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Red Wings Yzerman Talks About The One That Got Away

Detroit was bidding for an A-lister among NHL UFAs



Detroit Red Wings Steve Yzerman will be a busy GM over the next couple of weeks
Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman indicated that they were briefly in the bidding for one of the NHL's A-list UFAs.

Much like a forelorn fisherman, Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman was lamenting the one that got away.

Yzerman gave indications that the club was in on one of the A-list unrestricted free agents. It was among the players who were changing teams quickly after the noon ET deadline arrived on July 1. The interest was brief, but it was there nonetheless.

“We had some interest in one that we thought might be a fit,” Yzerman admitted. “You know these things got to happen really quickly.

“And we decided very quickly that it’s going to be really some major surgery here to try and get it done and and we didn’t want to waste everybody’s time in really getting there.”

Who Was Player That Red Wings Wanted?

Naturally, Yzerman wasn’t about to go all in and put all his cards on the table. He wasn’t going to reveal the name of the player the made a bid to sign as a UFA.

However, doing the math, and knowing that it was one of the players who signed quickly, a very likely educated guess would be that it was Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos.

Look at the players who were moving to new teams the earliest. Among that Stamkos is the one who would make the most sense to be of interest to the Red Wings. He would’ve fit into their need for a top-six forward who could provide scoring. He would also be a presence on the power play.

As well, Yzerman holds a history with Stamkos from their time together with the Lightning. And Yzerman has stressed in the past how he tends to lean toward people he’s familiar with when making key personnel decisions.

Whoever, the player was, it was becoming apparent that there was no fit with the Red Wings salary structure. It was leaving Yzerman with no choice but to be rapidly pivoting to Plan B.

“So there was one player we thought might have been a real good fit,” Yzerman was again explaining. “But it was gonna be a challenge to get it done. And the concern on that day on July 1 is everybody’s gone if you don’t kind of go down a certain road.

“So we had to adjust what we decided, which way we really wanted to go here, and chose the path we did take.”