Steve Yzerman explains controversial Jake Walman trade.

Steve Yzerman explains controversial Jake Walman trade.

Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman explains a head scratching trade.

Jonathan Larivee

The Detroit Red Wings made a stunning move this week when they sent popular defenseman Jake Walman to the San Jose Sharks along with a second round draft selection, only to receive nothing at all in return.

It seemed like poor asset management on the part of Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman who had himself signed Walman to a 3 year deal in February of 2024, one that carries an average annual value and salary cap hit of $3.4 million per season.

As one might expect, Yzerman was pressed on this topic on Friday night at the National Hockey League's Entry Draft, with Yzerman on and around the draft floor like all of the other general managers in the NHL. Yzerman came prepared with an answer, but interestingly enough he made no mention of Walman himself during his response.

"Well, we were able to, in the trade with Nashville, acquire a same-level prospect, at least on our board for Andrew (Gibson) in Jesse Kiiskinen, and get a second-round pick," began Yzerman.

Following the conclusion of that deal, Yzerman believed that the best use for his additional asset, the second round pick acquired from the Nashville Predators, was as a tool that would enable him to shed salary from the Red Wings salary cap.

"And then it's really difficult to move money right now, and l've tried," admitted Yzerman. "Honestly, I've tried. And needed to move at least one contract to do some of the things we want to do"

That immediately suggests that Yzerman is looking ahead at the bigger picture with another move on the horizon in the mind of the Detroit Red Wings' general manager. Whether or not Yzerman will be able to successfully pull of his plan over the summer remains to be seen but, after several years of missing the playoffs, Red Wings fans are paying more attention to Yzerman's moves than ever before.