Detroit Red Wings' offseason earns passing grade from ESPN

ESPN has given the Red Wings passing marks for their 2021 offseason.


Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman has had a busy offseason thus far, continuing to put his mark on the team as he enters his third season on the GM since taking over for Ken Holland in 2019. 

And after his work in the recently completed 2021 NHL Draft, he turned his attention to free-agency. There are several new faces aboard in the Motor City, and among those include highly touted center Pius Suter, whom the Chicago Blackhawks elected not to re-sign. Following the departure of veteran Luke Glendening to the Dallas Stars, Yzerman was quick to swoop in and lock up Suter to a two-year deal.

Among Yzerman's additional acquisitions include defenseman Nick Leddy, Dearborn native Jordan Oesterle and former Red Wings enforcer Luke Witkowski, who returns to Detroit for a second tour of duty. And of course, perhaps his most notable acquisition this offseason was 2021 Calder Trophy finalist goaltender Alexander Nedeljkovic from the Carolina Hurricanes, who was subsequently signed to a two-year contract extension.

According to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski's annual NHL offseason report card, Yzerman earns a passing grade for his moves. Check out his reasoning below:

"Remaining hole: The Red Wings have the cap space (over $25 million) to pluck some of the contracts that teams might need to shed later in the summer. They also have to do deals with restricted free agent forward Jakub Vrana and defenseman Filip Hronek. (Vrana has since been re-signed to a three-year deal.)

Grade: A. The Red Wings took advantage of a couple of odd decisions by other teams on restricted free agents. The Hurricanes weren't convinced that Nedeljkovic, a Calder Trophy finalist, had the stuff of a true starting goalie, and they traded him to Detroit. The Blackhawks said there "wasn't really a match" in contract talks with Suter, walked away and saw the Red Wings snatch him up. Leddy was a salary dump from the Islanders who'll help their young defensemen.

They also got better by virtue of who left their lineup. It's still a knee-deep rebuild for Detroit, but it's very much on the right track. This grade is erring on the side of GM Steve Yzerman (still) being the smartest guy in the room."

Do you agree with Wyshynski regarding the successful offseason for Steve Yzerman?