The Detroit Red Wings are at a crossroads with forward Filip Zadina. The restricted free agent has yet to be the player that the Red Wings anticipated him to be. When he was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, there was a lot of promise and excitement surrounding him.
The general consensus was that Zadina would be the scorer the Detroit Red Wings needed. Quite honestly, they thought he was going to be the sniper forward who could anchor the first line and be a scoring threat. In his fourth season in the league, he finally reached the 10-goal mark in a season; not very characteristic of a “sniper.”
There have been rumblings of him being a trade candidate, including some that came about around the trade deadline during the 2021-22 season. Now, Frank Seravalli's “trade targets” article on the Daily Faceoff's website stirs the pot once more.
Seravalli has Zadina listed at nineteen on his list, citing that some around the league feel that a change of scenery may do him best. While General Manager Steve Yzerman certainly does not want to let Zadina go off and score 25 goals for another team in a breakout season, flipping him to get some sort of a return to help the rebuild might be the best option. Seravalli might be onto something.
Detroit Red Wings' Filip Zadina may be on his way out.
The issue with Zadina is that the offense was the biggest benefit, and he's yet to really get that part of his game to click. He's shown flashes of the shooter he can be, picking corners for goals or putting quality scoring chances together, but it's few and far between.
The Red Wings saw him contribute offense from outside the faceoff dots, getting the puck on net but struggling to convert for goals. In 2021-22, he had a career-best 24 points with ten goals and 14 assists over 74 games. Due to the COVID-19 shortened seasons, he had never played more than 50 games in a season prior to 2021-22, but that's no excuse for him to struggle as much as he has been.
Zadina has been a bust. There, I said it. Unfortunately, it's the truth; he's fallen well below the expectations, and now the buzz around him tends to be if he is going to get traded or not. Zadina may be on his way out of Hockeytown if the right trade package falls into the lap of Yzerman.
However, Seravalli does make a good point towards the end of his blurb on Zadina. He mentions the coaching change and how that could impact Zadina. There is a shot that whoever the Red Wings hire as a new coach can get Zadina to finally click and figure it out.
It's a valid point to make, but knowing what Yzerman has done in recent years with trades, if the right deal presents itself or he can pull something off, he will pull the trigger. The Red Wings general manager has some decisions to make regarding Zadina and his future in Hockeytown.
He'll likely wait until after a new coach is hired and have some discussions about roster construction with the new bench boss. But with Yzerman, you cannot say that a trade will not happen until a new coach is hired. If the right offer for Zadina presents itself, he will take it.
Seravalli is onto something; it's a situation to keep an eye on as the offseason progresses.