Allen sees few parallels between Tigers and Red Wings’ rebuilding efforts

More than a few sports columnists in the Metro Detroit area have written columns over the past couple of months which compare the rebuilding efforts of the Detroit Tigers, the Detroit Pistons, Detroit Lions, and, of course, the Detroit Red Wings.

Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen believes that the comparisons aren’t apt, and, specifically, the comparisons between the Tigers and the Red Wings run short of Allen’s expectations:

The problem is the Red Wings and Tigers are an apples and oranges comparison.  The Tigers play in a luxury tax league where it is commonplace for ownership to set a budget. The Red Wings are in a salary cap league where the vast majority of teams spend to the cap. To my knowledge, the Ilitch family has not imposed any restrictions on general manager Steve Yzerman’s ability to spend.

If Yzerman wanted to pursue a trade for $10 million Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel, he wouldn’t need special dispensation.

Yzerman’s decision to stay below the salary cap is a strategy, one often employed by rebuilding teams. You maintain salary cap flexibility to take advantage of teams with no flexibility. That’s how landed he landed Nick Leddy and Alex Nedeljkovic this offseason.  That’s why they were in position to land Pius Suter when the Chicago Blackhawks couldn’t fit him into their cap structure.

According to CapFriendly. com, the Red Wings have $25.8 million. However, that number will shrink close to $15 million after signing RFAs Jakub Vrana, Filip Hronek, Adam Erne and Givani Smith.

Yzerman undoubtedly will use that cap space to his advantage during the regular season when other teams are having cap trouble.

Continued (paywall); Allen argues that the lack of blue-chip prospects who are NHL-ready in the Red Wings’ system, combined with a weak free agency class next summer (combined with the salary cap’s spending limitations) all add up to a longer rebuilding timeline for the Wings.

He’s not wrong.

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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.