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Walman Deal Preview of Coming Red Wings Attractions?

Detroit moves defenseman to Sharks for future considerations



Jake Walman, Red Wings
The Red Wings have traded Jake Walman and a second round pick to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations.

The sudden and surprising deal made by the Detroit Red Wings to ship defenseman Jake Walman to the San Jose Sharks along with a second-round draft pick for basically nothing has the hockey world abuzz.

Clearly, Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman must have another move up his sleeve.

Immediately ridding himself of Walman’s $3.4-million salary cap hit was so vital to Yzerman that he was opting to sweeten the package with the 53rd overall selection of the 2024 NHL entry draft. And all the Red Wings are getting in return is the proverbial future considerations.

In reality, it’s more likely the future of the Red Wings that Yzerman has in mind behind the machinations of this trade. It’s obvious he was in a dire need to clear up some cap space ASAP.

So what could the next step be?

Well, Yzerman’s made no secret of his desire to retain defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. He’s about to become an unrestricted free agent on Monday, meaning Detroit has less than a week to get his name on a new pact before the other 31 NHL teams will be free and clear to do likewise.

Suddenly, Yzerman has $32 million in available salary cap space. Even if it ends up costing him a combined $16 million to get restricted free agents Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider to agree to new pacts, he’ll still have $16 million in wiggle room. That’s more than enough to sign Gostisbehere. He might even be able now to pursue a UFA forward – either one of his own such as David Perron or Patrick Kane, or perhaps someone about to become available on July 1, such as Jonathan Marchessault, or even Steven Stamkos.

Walman Fell Out Of Favor With Red Wings

In the second half of last season, Walman’s stock with the Red Wings was certainly dropping. He was no longer skating in the top pairing with Seider. As Detroit was battling down the stretch for a playoff spot, Walman was often a healthy scratch.

“Ben Chiarot went up with Seider and played with Mo, and they were pretty effective down the stretch,” Yzerman explained. “Jake was battling a muscle injury and he was playing and he was struggling with that and finally came out.

“We had the fortune of having what we considered eight NHL defensemen. And unfortunately, when everybody’s healthy, somebody’s sitting out. And that’s kind of what happened down the stretch for Jake.