Matisz: Yzerman’s mopping up Ken Holland’s left-over mess

The Score’s John Matisz offers six “Free Agency Thoughts” this morning, and one of his points of emphasis involves the Detroit Red Wings:

Suddenly Sunny in Detroit

While being unveiled as the Detroit Red Wings’ GM last April, Steve Yzerman repeatedly said, “There’s a lot of work to be done.” The 2019-20 season hammered that point home; the Wings lost 54 of 71 games and finished with a stunning minus-122 goal differential.

Conversely, the past couple of weeks have been awfully encouraging for the franchise. First, the Yzerman-built Lightning won the Stanley Cup, which is a confidence booster. A few days later, Detroit received glowing reviews after taking Swedes Lucas Raymond and William Wallinder fourth and 32nd overall, respectively, in a 12-pick showing at the NHL draft.

Yzerman then made some shrewd moves over the weekend, signing middle-six forwards Vladislav Namestnikov (two years, $2 million per season) and Bobby Ryan (one year, $1 million) to beef up the Wings’ attack. The blue line has been reinforced, too, with UFAs Troy Stecher (two years, $1.7 million per season) and Jon Merrill (one year, $925,000) brought into the fold alongside veteran Marc Staal, who Detroit acquired via trade last month.

Toss in new starting goalie Greiss (two years, $3.6 million per season) and re-signed forward Sam Gagner (one year, $850,000), and you have a ton of short-term, low-cost, low-profile pickups. That’s exactly what the Wings need in abundance right now as the franchise evolves from a miserable tanking team to a semi-competitive rebuilding club.

Former GM Ken Holland left Yzerman a mess to clean up – bloated contracts, a lackluster prospect pipeline, no hope – but the ex-captain is starting to leave his mark.


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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.

One thought on “Matisz: Yzerman’s mopping up Ken Holland’s left-over mess”

  1. Better yet, it didn’t take StevieY long to get a roster built for a rebuild. Really an amazing GM

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