from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,
Yzerman seemed mildly disappointed the NHL didn’t alter its draft lottery June 26. Despite posting the worst record, by far, the Wings have only an 18.5-percent chance of landing the top pick. The prize is expected to be forward Alexis Lafreniere, and although the Wings have picked sixth, sixth and ninth the past three drafts, they haven’t gotten a shot at a generational talent. They do have 10 picks, including seven in the first three rounds.
Ultimately, that’s where the future lies, in the uncertainty of youth and the unknown of draft picks. Sprinkling in a capable veteran or two with modest contracts makes sense. With the Wings idled perhaps for months, and training arrangements unclear, young players won’t necessarily get the on-hand guidance they need. In that regard, it’s a bad time to be a bad team.
“The young guys that are motivated are gonna figure out a way to get it done,” Yzerman said. “And part of it is, we’re gonna learn who really wants to be a hockey player. The ones who truly don’t, they’ve got as a good a reason as ever to not train right now. A lot of the onus is on the kids’ motivation.”
That sounds like a warning shot, different than the warming shot a year ago. Yzerman has watched and surely winced. I suspect the next step, whenever the pandemic allows, will be a bit more forceful.