Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman kept the rabbit in his hat for this trade deadline day.
There was no magic. No surprise deal like Anthony Mantha for Jakub Vrana and draft picks. But Yzerman turned in his usual solid performance. He moved potential unrestricted free agents Troy Stecher, Nick Leddy and Vladislav Namestnikov. His compensation: a second-round pick, a fourth, a seventh, plus center Oskar Sundqvist and defenseman Jake Walman.
“It’s very misconstrued that I’m up to something,” Yzerman said. “I’m really not. As you know I prefer to keep things quiet to myself. I’m not trying to do the unexpected, I’m not trying to outsmart people or trick people, or anything like that. I just don’t believe a lot of things need to be shared.”
Yzerman said he never came close to moving anyone on his roster, except the players whose contracts expire this summer.
With the deals he did make, Yzerman added more draft picks and he added more size to his team with Sundqvist and Walman.
“The free agents (who) garnered interest were the ones we expected,” Yzerman said. “Unfortunately, a couple of our UFAs were also injured. Teams trying to make the playoffs usually aren’t looking at that… It kind of went for the most part as expected.”
Went as Expected
The Red Wings made the Stecher deal on Sunday and landed the seventh round pick. He picked up the fourth for Vladislav Namestnikov. Then, he landed players and a second in the deal for Leddy.
It’s seemed possible that veteran defenseman Marc Staal might move. But it didn’t happen.
Coming into trade deadline there was speculation that teams with cap space would be asked to take on a salary in exchange for assets. Yzerman’s buddy Pat Verbeek, now Anaheim’s general manager, made that kind of deal, taking on Evgenii Dadonov’s $5 million contract in a deal that netted him a second-round draft pick. Vegas took back defenseman John Moore and Ryan Kesler’s contract. He is on long-term IR.
“We talked about that with a couple of different teams on simply just the pass-through trades,” Yzerman said. “I’m not sure if any of those went down. There was some discussion on trades where you’re taking on a contact. ”
“You weigh when you’re taking on a contract what you’re getting with that contract. Then what it does to your cap and your team the following season. As a result, we had to be real careful,” he added. “The ones like we did last year — I think we got a fourth round pick from Tampa to take a little bit of cash. That was an easy one. We’re just there to facilitate. It doesn’t hamstring us in the future. We did have the cap space, we did have the cash available. There were a couple this year. Teams reached out to see if we’d be interested. We were. Ultimately, we weren’t needed.”