Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman does not think you can “build a team through free agency”

Embed from Getty Images On April 19, 2019, Steve Yzerman was named general manager of the Detroit Red Wings. He outlined his plans for getting the Red Wings closer to competitive hockey again. Yzerman’s main theme was patience. Given the salary cap room the Detroit Red Wings have fans and media were taken back.

When Ken Holland was overseer of the Detroit hockey team, he did believe in the draft to a certain degree. Holland also had no issue with trading draft picks for proven NHL talent.  For a rebuilding team draft picks are a premium.

This year the Detroit Red Wings have 6 picks in the 2019 NHL draft. Steve Yzerman further detailed his plans and thoughts as to how to build a solid team. “The draft is so important. You have to acquire your talent some way. To do it through unrestricted free agency, you’re not going to build a team that way. At least I don’t think you can build a team that way.”

YES! Red Wings fans should rejoice. Yzerman is dead right. To build a team, a team that will have sustainable success it must be done by building the core players. Not throwing money at players and hoping they can get you to the playoffs.

Then Yzerman showed why he is one of the very best general managers in sports today when he gave one of his secrets away, “I’ve never used free agency to make a splash. I’m not trying to make a splash, I’m trying to build a good team.”

Detroit fans and media need to come to an understanding, Just because there is cap space available does not mean it has to be spent. At least not right away. It is okay to hold onto the cap space. Yzerman is so good at what he does because he and his scouts collectively and selectively improve the team as needed. When he was general manager in Tampa Bay, as good as the Lightning are, Yzerman never went for a big name on the open market.

One thing that must be made clear is Steve Yzerman has never had a problem trading players. That includes big name players and fan favorite players. Remember the Red Wings legend said that he is trying to build a good team. That means anything and anyone goes. Sure the Red Wings have a couple “untouchables.” Dylan Larkin and Filip Zadina are two players that will not go anywhere.

However, Anthony Mantha and others are fair game. If the return is greater than the player, Yzerman will make a move. Given his tract record, his team will be better and Yzerman will not bat an eye.

This is what has come to Hockeytown.

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