Red Wings Free Agency: Yzerman still has work to do

With day one of the NHL’s free agency period in the rear-view mirror now, Red Wings fans are looking back at what was a safe, but smart first day of signings from Steve Yzerman. The second-year GM signed a pair of veterans in forward Bobby Ryan and defenseman Jon Merrill to help bolster a barren roster. Yzerman also inked three depth players in forwards Riley Barber and Kyle Criscuolo, along with goaltender Kevin Boyle. There’s still work to be done, though.

Biggest Need

Goalie. Yzerman needs to get another goalie on this roster to help Jonathan Bernier. Most of the big names came off the board during day one, but there’s still a couple solid candidates out there that shouldn’t demand high term. I’m talking about guys like Corey Crawford, Louis Domingue, and Thomas Greiss. Not exciting, but either one of them could finally help bring some consistency in net. You should be able to get either of them at a good price.

Who knows? Maybe Yzerman gets creative and strikes a trade. There have been some rumors that Detroit is interested in Joonas Korpisalo. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Vegas is also currently carrying $12M in goalies and potentially looking to rid themselves of Marc-Andre Fleury for a price. He’s got a $7M hit for two years and would have to waive a NTC to come here though.

Other needs

I expect them to add another defenseman, and likely another forward. This upcoming season is going to be weird as hell, so they are going to need depth Torey Krug is out there. Tyson Barrie is out there. I’m just saying.

I am still in on the Anthony Duclair hype train. Why he wasn’t instantly signed is shameful. That would be a smart add to an already young set of wingers. I think he’d mesh well in the top-six.

In general, the theme from Steve Yzerman has been to shore up depth without locking the team in on term. The Wings have spots to earn and kids to earn them while the team looks for its future identity. There’s still potential for signings and trades while the league figures out its strategy to hit the January 1st season opener planned and the biggest questions remain the signings of RFAs Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha (not to mention Dmytro Timashov).

Stay tuned as we head into day two of free agency.