
After 48 games, Detroit is 21-19-8, a mark that puts them in sixth place in the Atlantic. Technically, they have a better points percentage (.521) than the fifth-place Florida Panthers (.510), and the Wings have three games in hand on the Panthers. Detroit is also five points behind the fourth-in-the-Atlantic Buffalo Sabres, but they’re only six points ahead of the eighth-place Montreal Canadiens.
As you can see, it’s a true mixed bag for the Red Wings thus far this year. And that leaves Detroit GM Steve Yzerman with difficult decisions as the league speeds toward its March 3 trade deadline: Does he deal away some of his veteran assets, or instead, try to add pieces to get his team into the playoffs? Or, perhaps, both? The only thing that’s clear at this point is that long-suffering Wings fans who haven’t experienced post-season hockey since 2016, and who haven’t had their team win a playoff round since 2013, cannot accept that the status quo is good enough.
If that means Yzerman bids goodbye to winger (and pending unrestricted free agent) Tyler Bertuzzi, so be it. If that means seeing what the market is for depth forwards Adam Erne, Oskar Sundqvist and Pius Suter, and D-men Olli Maatta, Jake Walman and Robert Hagg (all of whom will also be UFAs this summer), that should be fine as well.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
or instead, try to add pieces to get his team into the playoffs?
As I wrote a couple of articles ago, 6/8 February opponents are in playoff position, 7/12 games on the road.
And to get to a playoff contention 95 points from the current 50 they would have to go 20-9-5.
Do any of us who have watched this team’s 48 games think that they will blitz thru February so that by March 1 they need to add pieces for a playoff run?
I know, he’s just a writer trying to fill his quota, but they aren’t likely to suddenly becoming defensively stingy.
I'm starting to see Bert getting a one-year prove-it deal around $5mil. See if he can stay in the lineup and score goals. I don't see him getting much term here or anywhere right now.
I'm starting to see Bert getting a one-year prove-it deal around $5mil.
I think that's about right because I just don't see what value Bert could fetch in a trade.
It looks like the Wings will be sellers again this year. Besides the UFAs, i am not sure if Yzerman is going to be able to move any of the new players he signed in the off season except Perron. I am still mystified why he signed Chiarot to a four year deal. Good luck moving that. I want to know who sold Chiarot to him.
The Wings need another enema to flush some of the crap out.
This team is nothing more than a .500 / 84 point team. That's not going to get them into the playoffs. I still think they are better team than last season and in a better position to contend in the future but it is going to be a tough slog moving up the standings when few teams are getting weaker (Boston, Pittsburgh and Washington will continue to be their best hope) and others are getting stronger (Buffalo, Ottawa).
It would likely be too big a risk to sign Bertuzzi long-term so they either need to trade him or sign him to a short term contract. With the quick rise of Soderblom and Berggren he appears a little more replaceable now.
I fully expect they'll come to some sort of extension with Larkin.
As for the rest of the UFAs, all trade options should be explored. It might hurt a bit to lose Walman but his trade value may be as high as it will ever get.
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