Top NHL contenders are looking for players to help them down the stretch and Detroit GM Steve Yzerman has his eyes out for defensemen who can help him next season and beyond.
Sources say Yzerman has talked to rival general managers about veteran defensemen with term left on their contracts. Detroit Hockey Now reported Yzerman talked to the Arizona Coyotes about Jakob Chychrun. But the asking price was too high.
It makes sense for Yzerman to explore the long-term defense options because it is likely Nick Leddy, Danny Dekeyser and Troy Stecher won’t be back next season. And Marc Staal may not be back. Even if the Red Wings expect Simon Edvinsson to make the NHL next season, they will need two or three new defensemen. The Red Wings have quality prospects, but they presumably need more time to develop.
The revamp of the defense may have started Sunday when the Red Wings claimed Olli Joulevi. The Red Wings can watch him for the rest of the season to see if he fits into their rebuild.
Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry, son of former Detroit Tigers player and current broadcaster Dan Petry, is available. But he is 34. Therefore, he probably isn’t on Detroit’s wish list. Vancouver’s Tyler Myers is another defenseman that could be dealt. But he is 32. Yzerman is likely looking for an experienced defenseman in his prime.
The Red Wings will want to be significantly improved next season on the blue. It’s possible he could start maneuvering before the March 21 trade deadline, although it is more likely he will make his moves this summer. The Red Wings could also look at the free agent market, at someone like Hampus Lindholm, 27, if new GM Pat Verbeek doesn’t get him signed in Anaheim.
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Who’s hot: Robby Fabbri is on a pace for his best NHL season. With 16 goals, he’s two short of his career high.
Who’s not: Michael Rasmussen has 21 minus games this season, including 11 when he was -2 or worse.
Fact check: The Red Wings sit 27th in team save percentage at .901. The teams below them are Arizona, Chicago, Montreal, New Jersey and Seattle.
Chicago: Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons reports one source told him Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has told his team he won’t waive his no-movement clause before the March 21 Trade Deadline. Simmons also reported that another source told him Fleury will be dealt: Bottom line: Situation is confusing.
Philadelphia: Sam Carchidi of Hockey Now reports that the Florida Panthers’ interest in Claude Giroux is growing.
21. Marc-Andre Fleury
• 509 Wins
• 3x Stanley Cup Champion
• 1x Vezina Trophy
• 1x Jennings Trophy
• 1x All-NHL Second Team
• 1x NHL Shutouts Leader
• 1x Olympic Champion
• 3rd Winningest Goalie of All-Time pic.twitter.com/2nyqdAJLbY
— TOP 50 NHL GOALIES (Posting 3/day) (@NHLBESTGOALIES) March 7, 2022
Around the NHL
Boston: Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty lays out the reasons for optimism about the Boston Bruins.
Toronto: Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun has a source telling him that Chicago Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has told the Blackhawks he won’t waive his no-movement clause before the NHL Trade Deadline.
New York: Coach Barry Trotz said don’t be impatient with young New York Islanders player Oliver Wahlstrom.
New York: Hall of Fame writer Larry Brooks used his New York Post column to criticize Alex Ovechkin’s support of Russian leader Vladimir Putin . Brooks also took aim at those who are giving Ovechkin a free pass.
Pittsburgh: A look at Kasperi Kapanen’s struggles on the ice.
Vancouver: Sizing up the Vancouver Canucks playoff chances.