Detroit Red Wings Trade Klim Kostin to San Jose Sharks

Photo via NHL.com

The Detroit Red Wings made only one small move prior to the trade deadline on March eighth. Klim Kostin was traded to the San Jose Sharks for Radim Simek. Kostin signed a two-year $4 million contract with the Red Wings on July 1st. Kostin scored three goals and added one assist in 33 games played for the Red Wings this season. Šimek, who has dealt with injuries recently, is a 31-year-old defenseman who shoots left and played in 40 games for the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL this season, scoring four goals and adding 12 assists.

Yzerman did have reservations regarding trading Kostin. “I had mixed emotions on trading him. We couldn’t afford to have a $2 million forward not in the lineup next season.” The reality of the situation is that Kostin did not play well enough with the Red Wings to justify Yzerman keeping him on the roster. The Red Wings are not on the level of the other top teams in the NHL at this point in the eyes of Yzerman.

“We like the depth we have within the organization…We’re going to do everything we can from this point forward on with our players to try to win games and make the playoffs,” general manager Steve Yzerman said. The Grand Rapids Griffins recently had an 18-game home point streak snapped. The Griffins were 13-0-3-2 from January 13th to March second. Jonatan Berggren will not be in the lineup for the Griffins tonight and this may signal that a move to Detroit is upcoming.

This singular move contrasts with the number of trades that Yzerman made going into the trade deadline one year ago. The Red Wings were in a similar position regarding the playoffs prior to losing a pair of games to the Ottawa Senators last season. The Tkachuck brothers played a significant role in not only the two games that spelled doom for the 2022-23 Detroit Red Wings but also the second of three straight losses leading into the 2023-24 trade deadline, this time to the Florida Panthers.

For the first time with Yzerman as general manager, the Red Wings stood pat at the trade deadline. The first few years of the “Yzerplan” were spent acquiring assets that were used to reshape the Red Wings’ roster. The fact remains that if the Red Wings can make it into the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in eight seasons, the team is probably not ready to advance past the first round. That is not to say that the roster would not benefit from such an accomplishment.

The Red Wings lost their last three games prior to the trade deadline, which could have caused Yzerman to change course once again. Dylan Larkin’s injury against the Florida Panthers could have been even more reason to look to add a player at the trade deadline, but Yzerman did not want to look back at the end of the regular season and think about what he had done at the deadline and second guess these potential moves. Although Yzerman said that he was close to making a move to acquire a forward.

I previously wrote that this was a warning sign going into this year’s trade deadline. The lack of pushback could have signaled to Yzerman that he needed to add a player that made the Red Wings more difficult to play against. Yzerman said during a press conference after the trade deadline that he liked the way that the Red Wings were playing together and did not want to break up the team just for the sake of making a move.

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