NHL.com is posting offseason updates on each and every one of the NHL’s 31 teams, and this morning, NHL.com’s Nicholas J. Cotsonika discusses the Red Wings‘ changes:
The Detroit Red Wings made several changes after they had a .275 points percentage last season (17-49-5), the worst in the NHL since the salary cap was introduced in 2005-06.
“We’re looking to upgrade every aspect of our team,” general manager Steve Yzerman said.
The additions were one- or two-year commitments to players who bring experience: forwards Bobby Ryan and Vladislav Namestnikov; defensemen Jon Merrill, Marc Staal and Troy Stecher; and goalie Thomas Greiss.
The idea was to improve in the short term and maintain flexibility for the medium and long terms. Early in their rebuild, the Red Wings want to buy time for prospects to develop with the NHL salary cap remaining at $81.5 million this season.
“I think we’re just trying to move cautiously,” Yzerman said. “The climate we’re in, with uncertainty with our salary cap in years to come, we just felt like this is a good way to go. We’re prepared to sign players to longer-term contracts, including our own players, but we’re going to just move slowly for the time being and be careful about handing out long-term deals.”