There have been some pretty big accusations directed at Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman, accusations made by a controversial figure in the Toronto Sports media journalist Steve Simmons.
Many have openly wondered about why the Detroit Red Wings have yet to flex their salary cap muscle in the form of an offer sheet in order to target players on vulnerable teams, teams like Steve Yzerman's former squad the Tampa Bay Lightning. There are currently players that Yzerman himself drafted, players like Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli, that the Red Wings general manager could almost certainly obtain if he were to sign them to an offer sheet. The Lightning are in a dire cap situation with Cirelli, defenseman Mikhail Sergachev and defenseman Erik Cernak all in need of new contracts and the thought around the league is that they would be unable to match a competitive offer sheet for either Cirelli or Sergachev.
So why hasn't Yzerman pulled the trigger on a trade deal yet? Well according to Simmons it may be due entirely to personal reasons. From Simmons:
The suspicion around is that Yzerman has too much respect for Lightning owner Jeff Vinik, whom he worked with for many years, to move in this direction. Tampa Bay has salary-cap issues, the Red Wings don’t: The timing would be perfect for an offer sheet. Just not so long as there are friendships involved.
I'll defend Yzerman here by saying that there are plenty of legitimate reasons that an offer sheet may not have materialized yet, reasons that have nothing to do with a personal connection to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The first and most obvious is the fact that Cirelli himself may simply not be interested in signing an offer sheet to join a team that was catastrophically bad last season, especially not when you consider the fact that he currently plays for a perennial Stanley Cup favorite at this point in his career.
There's also the possibility that one must consider in regards to compensation for acquiring the player via an offer sheet. Yzerman, who is currently rebuilding the Red Wings roster, may not want to give up a horde of draft picks simply to acquire a talented young player. That's before we even consider the possibility that the Lightning may be forced to make a disadvantageous trade, one that could result in the Red Wings still acquiring the player while giving up less to get him.
It is certainly possible that Yzerman feels some loyalty to the man who first gave him a shot at becoming a general manager in the National Hockey League, but there are other perfectly good reasons why an offer sheet for Cirelli or even Sergachev may not have yet come to pass.