I can only imagine a quiet seething. Earlier in the year, before his recent improvement, when we watched Anthony Mantha float, lend a hapless defensive effort now and again, a passive presence around the net for a guy wh's 6'5, 230 or whatever he weighs. When I saw that enigma-like performance, I would just wonder what his GM was thinking. I imagine he was seething. Quietly.
Now we know. Now we know that one Steve Yzerman had made up his mind to move Mantha and move him quickly. Contract or not, improvement of late or not, Yzerman has zero patience for talent that goes unrealized through lack of effort.
Again, and it's worth repeating, Steve Yzerman has proven he is the shrewdest GM in the league, by a long shot.
Of course it went down after 1500 EST. That's Yzermagic time. That's Yzerhour. That's the time when The Captain truly puts finishing touches on the Yzerplan.
What an effing steal. What a haul. What a move, what a trade.
Mantha for a player who's younger and, by all accounts, equal in Vrana. Read the Caps social media sites. Washington fans are not happy to lose him. Not one bit. Panik was most likely a throw in.
But...the picks. Oh, the flowing chocolate river of picks. A first this year. A second next year.
Two first rounders this year.
Three second rounders this year.
Two thirds, two fourths, two fifths...this year.
Two players who do NOT fit the Yzermold...gone. Athanasiou and Mantha. No. You can't stay. Steve won't allow it. Thank you, but goodbye.
And all of a sudden the two longest contracts on the Wings belong to Panik and Dylan Larkin. Seriously.
Steve Yzerman is now fully in the catbird seat. This team, with contracts expiring and picks piling up, will now be formed firmly with his vision, his tenacity, his type of players.
Watch the reaction from around the league today. Just watch. He's the best in the business and no one doubts it. No one.