Detroit — The entire saga surrounding Red Wings forward Filip Zadina may not be over.
Zadina was waived earlier in the week and went unclaimed, after having asked for a trade earlier in the summer, according to general manager Steve Yzerman.
No team was interested in trading for Zadina.
NHL analyst Elliotte Friedman reported Wednesday the Wings are considering placing Zadina on waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract.
Zadina has an average annual value of $1.825 million for the next two seasons but has $4.56 million in actual salary owed him. Friedman reported Zadina is not interested in reporting to Grand Rapids to begin next season, and is prepared to have his contract terminated, thereby enabling him to sign with whichever team he chooses.
“He had asked if he could potentially go somewhere else, looking for more opportunity, a fresh start,” Yzerman said Monday during a press conference. “I’ve tried to find a place for him to play, somebody who is interested in Filip, maybe give him that opportunity. I haven’t been able to do that.
“I don’t have animosity,” Yzerman said of Zadina’s trade request. “Am I thrilled? No, I’m not. Am I happy to put him on waivers? No. I signed him to a three-year contract a year ago because I believed that he was going to grow. He signed that contract, and my expectation is that he wanted to grow with us.
“The reality is that contract may prevent you from getting that opportunity you’re looking for in another organization.”
Terminating the contract would erase that problem for Zadina, who has failed to gain any traction in the Wings’ lineup since being drafted sixth overall in 2018.
Team Osaer, featuring Axel Sandin Pellikka, Amadeus Lombardi and Shai Buium, won the 3-on-3 title Wednesday as the development camp ended.
“It was fun,” Lombardi said. “Obviously, 3-on-3, there’s a lot of ice and to play that many games (Wednesday morning), it was a cool experience, especially to win.”
Said Buium: “It got a little competitive (in the end), which is why we play the game. It was fun.”
Players universally agreed it was a great opportunity, since the camp began Saturday, to learn about nutrition, conditioning and finances, as well as getting finer points from the Wings’ development coaches.
“Last year, you come in and you don’t really know anyone and you’re new, but this year, you’re a year older and a little more confident,” Lombardi said. “But, you still try to not take the foot off the gas and keep doing what you’re doing.”
Lombardi, likely ticketed to begin his first full pro season in Grand Rapids in October, was one of the more exciting players on the ice during the tournament.
“He’s competitive and he likes to do well,” said Dan Cleary, assistant director of player development. “As the games went along, he got his legs and got more confident. He’s pumped for a good summer of training and his first year of pro. He got a little taste of it last year (two games in Grand Rapids) but Amadeus is a sponge out there. He’s a rink rat. He loves to play and he’s constantly asking questions.”
Cleary feels this camp is an excellent opportunity for players to have fun and learn, while not being evaluated on what they do on the ice.
But, the competitiveness of the young players often comes through.
“We say it (no evaluation being done) but I feel like they don’t believe us,” Cleary said. “But, it’s more educational. Come in and have fun and get to meet, hopefully, your future teammates, which certainly a lot of them will be. We flood them with information, it’s almost an overload, and we just try to circle back with them with nutrition and sleep (habits) and a bunch of different talks.”
Testing is done on every player, in terms of skating and weight training, and players are given recommendations for the summer.
But whether on the ice or off, players will compete.
“But try to tell Lambo (Lombardi) ‘if you don’t score a goal, it’s OK’,” Cleary said. “Some of these kids, they’re just wired differently.
“Marco (Kasper) was so mad he lost, but he’s a competitive kid, and you want competitive kids, even if it’s 3-on-3.”