Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman was asked questions regarding multiple topics during his Dylan Larkin-related press conference, and the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan noted that Yzerman had this to say about his expectations for his team for the upcoming season:
“As simple as I can put it, I’m just looking for improvement,” Yzerman said.
The Red Wings had the NHL’s worst record last season and struggled mightily all season. So Yzerman, during this long, pandemic-driven offseason, went to work acquiring or signing veteran free agents to short-term deals, to improve the roster and enable young players to continue maturing.
It’s the young players Yzerman will keep a specific eye on.
“As a team, we want to be better,” Yzerman said. “Certainly we’re expecting our younger players to be improved. They’re a year more mature and experienced and hopefully stronger and explosive and a little better conditioned. Again, we just to see improvement. We’re trying to progress and if we can be better in every area, I don’t know what our point total will be or where we’ll finish in the standings, but throughout the whole organization we’re looking at improvement.”
And that doesn’t necessary mean, Yzerman said, just the Wings’ NHL roster. But also prospects and draft picks just starting out in the Wings organization.
“What people see, the fans, are the Detroit Red Wings on the ice, and we want that group to be better,” Yzerman said. “But we’re hoping our kids in the minors are getting better, we’re hoping everyone gets better, as we inch closer and we become more competitive. Regardless of whether they’re in Detroit or Grand Rapids, or wherever they’re playing, I want see us be a little better and have more optimism we’re getting closer by the end of the season.”