Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman provides update on current state of the franchise

Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman has been busy since the start of free agency, bringing aboard several new faces including the likes of forwards Bobby Ryan and Vladislav Namestnikov, as well as defenseman Troy Stecher and Jon Merrill, and goaltender Thomas Greiss.

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Of course, that was proceeded by a busy 2020 Draft that saw the likes of Swedish forward Lucas Raymond selected with the 4th overall pick along with a bevy of other new faces.

Yzerman joined NHL Tonight with Jamison Coyle and his good friend Darren Pang to provide an update on the team’s current situation while the League continues to sort out particulars in hopes of getting next season underway in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been unusual,” he explained. “There were three games a day in July – you’re sitting on your couch and watching hockey in July and August and the playoffs in September; you’re used to being very this time of year with traveling around a lot – whether you’re following your own team or your AHL team, it’s very strange. We’re anxious, looking forward to hopefully playing again.”

The Red Wings haven’t been in action since early March when the NHL paused the 2019-20 season thanks to the spread of the virus. However, Yzerman and team personnel have been hard at work.

“There’s still relatively been a lot to do,” he said. “We had the draft, free agency period, got a lot of contracts done, we’ve been busy. I equate this time period to be like August in a regular year where you’re kind of sitting waiting for camp to start, you’ve gotten most of your business done and just waiting to go. We just don’t know when or if we’re going to start up.”

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Two more items of business that Yzerman took care of this offseason in addition to free agency and the Draft were the re-signings of RFA forwards Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi.

Is Yzerman satisfied with the direction that the Red Wings are taking since he was named GM in April of 2019?

“Yeah, I think so,” he said. “Obviously we have a lot of work to do. we encouraged in the offseason – every team feels good about theirs – but the layers we added will help us. There’s still a lot of guys on relatively short term contracts which gives us flexibility.”

If we slowly add to this group over time, we’re hopeful that some of these younger players that we’ve drafted over the last two years slowly move into into the lineup and continue to improve the team each year.”

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