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Opinion: There has to be more coming from Stevie Y, right?

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2019 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

So before I go into my main point of the article, I’m just going to warn everyone now this isn’t a fluff piece worshipping Yzerman. In fact, it is kind of the opposite. However, I’m also not going to sit here and pretend like I know more than Yzerman, or that I’m not happy as hell for Stevie Y to be here. I more so just want bring everyone down a bit from “holy *bleep* Stevie Y is back, everything is awesome!” to being okay to questioning some of his moves so far. I still believe he’s the smartest man in hockey, which is why I’m not sitting here and blasting him, it’s more so me just thinking out loud about what could be next.

Let me start with this comparison first to show more of what I am talking about. These are two different scenarios I wanted to give the ol’ blind resume.

Scenario A

-Drafted in Top 10; Selected player who was a projected mid-1st pick.
-Signed 33-year-old, 3 year deal, to be an every day player and 27-year-old, 2 year deal, to compete for spot in the every day lineup.
-Signings forced a top prospect not to make team out of camp.
-Signed 1st round pick to three-year entry-level contract.
-No trades made.

Scenario B

-Drafted in Top 10; Selected player who was a projected mid-1st pick.
-Signed 35-year-old, 2 year deal, to be an every day player and 27-year-old, 2 year deal, to compete for a spot in the every day lineup.
-Signings likely force two top prospects to not make team out of camp.
-Signed 1st round pick to three-year entry-level contract.
-No trades made.

Well, what do you think?

Scenario A was the Red Wings in 2017 (under Ken Holland) when they drafted Michael Rasmussen and signed Trevor Daley and Luke Witkowski. The Witkowski signing eventually pushed back Tyler Bertuzzi’s season debut to December.

Scenario B is this year with the drafting of Moritz Seider and signing of Valtteri Filppula and Patrik Nemeth. Now we don’t know for sure, but those two signings very well could prevent Svechnikov, Rasmussen, Zadina, Seider and/or Cholowski from starting with the team right away.

Now hold up, before you go after me in the comments. Let me try and sway your mindset. This team will not be making the playoffs in 2019-20, correct? That’s a very safe assumption. We also don’t know what the opening day lineup will look like yet. I very much doubt Seider will make the team right away. However, the signing of Nemeth pretty much guarantees that now.

The signing of Filppula also increases the chances of both Rasmussen and Zadina not being on the team in October. You know, the two previous Top 10 picks who are supposed to be the future we’re all excited about. I understand without the signing of Filppula, there aren’t a whole lot of reliable veterans up front.

So what’s my point in all of this? I think a trade is coming still, it has to be right? Unless Yzerman truly doesn’t believe the top prospects are ready yet, which I wish he’d come out and say at this point, or he simply wants more competition for the young guys in camp.

Let’s start with the blue line. You have Ericsson, Daley, Nemeth, Green and Dekeyser who are essentially locks next year. My gut is starting to tell me Kronwall will be back now too (he did play 79 games last year). So assuming everyone is healthy come October 5th (I know Green is a question mark), that leaves Bowey, Hronek and Cholowski as the odd men out.

So either Yzerman REALLY doesn’t think the D prospects are ready and is waiting to make deadline/in-season trades on the expiring contracts of Ericsson, Daley and Green, OR he pulled a Ken Holland and squeezed the prospects out. With Yzerman’s track record, I obviously believe there is something more up his sleeve. I just can’t see us going into the season with the average age of our defense being 33.

As for the forwards, the Filppula signing has grown on me the last couple of weeks, because the Wings still have some room up front. However, if we somehow see Ehn and De La Rose make the team over Zadina, Svechnikov and Ramussen, I’m going to start having issues.

I like to think Hirose is more of a lock than Kuffner, but I also want both of them in the lineup right away to see what they really have to give in the long run. I also think we could see a trade here at some point. To me, Helm and LGD are the most expendable, but I also could see Svechnikov possibly being moved since it seems like several prospects have jumped him in the system.

I’m not trying to make this article a whole bunch of speculation, that’s beside the point. I’m just trying to look at the roster we have right now, while trying to hide my Yzerman bias, and I am left scratching my head.

If you think I’m wrong, if I missed something, if Kronwall won’t be coming back or even if you agree with me, tell me!

I just want to start the discussion because it’s late-July, we have 50+ days to training camp and I think this would be a good place to start. I’m not a big fan of what Yzerman has done. I do, however, think he has a plan. Whether he feels the prospects aren’t quite ready, or he’s getting ready to make a trade, Yzerman knows what to do and I am going to trust him until the very end. However, that doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to question moves we don’t necessarily understand.

LGRW.