With franchise icon Steve Yzerman back in the front office, there’s a sense of amongst the Detroit Red Wings fanbase that hasn’t really existed in years. Yzerman did a masterful job of turning around a struggling Tampa Bay Lightning frnahicse and Red Wings fans are hopefully that Stevie Y can do the same thing in HockeyTown.
This offseason Yzerman is expected to make major changes to a young, but underperforming Red Wings squad and insider Max Bultman of The Athletic has three targets whom he believes Yzerman would be wise to hone in on.
Up first, Vegas Golden Knights blue liner Colin Miller. Check out the following excerpt on Miller from Bultman’s article for The Athletic Detroit:
The Golden Knights are in dire need of cap space, and Miller is one of the potential casualties. The 26-year-old recorded three goals and 26 assists (in 65 games) this season, and manned the power play for the majority of the year, but fell out of favor with coach Gerard Gallant as the season wrapped up. Miller was a healthy scratch multiple times down the stretch, including Game 1 of the playoffs, and is due $3.875 million each of the next three years.
Detroit would be an interesting trade partner, as it could use Miller’s instant offensive injection, and have a bounty of forward prospects. Vegas has built a nice pool of young defensemen in its organization but lacks forward prospects after Cody Glass. The Red Wings won’t be willing to part with their blue chips — Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno — but Vegas could go after Jonatan Berggren or Evgeny Svechnikov.
Up next, Winnipeg Jets blue liner Jacob Trouba. Again, check out the following excerpt on Miller from Bultman’s article for The Athletic Detroit:
The Jacob Trouba saga almost has to come to an end this summer. The Rochester-born, University of Michigan alum stalwart needs a new contract and is one year from UFA eligibility. There also have been rumors ever since his 2016 contract impasse that he’d rather play in an American market.
Detroit could be at the top of Trouba’s list — not only because of his Michigan roots but because the Red Wings are one of the few teams who might offer Trouba the top minutes at even strength and on the power play that he so strongly desires. If anyone could realistically sign Trouba to a long-term extension, it should be Detroit.
It should be noted that the Jets are presumably in win-now mode; the most ideal return would be a defender who can slot somewhere into their top four. The Jets would likely base their ask around stud defensive prospect Filip Hronek but, failing that, a veteran like Green plus prospects may have some appeal.
Bultman’s final proposal seems a little odd at first, but makes sense in the long run. Bultman proposes picking up veteran forward Ryan Callahan from the Lightning in exchange for a “sweetener”. Again, check out the following excerpt on Miller from Bultman’s article for The Athletic Detroit:
This would be a pretty fun first Yzerman trade in Detroit — dialing up his successor in Tampa Bay to help alleviate the Lightning’s cap crunch, and acquiring a sweetener in the process.
A move like this could also take a potential lineup spot from a young player, however, so the question on this one comes down to how attractive a pick or prospect Tampa is willing to bundle. Barre-Boulet, a center who just put up 68 points in the AHL at age 21, would be a great get for the Red Wings, though I certainly wouldn’t expect Julien BriseBois to do his old boss any favors on the negotiation front. Still, there are some intriguing young players in Syracuse, and Yzerman will have a deep understanding of who else he likes to make this kind of deal worth Detroit’s while. There’s also the draft-pick avenue, if all else fails.
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