Thanks to Giannis and the Bucks for clinching the NBA Championship, we are officially in the "Dog Days of Summer".
But don't worry! We at least have the NHL Draft tomorrow to discuss/complain about.
As hard as the Red Wings are to watch on the ice, they've at least been consistently interesting off the ice. Thanks in no small part to the savior, Steve Yzerman as General Manager. With the Draft tomorrow, Steve Yzerman met with the media to answer some of our biggest questions.
1. Who will they take?
The pandemic has obviously thrown a massive wrench in just about everything in the world of sports. What been overlooked the most by casual fans is how much scouting was impacted. Yzerman has expressed his concerns over the lack of information on these prospects and doubled down today saying he doesn't know how the draft will play out. If you're really itching to find out who they might take, your best bet is to subscribe to the Athletic or another organization that does mock drafts, but even then you really might not have much luck. The good news, is Yzerman said he'll take the best guy on the board regardless of need. Don't expect a big "reach" from Stevie Y.
2. Will Bertuzzi Re-Sign?
If you're a Bertuzzi fan, the good news is Yzerman plans on getting a deal done with the young star. The bad news, is there's a good chance these two guys will have different figures in their heads. While Bertuzzi was an All-Star a couple years ago, he most recently was out majority of last season with back issues. With injury concerns, is he worth gambling on at this stage in the re-build? Captain Dylan Larkin has expressed the confidence boost Bertuzzi gives the team with his reckless style of hustle on the ice, so it makes sense to retain him if he can stay healthy. However, if someone offers a decent return on him, expect Yzerman to listen.
3. Good Signings?
The big news today was the acquisition of Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic from the Carolina Hurricanes for Jonathan Bernier and a 2021 3rd round pick. He finished last year with a .932 save percentage and was a Calder Trophy finalist. So, in other words, a massive steal. The kid is 25, and the Wings have what they view as their goaltender of the future. Not much more to say than trust the "Yzerplan" on that one.
As for the trade for Nick Leddy, I of course loved the Nick Leddy deal. The concern is that Yzerman let go of a coveted 2nd round pick for him in the process. Is it too much for a 30 yr. old vet? Well, if money was tight, maybe. But, the big idea here is having a good defenseman on the ice that can help develop incoming Moritz Seider. Yzerman emphasized today how important it is to have young guys be surrounded by good, veteran players. Coaches can only do so much at this level, oftentimes it's more important to have that veteran that's going to push you and not put up with your excuses.
Now that the Wings have started drafting/developing Yzerman's picks, it's time to start being competitive in order to further develop these guys. Then, they can start becoming buyers. Before you know it, you'll see the Winged Wheel in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Until then, ya just gotta trust the Yzerplan.