Steve Yzerman Clearing Cap, For What?

Photo: Winging It In Motown

The Detroit Red Wings are in the market for another goalie, according to a recent press conference given by general manager Steve Yzerman. This is despite the team needing to use three goalies during the 2023-24 NHL season, a season that ended with the team being eliminated from playoff contention on the final day of the season. Yzerman made it known during his press conference that he wanted to bring in a goalie who was willing to sign a contract extension with the Red Wings.

With the recent rise in the NHL’s salary cap to $88 million, the Red Wings have $31.9 million in salary cap space to bring in another goalie, per Puckpedia. Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond are the two most important restricted free agents that need to be re-signed by Yzerman during the 2024 offseason. Once these dominoes fall, the Red Wings’ front office can focus on finding a goalie in free agency. However, this might not be the only move made by the Red Wings during free agency.

Yzerman must have had moves in mind as he made two trades that cleared a logjam that the Red Wings had on defense as well as creating more salary cap space. The Red Wings traded defenseman Jake Walman and a second-round pick to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations. This leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the Red Wings’ defensive corps. The team does have one of the deepest prospect pools in the minor leagues.

The fact that Walman fell out of favor with the coaching staff during the 2023-24 season was the reason that the staff was willing to part ways with the 28-year-old who has had a history of injuries. The latest of these injuries to Walman’s shoulder allowed Simon Edvinsson to move up from Grand Rapids and play well for the Red Wings. Walman finished the season moving down the Red Wings’ defensive corps after starting it paired with Seider.

Starting goaltender Ville Husso went out of the Red Wings’ lineup with a lower body injury against Anaheim Ducks on December 18th. Husso was acquired from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for the 73rd overall pick in the 2022 NHL entry draft. Defenseman Aleksanteri Kasimäki was drafted by the Blues with this draft pick. Kasimäki played 48 games for HIFK of the Finnish Liiga, scoring 10 goals and adding seven assists.

The Red Wings have seemingly solved their goalie situation several times since Yzerman became general manager in April 2019. The most consequential of these moves was trading the 234d pick in the 2021 NHL entry draft along with the number 48 and 138 pick to the Dallas Stars in exchange for the number 15 overall pick to draft Sebastian Cossa of the Edmonton Oil Kings. Cossa had a record of 22-9-9 for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL in 40 games played with a 2.41 goals against average and a .913 save percentage.

One goalie who will not be joining the Red Wings’ roster is Linus Ullmark. The Boston Bruins traded Ullmark to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for forward Mark Kastelic, goalie Joonas Korpisalo, and a first-round draft pick in 2024. The Senators will retain 25% of Korpisalo’s salary as part of this trade. Ullmark was part of the best goaltending tandem in the NHL alongside Jeremy Swayman. Ullmark had a record of 22-10-7 in 40 games played for the Bruins during the 2023-24 NHL season with a 2.57 goals-against average and a save percentage of 0.915.

That this trade happened during the Stanley Cup final, let alone game seven, is strange, to say the least. Every other sports league makes it a rule, whether spoken or unspoken, that no trades should happen during their championship game or series. This is to not take away any attention from the centerpiece event of the sport. Unfortunately, no one told Bruins’ general manager, Don Sweeney.

Perhaps Yzerman has more moves in mind as the NHL draft approaches. The Red Wings have the 15th overall pick in the first round as well as one draft pick in rounds two through six. Additionally, the Red Wings have two draft picks in the seventh round. The pressure is on Yzerman to get the Red Wings back to the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

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