The Detroit Red Wings are one of 31 other teams tonight that will have a player taken from their roster. Just which player that will end up being is the only question remaining when the Seattle Kraken are set to draft their team tonight at 8pm EST on ESPN 2.
Could Steve Yzerman possibly make deals to help teams? The roster freeze ends at 1pm tomorrow and it could bring an onslaught of deals as teams ponder their next move with the draft approaching.
Hanging over all of this is the news that Jonathan Bernier will be testing free agency, leaving a hole in Detroit’s goalie tandem should he sign elsewhere.
Which again begs the question–might Yzerman make a deal or a two in order to shore things up? Or, could it be a sign that they could go goalie in the draft after all?
Leave the speculation aside for a moment to key in on the names that could be members of the Seattle Kraken.
Four Red Wings Predicted to be Targeted
The usual four, as covered earlier in the week by Alex are Vladislav Namestnikov, Dennis Cholowski, Troy Stecher, and Evgeny Svechnikov. Stecher is the favorite to be taken by Seattle at this point, and many Red Wings fans are none too pleased about it.
However, a report this morning that has UFA Adam Larsson inking a four-year, $16M deal could shift a potential Stecher selection. Would they go the project route–possibly Svechnikov or Cholowski? Could they take the affordable veteran in Namestnikov, who can be an asset on a team where he’s not being heavily relied upon to fill multiple roles?
Or could they possibly take a pending unrestricted free agent as well–Luke Glendening as an example. The Larsson signing is an interesting wrinkle because it throws off a number of mock draft predictions and shows that Kraken general manager Ron Francis was surveying every possible route he could to make his picks.
Now it becomes even more of a guessing game as to the direction he’ll go with Detroit. Vegas’ selection of Tomas Nosek was surprising back in 2017, and the young forward contributed in the Golden Knights’ inaugural season, netting the first franchise goal on home ice. He chipped in six points (4-2) in the playoff run, too.
As more news leaks out, maybe it will be a similar circumstance–taking the younger player instead of a veteran.
Expansion Draft Kicks off the Roster Reshaping
There’s no question that whoever is taken, the roster will again look different for the 2021-22 season. The news of Bernier seeking opportunities elsewhere means that Yzerman will have to bring a new netminder into the fold. Additionally, the Nick Leddy trade signaled a different approach than expected. Fans dream now of a Leddy-Moritz Seider pairing which could stabilize what has been a major weakness over the past few seasons.
Yzerman isn’t expected to go crazy in free agency, and there’s always that potential for a trade or two. It will be nice to see some movement because it’s been an awful long time since we’ve had a substantial amount of Red Wings related news.
The first domino will fall tonight and then the answers will come all the way through next Wednesday when free agency opens.