Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Add A Scoring To The List Of Needs For The Wings

05/10/2020 at 9:08am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

They need a defenseman other than Filip Hronek with the skill to get the puck to the forwards. Moritz Seider, a first-round pick from 2019, may fit that bill, but that’s a lot to ask of a 19-year-old. Dennis Cholowski, a first-round pick from 2016, is another candidate, but he flunked when he had the chance to step up this season.

They need a goaltender to replace Jimmy Howard. Jonathan Bernier consistently gave his teammates a chance to win from mid-December on, but even with solid goaltending, the Wings struggled to win, thwarted by their inability to score.

They were stymied by the lack of depth and by injuries to forwards including Mantha, Filip Zadina and Andreas Athanasiou (who was traded at the deadline). Larkin and Bertuzzi were the only skaters not to miss a game.

Yzerman has numerous restricted free-agent forwards to sign, headlined by Mantha, Bertuzzi and Fabbri. Adam Erne had just five points in 56 games, but he has the skills to produce more — possibly in the 10-goal, 20-point range — and he plays with energy and finishes his checks....

If Yzerman chooses to use free agency to add a forward with some scoring power, here are options that could fit under a shorter-term, circa $4 million or less annual range.

Vladislav Namestnikov
Namestnikov, 27, is coming off a two-year, $8 million contract ($4 million cap hit). He had 17 goals and 14 assists in 65 games this season, which he began with the New York Rangers, continued with the Ottawa Senators, and finished with the Colorado Avalanche. He started his NHL career with the Tampa Bay Lightning, so Yzerman knows him well from his days as GM of that club.

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