Steve Yzerman reportedly interested in an old friend

Was yesterday's trade of Jake Walman a preview of a major acquisition?



The Detroit Red Wings have already been active in the days leading up to the 2024 NHL Draft, confusing many fans by trading away the well-liked Jake Walman to the San Jose Sharks along with a 2nd round draft selection (that they had just acquired hours earlier in a minor deal with Nashville) that cleared up $3.4 million worth of cap space. 

While there remains franchise cornerstones Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider to re-sign along with consideration being given to the likes of Patrick Kane, Shayne Gostisbehere and David Perron, the speculation is that Yzerman could have been clearing the decks for a much larger acquisition via free agency or trade.

One particularly notable name that is set to hit the open market is someone already very familiar with Yzerman (and current Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde). Tampa Bay Lightning Steven Stamkos made no secret about his being displeased over the fact that he didn't enter this most recent season with a new contract extension already worked out, and all signed point to his tenure with the only NHL club he's ever known coming to an end. 

According to TSN's Chris Johnston, the Walman trade by Detroit could have been made with the goal of targeting Stamkos in free agency, which opens this coming Monday. He said the following on the latest episode of "Insider Trading":

"One I would keep an eye on is the Detroit Red Wings who have freed up money with the Jake Walman trade they made this week, the belief is they are one of the ones lining up to take a run at #91 if he hits the open market"

It was Yzerman who signed Stamkos to the contract which expires on Monday afternoon back during their days together with the Lightning, and he could be enticed to join a young squad on the rise with his old boss at the helm. 

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Source: Twitter