The Athletic’s Dayal, Bultman discuss how the Red Wings should navigate their rebuilding effort

The Athletic’s Harman Dayal and Max Bultman filed a rather complicated collaboration this morning, discussing how the Red Wings ought to avoid becoming the next Vancouver Canucks team as the Wings navigate the turbulent waters of a difficult rebuilding effort:

The lesson Detroit can take from the Canucks is mostly about timing. There is a time for teams to dangle first-round picks. There’s even a time to take risks with long-term contracts for older players. But those risks need to be well-calculated, and part of that calculation has to be maximizing the chances of truly taking advantage of the early years of such a contract.

In Vancouver’s case, the [J.T.] Miller deal clearly worked out, and the Canucks deserve credit for it. But giving up the chance to draft a player like [Dylan] Guenther partly in order escape three cap anchors in the final year of their deals this past summer does not, in hindsight, look like a well-timed push — even with [Conor] Garland and [Oliver] Ekman-Larsson playing big roles for the Canucks.

And of course, the pressure on Vancouver’s management team didn’t help matters there — another difference from Detroit’s situation, at least for now. Clearly, Jim Benning and his staff could not afford to wait much longer for success to arrive. Steve Yzerman does not appear to be on any kind of clock. But at some point, he, too, will face some form of pressure.

Maybe that cleaner cap sheet now will allow him a bit more buffer to take swings when that pressure arrives. Maybe the Red Wings’ deep prospect cupboard will produce a hidden gem or two — one of the ways he managed to assemble a powerhouse in Tampa Bay. Maybe Detroit’s players make it crystal clear when it’s time to go all-in.

But most likely, Detroit is going to have to carefully weigh the timing of every big move it considers in the coming two years.

Continued (paywall)

Published by

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.