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Red Wings trade Walman, draft pick to Sharks

Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about a strange turn of events…

Shortly after shipping off defenseman Andrew Gibson to Nashville in exchange for Tampa’s 2024 2nd round pick and a prospect, Detroit announced they are trading defenseman Jake Walman and the same draft pick they just acquired in exchange for future considerations:

We know that the Wings were going to be in a cap crunch, and a move to help bring relief was likely on the cards, but I don’t think anyone expected them to shed cap like this. Walman, despite his injuries, was Detroit’s second-best defenseman when healthy. I don’t really need to explain it much — he and Seider, as a pair, played the toughest minutes the NHL had to offer last season. Walman, originally acquired from St. Louis, has two years left on his deal at a paltry $3.4 million AAV. Now he’s being shipped off to the west coast in exchange for essentially nothing. The move puts Detroit’s projected cap space around $32.7 million, according to CapFriendly.

I am very curious at the thought process behind this move. Walman was loved by fans, teammates, and presumably coaching. Unless there is huge trade news on the horizon, it’s impossible to make sense out of this move… At least for me.

Bottom Line: There is no way Detroit needed to spend a second-round pick to move Walman. He’s good, and his deal is team-friendly. Lots of questions that need answers right now, but there has to be something else going on here. I have a difficult time believing that Steve Yzerman would do this just for cap relief.

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