Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Reflection Time

07/22/2019 at 8:13am EDT

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

As he set about to patch the Detroit Red Wings’ lineup, new general manager Steve Yzerman had a self-created mandate: no long-term contracts.

His venture into the unrestricted free agent market yielded forward Valtteri Filppula, defenseman Patrik Nemeth and goaltender Calvin Pickard. All were signed to two-year deals. Yzerman’s reasoning makes sense: describing himself as “somewhat new to the organization,” he sought to make the Wings more competitive without saddling the roster with deals that might complicate re-signing Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Bertuzzi (all of whom are entering a contract year) or limit opportunities for prospects.

The signings reflect a team in rebuilding mode. Free agency was more fun back when the Wings were a contender. Here is a lock back at their 10 best and worst unrestricted free agency signings from 1998-2018.

Hits

1. D Brian Rafalski
Signed: 2007 (5 years, $30 million)

A master at tape-to-tape passes, Rafalski produced 204 points in 292 regular-season games and 40 points in 63 playoff games before retiring early because of injuries.

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that.

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