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Detroit Red Wings

Yzerman Explains Rationale Behind Walman Deal



Jake Walman, Red Wings

There’s been much consternation within the Detroit Red Wings fan base over the move GM Steve Yzerman made earlier this week to deal defenseman Jake Walman to the San Jose Sharks.

Some are upset about Walman’s departure. Most are angered by the fact that Yzerman was also including a 2023 second-round draft  pick (53rd overall) in order to send Walman on his way to San Jose.

Friday, Yzerman took the time to explain his rationale behind this move.

He was in desperate need to shed a contract from his roster. Yzerman is in need of cap space in order to do what he wants to get done to reshape the club’s roster for next season.

He must re-sign restricted free agents Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider. That could end up costing him north of $17 million. As well, Yzerman is hopeful of keeping some of his own pending UFAs. At the top of that list is certainly defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. A new deal for David Perron might also be in the works.

He’d also like to free up some money to be able to take a run at UFAs like Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Marchessault, or Sam Reinhart.

Finding ways to be making this all happen is much easier talking about than it is doing.

“It’s really difficult to move money right now,” Yzerman said. “And I’ve tried. Honestly I’ve tried.

“We needed to move at least one contract to do some of the things we gotta do. Unfortunately, that (second-round pick) was the price to do it.”

Yzerman Didn’t Want To Trade Gibson

Also paying the price in this myriad of transactions was defense prospect Andrew Gibson. The Red Wings would ship the 2023 second-round pick to the Nashville Predators. In return, they got that 53rd overall pick that went to the Sharks, as well as Finnish forward propsect Jesse Kiiskinen.

Again, given his druthers, this was not a move that Yzerman was looking to prioritize.

“I didn’t really want to trade Andrew Gibson but we were able to recoup a prospect and get a pick that we used to move out a contract,” Yzerman said. “We were able to acquire in a trade with Nashville a similar same-level prospect, at least on our board, for Andrew Gibson in Jesse Kiiskinen.”

If all of this ends up shaking out with the Red Wings being able to keep Gostisbehere and get an additional UFA like Stamkos, then Red Wings fans might be singing a different tone.

However, if that’s not the case and Yzerman ends up empty-handed, all of his moves will have gone for naught. And the faithful will have a right to be miffed.