Pop quiz, hot shot

Sports Illustrated’s hockey staff compiled a list of pressing off-season questions for each and every one of the NHL’s 31 teams. As the Red Wings prepare for free agency, SI’s staff suggests that Steve Yzerman’s free agency and summer trade season plans serve as the Wings‘ biggest unknown:

Detroit Red Wings: What will Steve Yzerman do? 

Back in Detroit, Yzerman has the keys to the team that Ken Holland built. Yzerman made his first mark on the rebuild at the draft, selecting German defenseman Moritz Seider earlier than anyone anticipated. The undertaking is similar to his time in Tampa Bay: Find the pieces to supplement the team’s core. Yzerman is stocked with nine picks in the first three rounds of the 2020 and 2021 drafts. Bonfide No. 1 center Dylan Larkin headlines a forward group flush with talent, including Andreas Athanasiou, Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi. The defense, though, is shaky at best and needs some attention.

I’m just not sure whether the Red Wings need to address their defense via free agency. If they’re not going the “veteran route” (think Dion Phaneuf or Anton Stralman), the names out there (per CapFriendly) are going to be Joel Edmunson, Ben Hutton, Jake Gardiner, Patrik Nemeth, Joe Morrow or Ben Chariot (among others).

Aside from Gardiner, the long story shot for the 20-somethings is that they’ve either got a limited offensive upside or they have to answer serious questions about their consistency and form.

We’ll see what the Yzerplan is for both the Red Wings and Griffins over the course of the next 7 days. I am hoping that Yzerman sits on the sidelines and allows as much of that $12 million in cap space to sit fallow as possible, but that’s just me.

Dear GM Steve,

Please let this be your Monday.


George pic.twitter.com/WUZcRSwarc— George Malik (@georgemalik) June 30, 2019

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

5 thoughts on “Pop quiz, hot shot”

  1. George you keep going on about doing nothing with the cap space, which implies that guys like Cholowski or Rasmussen or Zadina are on the roster. Not only is that bad for their long-term development, but it’s also poor asset management. Using the cap space to sign a couple veterans to a 1-year deal that can be flipped at the deadline just gives us extra picks for free. Not sure why you are so strongly against that when this roster isn’t ready to compete for anything.

    1. In a simple world, what you say can make sense. There is, however, a need to have open roster spots for asset development—too many 1-year veterans might mess that up.
      Regardless, it’s all a balancing act and SY is driving.

      1. Do you realize if we pencil in De La Rose, Hirose and Ehn…then that’s still only 11 forwards. So you need 3 more. So there is Rasmussen, Svech, Zadina, Veleno, – none of whom are ready. Then who – Kuffner, Pope? It’s healthy to leave 1 spot up for grabs, but not 3. So George can go on and on about not signing any free agents but it is the smart move. Yzerman isn’t stupid.

  2. I think the post said don’t do much if anything on Monday and leave “as much as possible” of the 12 million available.

    How many really cheap veterans who will settle for one year deals and might be ok with being flipped are going to be signed on the first day of free agency?

    Why is there any rush?

    Why wouldn’t Yzerman wait and find a bargain? Doing so is not mutually exclusive with finding a vet at most two, once the overpayments and bidding wars have stopped.

    Second, we are seeing almost every day how much of a superior asset legit cap space is when it comes to team who badly need to shed contracts. That’s not a better asset than the 4th round pick a veteran might fetch if they have a solid season and are healthy at the deadline?

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