Sifting through Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman’s press conference

It is not often Steve Yzerman speaks to the media, roughly twice a year. This past week was one of those times, a pre NHL Draft press conference where in classic Yzerman fashion he left media members, fans and the rest of the hockey world guessing what he is going to do. Armed with 10 draft picks including two in the first round and three (in a row) in the second round Yzerman has the ammo to improve his team, be it drafting or trading.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – JULY 07: General manager Steve Yzerman
of the Detroit Red Wings looks on during the first round of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

This should probably be noted first, Steve Yzerman said that he is willing to do what it takes to improve his team and “I’ll live with the fallout.” This sounds like the savvy GM is willing to part with players who seemingly were though to be part of the Red Wings core. No matter if Yzerman does trade someone or not, he is not ruling it out if it will improve his team.

On draft picks while saying he is planning on making the ninth overall first round draft pick his wording on the #17 overall draft pick was curious as he stated “I am going to use the #17 pick.” So Yzerman is going to make the ninth pick and use the #17 pick? To the untrained ear it sounds like he is preparing to trade that pick. It is known Detroit has spoken to the Philadelphia Flyers about Travis Konecny and are being heavily linked to Ottawa Senators, Alex DeBrincat.

Steve Yzerman understands the value of having multiple draft choices including the three in a row second rounders. “I’ve never had three picks in a row, particularly three in the second round,” Yzerman said. “That’s interesting. Those picks tend to be valuable if you look at every team’s draft grid, a lot of them don’t have first or second-round picks and potentially are looking to acquire that.” Again it does not appear at this time Detroit will be making all of those picks.

DETROIT, MI – MARCH 30: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings gets set for the face-off against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on March 30, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit defeated Carolina 3-2. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

So what will Detroit’s draft strategy look like? The organization will not target a certain position but is seeking the best player on the board. Detroit still trying to build a core of players around center and team captain Dylan Larkin. In a year where this is perhaps the strongest group of draft prospects in a while, the Detroit Red Wings are open for business as Steve Yzerman is ready to improve the roster for a playoff push.

The Detroit Red Wings could go one of two ways

The Detroit Red Wings were in the playoff hunt much of the season, the organization fell a little short and now are at a sort of crossroads. Ranked by many to have a top five prospect pool the Red Wings are in good shape regardless if GM Steve Yzerman decides to stock up for a playoff run or simply give prospects more AHL development time. The guess is Yzerman will add players.

DETROIT, MI – MARCH 20: Ville Husso #35 of the Detroit Red Wings follows the play against the Florida Panthers during the first period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on March 20, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. Florida defeated Detroit 5-2. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Red Wings need a few of key components in order to take a step towards being a playoff contending team. Scoring, goaltending, defense to be more specific a more reliable backup to starting goalie Ville Husso as the perceived goalie of the future, Sebastian Cossa is still developing. With some big names set to hit the free agent market, Yzerman will have little issue finding a backup goalie.

With some big names set to hit the open market, the Red Wings should have enough choices to improve scoring. At 240 GF and 279 GA for a -39 DIFF, the Red Wings need more scoring and better defense. Both D-William Wallinder and D-Albert Johansson are ranked #3 and #4 currently in the Red Wings prospect rankings. Yzerman could and perhaps should look at add a veteran or two in order to get better production out of the blueline.

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – JULY 07: Marco Kasper, #8 pick by the Detroit Red Wings, poses for a portrait during the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

It seems that the #2 ranked prospect C- Marco Kasper will get a longer look in training camp he is far from a lock to make the opening night roster. The Red Wings have a long history of wanting o give prospects plenty of development time. Kasper was called up at the end of the season but was limited due to a broken kneecap.

In the end the Detroit Red Wings are closer to the NHL Playoffs, there is still much work to be done. The guess is that Steve Yzerman will make upgrades this summer in order to give his team a push while giving prospects both a long look during training camp and more development time.

What will the Detroit Red Wings do with Dylan Larkin

Detroit Red Wings captain, Dylan Larkin is in the final year of a 5-year contract. It is being reported that Larkin and his reps are seeking the same dollar amount that the New York Islanders signed center Matthew Brazal to, 8 years, $73.2 million. It is also known that the Red Wings and general manager Steve Yzerman does not want to pay a player $9-$10 million per-season. So what happens now?

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – JULY 07: Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings attends the 2022 NHL Draft at the Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Dylan Larkin is a Michigan guy. Born and raised in Waterford, Mi. Larkin attended the University of Michigan where he was captain of the Wolverines hockey team. Larkin was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. He said recently the he could not seeing playing for any team but the Red Wings.

Under his current contract Dylan Larkin has exceeded the 60 point mark 3-times. Larkin has transformed his game into being a top line center, pre draft Larkin was viewed as a second line center.

It appears at this time the Detroit Red Wings and their captain are no where close to a deal. Sure they have time to make one work, but if not the Red Wings could cash Larkin in for prospects, draft picks and NHL players.

What would a possible trade look like? First of all top line centers (1C) do not get traded very often at all, throw in a team captain and the return would ben steep to the team making the trade and a gold mine for the Red Wings as far as the return.

In a hypothetical trade, between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Red Wings a trade could like like:

Detroit gets: Zach Werenski (D), Emil Bemstrom (F), Blue Jackets first round draft pick (from the Chicago Blackhawks)

Columbus gets: Dylan Larkin

Again that is only a hypothetical trade. That is the kind of return an elite 1C would net the Red Wings.

DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 14: Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings is introduced before an NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at Little Caesars Arena on October 14, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

As of right now it is difficult to know if Steve Yzerman is leaning towards signing the Red Wings captain, or if he is taking phone calls, which I suspect some teams have called as a check in.

No matter what happens the Detroit Red Wings are and will be in good shape. If they sign Larkin great! If they trade Larkin great! One thing is for sure, this will be a huge no matter which direction it goes.

What will the Detroit Red Wings do with Tyler Bertuzzi

Tyler Bertuzzi is fresh off his best NHL season. Bertuzzi scored 30 goals, with 32 assists and 62 points, all career highs. He is set to be a restricted free agent. There is one small thing though, Tyler Bertuzzi is worth a lot, not just to the Red Wings but other teams would like his services as well. For the rebuilding Red Wings and general manager Steve Yzerman this is where things could get interesting.

Tyler Bertuzzi is a gritty player who’s teammates love. He plays with an edge to his game. At 27 years old how and does he project in the Red Wings future? Bertuzzi has said he wants to stay in Detroit. Steve Yzerman said he wants to sign him, but…..

If you remember, Anthony Mantha said the same thing about wanting to stay in Detroit and Yzerman said he wanted him. Mantha signed an extension and was traded. In a rebuild the only sure thing is gaining assets.

The toothless Toronto Maple Leafs made yet another first round exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Needing toughness and having already talked to Detroit about Bertuzzi, this summer perhaps talks will heat up again. Or another team will come calling.

ST. LOUIS, MO – JANUARY 15: Toronto defenseman Timothy Lijegren (37) passes the puck during a NHL game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the St. Louis Blues on January 15, 2022, at Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO. (Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images),

Toronto is in serious salary cap trouble. Perhaps, they make an offer and Yzerman counters the offer by offering to take one of the Maple Leafs big contracts and say young defensive player Timothy Lijegren. This would be a fair deal. Toronto would shed some money for the cap and get a player that would bring toughness to the lineup. While Detroit would get a young defensive player to help the blue line.

Personally I feel that given his age and the fact he could help the Red Wings rebuild by being traded, it makes more sense to deal Bertuzzi and push the rebuild along a bit quicker.

This is going to be year four, for Yzerman as Red Wings GM. The Red Wings need to start to show improvement in the win column. Yzerman’s job is not in jeopardy nor should it be. The rebuild should have started years ago. Yzerman had to come in and clean up the mess which has taken time.

DETROIT, MI – APRIL 12: Tyler Bertuzzi (59) of the Detroit Red Wings turns to follows the play against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on April 12, 2022 in Detroit, Michigan. Ottawa defeated Detroit 4-1. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tyler Bertuzzi and his fate will be one thing to watch in the coming days leading up to the 2022 NHL Draft.

With the Detroit Red Wings looking for a new head coach here are some names to know

With Jeff Blashill not having his contract renewed, the Detroit Red Wings are in the market for a new head coach. General Manager, Steve Yzerman said he will look everywhere until he finds the right fit. The NHL is a league of retreads. Unlike other sports, NHL teams have never been shy about bringing in a coach who has been in the league. So which direction will Yzerman go? That is anyone’s guess. Here is a list of names to know.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 16: Rick Tocchet 2021 Flyer Hall of Fame inductee speaks at a press conference prior to his pregame ceremony at an NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Calgary Flames at the Wells Fargo Center on November 16, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Rick Tocchet, who has a history with Steve Yzerman as the two played against each other. Tocchet has worked with rebuilding teams before so that is a plus. Tocchet also has  three Stanley Cup rings (1 as a player and 2 as a coach.)

The Red Wings were by all accounts a “soft” hockey team. If Yzerman wants to instill grit and toughness in his young team then a coach who could fit the bill is John Tortorella. ‘Torts” as he is known as, is abrasive and demanding which is why he has enjoyed success. Tortorella has finished .500 with every team he has coached.

Now we come to two coach’s who would be a bit of a stretch, but this is Steve Yzerman. The same Steve Yzerman who gave a lawyer (Jon Cooper) a head coaching job and has lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. Both coach’s are former Detroit Red Wings and teammates of Yzerman.

TORONTO, ON – NOVEMBER 06: Sergei Fedorov takes part in a press conference at the Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum on November 6, 2015 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Fedorov will be inducted into the Hall on November 9, 2015. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Sergei Fedorov, who is the head coach of CSKA Moscow and who won the championship. It was Fedorov’s first season behind the bench. While I do not see Fedorov as a legit candidate simply because he needs more seasoning behind the bench, Yzerman’s former line mate could be an attraction of sorts.

Another former teammate and winner of three Stanley Cup Championships in Detroit is “The Professor,” as he is known as, Igor Larionov. Larionov was part of the legendary “Russian Five.”

Named by teammates “The Professor” because he studied the game like few others and has a very good philosophy and understands the game like a coach who has been in the NHL for years. Not that Larionov will get the job, but he fits the bill almost perfectly. He has made no bones about the fact he wants to be a head coach.

Again, no one knows what is going through Steve Yzerman’s mind. He could bring in a retread or go his own way.

Drop a comment and let me know who you think the next Detroit Red Wings head coach should be.


What’s next for the Detroit Red Wings after the coaching staff has been fired

In the eye’s of general manager, Steve Yzerman the Detroit Red Wings had regressed this season to the point that head coach Jeff Blashill and his coaching staff have been relieved of their duties. Now Yzerman must open a coaching search to see if the Red Wings can get back to moving forward. Yzerman is unsure what he wants in terms of a new coach, just that a new voice, new coach are needed at this time in order to turn the organization around.


DETROIT, MI – FEBRUARY 18: Head coach Jeff Blashill of the Detroit Red Wings watches the action from the bench against the Montreal Canadiens during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on February 18, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. The Wings defeated the Canadiens 4-3. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

Steve Yzerman said the Red Wings have some talented players, in his very next breath the GM said they all need to play better. Steve Yzerman said he is going to look everywhere at coaching possibilities and that he will find the right person.

As the 2021-22 NHL regular season came to and end it marked Yzerman’s third as general manager of the Red Wings. When asked where in the rebuild he feels the team is he said “We are the end of year three and heading into year four.” Yzerman went on to say there is no timeline as to when the rebuild will be over and the team will be playoff ready.

The plan as Yzerman laid out is to continue to draft well and to try to sway free agents to Detroit. Yzerman also said  that he had conversations with Jeff Blashill about the defense not playing well. He did quickly say part of it was personnel but overall Yzerman saw no improvement with rookie Moritz Seider being an exception.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – FEBRUARY 16: A view of the logo of the Detroit Red Wings on a player’s jersey during an NHL game against the Philadelphia Flyers on February 16, 2019 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Steve Yzerman has been blunt in his assessment of players and the coaching staff. Simply put he expects more from both sides. He sounded frustrated as he began assessing but he is determined to get his hockey team where it needs to be.

In my opinion, Steve Yzerman is right in parting ways with Jeff Blashill. A new voice is needed in the locker room and in players ears. Detroit Red Wings fans took to social media to offer thoughts on who they would like to see as the next head coach.

I will not take part in this, only to say I trust Yzerman to find the right coach.

2021-22 Detroit Red Wings season preview: The Wings are coming

The Detroit Red Wings lead by General Manager, Steve Yzerman have been in rebuild mode for a few years. But many of the big pieces for the Red Wings future are in the organizations system. While the 2021-22 Red Wings will not be a playoff team they will show that the rebuild is headed in the right direction. The team will give up fewer goals while earning more wins all by showcasing the teams future.

DETROIT, MI – JANUARY 18: Filip Zadina #11 of the Detroit Red Wings shoots the puck during warm-ups before an NHL game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Little Caesars Arena on January 18, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

One of the worst kept secrets in the NHL is Steve Yzerman is very good at drafting players. Yzerman is so good at drafting that during his time as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s GM he sped up a long rebuild. Fast forward to Detroit, where Yzerman has you guessed it, sped up the Red Wings rebuild by simply drafting well.

Yzerman is putting on a “how to” rebuild clinic. The past three season have been and brutal ones as far as on-ice product and production go. That has been by design. As Steve Yzerman and the Red Wings scouting department have gone to work. Now the trajectory of the roster and management are on the uptick.

The 2021-22 Detroit Red Wings will give a clear look into the future. As Yzerman has been collecting pieces as well as prospects and trades for the past few years that will begin to show fruit this season.

For this reason the Red Wings will show improvement. It will not be eye-popping, no playoffs or competing for the Stanley Cup, the Red Wings will show more competitiveness as a result they should show a jump in the standings to demonstrate the organizations improvements.

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 22: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider (53) during the second period of a preseason game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings on September 22, 2019, at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI. (Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

I understand, Detroit Red Wings fans do not want to go through another long season. That is what the 2021-22 season will be as far as wins losses go. However, this season should be the last long one for  a while.

Steve Yzerman has done a masterful job at rebuilding the Detroit hockey team, it is about to pay off in big ways.

Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman has a looming decision on head coach Jeff Blashill

The Detroit Red Wings have finished another losing season. Rebuilds can be brutal. While development of young players is critical, at some point losses must turn into wins. Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill who has been the ire of the Red Wings fans everywhere for sometime now takes center stage for his job security. A short time ago, Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman said he would address that quickly.

DETROIT, MI – FEBRUARY 18: Head coach Jeff Blashill of the Detroit Red Wings watches the action from the bench against the Montreal Canadiens during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on February 18, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. The Wings defeated the Canadiens 4-3. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

There has been some improvement from the Detroit Red Wings play. I pointed this out not long ago. The questions that only Steve Yzerman is faced with are:

  1. Was there enough improvement show to merit bringing Jeff Blashill back for another season or more?
  2. Is Blashill a coach who can get the Red Wings to the next level?

While no one is sure which direction Yzerman is leaning and will go, all eyes are on this situation. If Blashill is relieved of his coaching duties who are some options Steve Yzerman could turn to?

I would have to imagine Yzerman would at the very least would put in a call to his former teammate Gerard Gallant. Gallant has maintained a win percentage of .523 or better and has one trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Perhaps, Yzerman could call former Michigan State Spartan hockey player and current head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes Rod Brind’Amour who’s team has this seasons best record and Brind’Amour is 111-63-15  since being named Hurricanes head coach.

DETROIT, MI – OCTOBER 06: Head coach Jeff Blashill of the Detroit Red Wings watches the play from the bench during an NHL, home opening night game against the Dallas Stars at Little Caesars Arena on October 6, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

There are other quality coaches that are out there. Again until Steve Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings announce a press conference it is all just a guess. When the time comes for whatever is going to happen with the head coach it will kick off a very busy offseason for Yzerman ands the Red Wings.

Stay tuned.



The Detroit Red Wings gain a fourth round draft pick as Steve Yzerman works some magic

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning were working on a trade for Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard. The two teams could not agree on a trade package because of the Lightning’s salary cap issues. That is when Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman stepped in and worked his magic.

It was reported yesterday, David Savard was going to be traded to Tampa Bay, which happened to be Steve Yzerman’s first GM job spot.  Yzerman came to the aid of both teams and a three-way trade was born.

COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 2: David Savard #58 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the Boston Bruins on April 2, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The trade is a bit complex. Here is the breakdown: The Columbus Blue Jackets traded David Savard to the Red Wings and agreed to retain 50% of Savard’s cap hit. Detroit sent  Brian Lashoff to Columbus. The Red Wings then flipped Savard to Tampa Bay for a fourth round draft pick this year.

Steve Yzerman agreed to taken on 25% of Savard’s contract. The Blue Jackets meanwhile traded Lashoff to Tampa Bay and received 2021 first and second round draft pick’s basically for David Savard.

This is actually a very good and pretty shrewd move by Steve Yzerman. The Red Wings have a ton of salary cap room so to take on 25% of a contract for a player who will never (barring free agency) put on the Winged Wheel while gaining a draft pick was a easy choice to make.

The 25% that is on the books for the Red Wings comes off the books this summer. So really it is a no harm, no foul move. The real prize for the rebuilding Red Wings is the draft pick.

SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 06: A general view of the draft board following the first round of the 2020 National Hockey League (NHL) Draft at the NHL Network Studio on October 06, 2020 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

This is how Yzerman was able to rebuild the Tampa Bay Lightning. He made simple yet very effective trades and moves that netted draft picks. While there are no guarantees when drafting players, the more picks a team has the more chances the team will hit on some draft picks.

This is how Steve Yzerman is rebuilding the Detroit Red Wings. It takes time but Yzerman will get the job done.

Rumor: The Detroit Red Wings could trade two young forwards

Rumors are just that, rumors. However, this seems to be one that is gaining momentum. It is widely being speculated that Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman could move two of the teams young forwards. Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi. While this may come as a shock to many, it should not. The Red Wings who will have much needed salary cap space would benefit further if they move Mantha or Bertuzzi or both.

First let me say that if Steve Yzerman moves Anthony Mantha and/or Tyler Bertuzzi he would have to be blown away by an offer. Both Mantha and Bertuzzi are on contracts that other teams would find attractive so money would not be an issue.

DETROIT, MI – SEPTEMBER 17: Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings poses for his official headshot for the 2019-2020 season at Little Caesars Arena on September 17, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

The real question is should Yzerman move the players at all? It seems like of the two players Mantha would not be moved due to his skill set. Yet that is exactly why other teams would line up for his services IF he is put on the trading block.

Tyler Bertuzzi, is a gritty players and has offensive scoring punch to go with his two-way play. Bertuzzi would be an easy trade as well. Teams would also line up for his service.

But as this rumor has gained traction what would it mean for the Red Wings? First and foremost it would be a very smart move for Yzerman if he does trade them. It would go a long way in speeding up the Red Wings rebuild. Both players would net a big returns.

This is what a rebuild looks like. Tough decisions need to be made. Steve Yzerman has done the tough decision part before when he took over as GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning. This would be nothing new for the seasoned Yzerman.

DETROIT – MAY 11: An octopus hangs above the ice before game one of the 2007 Western Conference finals between the Anaheim Ducks and the Detroit Red Wings on May 11, 2007 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Red Wings fans need to understand that while yes Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi are very good players. Their real value to the organization may be in the form of a trade.