Steve Yzerman addresses pressure to make postseason

Will Detroit's drought end in 2025?



It goes without saying that the Detroit Red Wings have not qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2016, and fans are starting to get a bit restless. 

While it can't be denied that the team has improved their point total every season since Yzerman took over what was truly one of the most challenging rebuilding projects in recent memory thanks to the mess that former GM Ken Holland left him, the fact that Detroit blew what was a nine-point lead from the cutoff point at the end of February of this past season and once again missed the postseason can't be ignored. 

The Red Wings have already lost several players from last season's roster, as free agents David Perron (Ottawa), Shayne Gostisbehere (Carolina), and James Reimer (Buffalo) have all moved on via free agency. Additionally, Daniel Sprong isn't expected to be back. The Red Wings also traded defenseman Jake Walman to San Jose, while sending Robby Fabbri to Anaheim for a goaltending prospect. 

However, Detroit did re-sign future Hall of Fame forward Patrick Kane while also inking two-time Stanley Cup winner Vladimir Tarasenko to a two-year deal, while also securing veteran goaltender Cam Talbot and defenseman Erik Gustafsson.

The question remains - is the roster as currently constructed good enough to finally bring an end to the postseason drought? Fans may not like Yzerman's answer, which was non-committal. 

"I don't think its any different than I felt last year, I think we're in with that group of teams that has a chance to compete for the playoffs," Yzerman said when asked about the chances of playing beyond the regular season in 2024-25. "If we stay healthy and our goaltending is good, and get some unexpected - I don't want to say production, but if some players outplay your expectation, we might get in. Or you might just miss by a point on the last game of the season, that's the fine point of it all." 

The core part that had a big impact last year will remain the same, and if anything, that should be better. If Lucas Raymond continues on the same trajectory that he finished last season, he's a legit impact player. We'll have Patrick Kane for an entire season ,and hopefully we can build on the momentum, all of our guys, that they built throughout the season."

Yzerman then reiterated that he's not going to change his approach in his rebuilding process.

“Pressure, I guess whatever you want to call it — it's not going to change what I'm trying to do,” Yzerman said. “It's the right way to do it. And it's taken some time, and I can’t tell you it's five years, seven years, 10 years, (but) I'm just gonna stick with it here and we'll keep going. But we would all love to win.”

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Source: YouTube