The Red Wings have a glut of cap space to fill, so in this deal, they soak up a chunk of cap for the New York Rangers, and in return, the Rangers give up a future 2nd round draft pick. Detroit is a team in the thick of a rebuild, and Steve Yzerman is clearly in the mindset of acquiring as many draft picks as possible. It’s still unclear what moves he’ll make in free agency, but it’s been a busy day for the Red Wings GM, earlier Saturday he signed Sam Ganger to a one-year contract extension and signed Turner Elson for another year.
Nick Cotsonika’s report providing a little context to the trade late Saturday night:
Yzerman said the Staal trade accomplishes a couple things. The Red Wings are looking for future assets as part of their rebuild, but they're also trying to be competitive and improve. They get a second-round pick, and Staal plugs a hole.— Nick Cotsonika (@cotsonika) September 26, 2020
This plays a significant contrast with Max Bultan’s reporting, which signals that Jonathan Ericsson and Trevor Daley will not return:
Yzerman confirms the team is not bringing back Daley or Ericsson— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) September 26, 2020
It’s not clear right now as I type this, but if I were a betting man, it’s possible that Staal suits up for the Red Wings this season. Whether you like it or not, they got a free draft pick out of it. Yzerman is clearly playing the long game with this move.