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The Daily: Zadina Exit Creates Roster Spot; Kris Draper’s Future

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Red Wings forward Elmer Soderblom

No one in the Detroit organization, GM Steve Yzerman in particular, liked how the Filip Zadina departure unfolded. But the result of the contract termination:  Detroit has roughly $13.5 milion in cap space (according to capfriendly.com).

That figure includes Alex Lyon playing in the American Hockey League. Plus, the Red Wings still have to pay restricted free agent Joe Veleno. AFP Analytics projects Veleno’s salary will be $1.259 million on a two-year deal. It wouldn’t be surprising if Yzerman gave him $1.3 or 1.4 million. Veleno has shown progress.  Zadina was earning an average of $1.8 million per season

But the other factor of the Zadina departure is that it opens up a roster spot. The Red Wings currently have 13 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies for 22 players on the roster.

That could be a spot for Alex DeBrincat. (It should be noted that a DeBrincat deal could include someone off Detroit’s roster.)

If the DeBrincat deal doesn’t come to pass, players such as Elmer Soderblom, or one of the young defensemen, or Marco Kasper could claim it. Also, don’t rule out the Red Wings acquiring another veteran. Yzerman has said he’s still talking to other GMs.

Red Wings Offseason

Kris Draper’s promotion to assistant general manager probably means we will hear his name mentioned in connection to future GM openings, especially as the Red Wings turn the corner to respectability.

It’s not likely to happen soon, although you never know. Draper checks off plenty of boxes as a former player and a director of scouting. Plus, he has an undeniable managerial presence and you would guess he interviews very well.

Here is what Draper said about his ambition to someday be a GM:  “With the direction of where I’m going with my career, it’s something that one day I would love to do. If an organization feels that I’m ready and I’ve put the time in and they understand that, then we’ll see where that goes. The commitment from the Detroit Red Wings is something that means a lot to me. We’ll just see where this goes. For me it’s about being a Detroit Red Wing and getting back to winning. I want the players in this dressing room to go through what I went through as a player. It’s something I’ve never forgotten.”

In Case You Missed It

  • Alexandre Doucet is ready for his next challenge with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
  • Filip Zadina contract termination speaks to how difficult it is to project 18-year-old draft picks.
  • Kris Draper was promoted to assistant general manager, but he will remain in charge of Detroit’s amateur scouting.
  • After an expected slow start at North Dakota, Red Wings draft pick Dylan James finished strong.

Hockey Now Network

Boston: Jimmy Murphy explains that Tyler Bertuzzi never offered the Boston Bruins the option of a one-year contract. That’s the offer he accepted from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Boston Bruins 

Buffalo: Jack Quinn’s injury creates an opportunity for someone else on Buffalo’s roster. Buffalo Sabres.

Chicago: Corey Perry, once very much disliked by Blackhawks fans, is happy to be playing for the Chicago Blackhawks. 

Florida: Spencer Knight has been a granted special permission to come to the Panthers’ Development Camp.  Florida Panthers. 

Los Angeles: At 35, Kings center Anze Kopitar received a two-year extension for $7 AAV. Good decision, considering he’s still playing at an elite level. Los Angeles Kings. 

Montreal: Canadiens prospect defenseman David Reinbacher had an emotional call with his parents after he signed his first NHL contract. You have to watch the video. Montreal Canadiens. 

Philadelphia: Flyers Assistant GM Brent Flahr offers his assessment of the team’s 2023 draft class. Philadelphia Flyers. 

Pittsburgh: With so much going on around the NHL, it’s easy to forget that Kyle Dubas is still looking to hire a general manager to work under him. Also, he apparently is looking at Plan B options for a defenseman if he can’t make an Erik Karlsson trade work.  Pittsburgh Penguins. 

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Washington: The Capitals have already signed 2023 second-round pick Andrew Cristall to an entry level deal. Washington Capitals.

Vegas:  Chris Gawlik offers his thoughts about how good the veteran Vegas defense will be moving forward. Vegas Golden Knights.