Every Detroit Red Wings fan had their eyes focused on social media, TSN, or ESPN to see if Yzerman could pull off a trade this year that would directly impact the team. Yzerman did not disappoint as he was able to reach a deal with the Washington Capitals. He sent the 6’ 5” scoring forward Anthony Mantha to the Capitals for two players and two draft picks. Yzerman played with our heart strings with his first couple moves of the trade deadline including Patrik Nemeth and John Merril to Colorado Avalanche and the Montreal Canadiens. Steve Yzerman now has 22 picks in the next two years, 12 being in the upcoming 2021 draft. He continues to accumulate picks and players who may have a future with the Wings.
Anthony Mantha is no longer a Detroit Red Wing. I wish the very best for Mantha. It’s good for him that he will get a chance to play for a playoff contender. The Wings unfortunately have not made the postseason since Mantha made his debut for the team back in 2016-2017. He could really turn his season around playing with the likes of Backstrom and Kuznetsov. Mantha is under contract until the 2023-24 season at 5.7million a year. Steve Yzerman was able to trade Mantha to the Washington Capitals for Jakub Vrana, Richard Panik, a 2021 1st round pick and a 2022 2nd round pick. The amount of assets that Yzerman acquired in this trade was incredible. We will soon see what Vrana and Panik can do for the team, they are expected to dress for Thursday’s contest against Chicago.
John Merril was a top defenseman for the team before he was shipped to the Montreal Canadiens for a 5th rounder and Hayden Verbeek. This last name should sound familiar to Red Wings fans, as his uncle is Pat Verbeek, a one time Red Wing player and current Assistant General Manager of the team. I would have liked to see more for Merril but with his current contract he essentially is a rental for the Canadiens. Not much is known about Hayden besides he played in the ECHL and the AHL the last few seasons, as well as a loan overseas in Slovakia. The 23 year old prospect will join the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL where his career for the Red Wings will begin.
A surprise trade that I have to say I didn’t see coming was Brian Lashoff going to the Tampa Bay Lightning as part of a three team trade. The Red Wings were able to get a 2021 4th Round pick for retaining 25% of the biggest piece of the trade, David Savard, who ended up with Tampa Bay from Columbus. Lashoff never took off for the Wings when he had his time in the NHL. He played 75 games in the 2013-14 plus 5 playoff games, he would never play that amount of games again for the team and has only played nine games in the last 2 seasons.
Patrick Nemeth was sent to the Colorado Avalanche in return for a 2022 4th round pick. The two former #19’s were able to work out a deal. Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman famously battled as their respective teams captains during the heated rivalry years of the late 90’s between the teams. This will actually be Nemeth’s 2nd stint with the Avalanche as he was with the team from 2017 to 2019. He was able to tally 25 points in 144 games played.
Yzerman has accumulated an extra 7 picks for the Red Wings in the next upcoming two drafts. He has gained this draft capital by way of trade and weaponizing the cap space. Yzerman already shocked many scouts and critics with his pick of Moritz Seider at #6 overall in 2019. “Mo” has turned into one of the most talented prospects in the league. Seider currently is playing in the SHL playoffs for his team Rogle BK and currently is +4 through two games. The stockpile of picks Yzerman has piled up has this writer excited about what he does next.