from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Yzerman needs defensemen, forwards and, most glaringly, a goaltender to replace Jimmy Howard. Free agency is one way to do so, but a more fruitful method is one Yzerman already has used this offseason: Taking advantage of a team in financial distress because of the flat salary cap to acquire a player and a draft pick. Two weeks ago, Yzerman gained a second-round pick in 2021 for taking veteran defenseman Marc Staal and his $5.7 million contact from the New York Rangers.
Numerous teams are in salary cap trouble, including Yzerman’s former employer, the Tampa Bay Lightning; there’s also the Edmonton Oilers (helmed by ex-Wings GM Ken Holland), the St. Louis Blues and a handful of others.
In addition to not re-signing Howard, Yzerman has parted ways with free-agent defensemen Trevor Daley, Jonathan Ericsson and Madison Bowey, and forwards Justin Abdelkader, Brendan Perlini and Christoffer Ehn....
It may be the most remarkable goaltending market ever. Jacob Markstrom, Anton Khudobin, Thomas Greiss and Braden Holtby are among the biggest names headed to market. They are looking for term and money, though, and Yzerman may not want to dole both out yet. That could make a veteran such as Cam Talbot more attractive. Corey Crawford is another option. Yzerman does need to bring in a proven goaltender, because Jonathan Bernier carried too heavy a load last season, what with Howard struggling so much. (He won only two games, none after October.)