Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman held a press conference with members of the media this afternoon at Little Caesars Arena to discuss a range of topics, including the future of head coach Jeff Blashill.
Of course, at the forefront of everything was the recently completed Trade Deadline deal to send forward Andreas Athanasiou to Ken Holland’s Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a pair of draft picks and forward Sam Gagner.
“We’re trying to rebuild the team,” Yzerman began. “We’re trying to add draft picks and prospects. Everybody has a value – some players have more value and are more marketable than others. If we’re trying to rebuild by trying to add draft picks and prospects, we have to specifically go to the players most in demand.”
“For whatever reason, Andreas was….several teams inquired and expressed serious interest. Teams call about virtually every player, but this is one that it could make sense for the Detroit Red Wings in the short term and the future.”
“He garnered the most interest, and it made the most sense from our perspective in the return that we were going to get that he would be the player that would get traded.”
But would the Red Wings have kept him had they been in a better position in the standings?
“It’s where we are today, we’re rebuilding. If we were a playoff team or contending for a playoff spot, in all likelihood we wouldn’t be sellers so to speak,” Yzerman said. “We haven’t made the playoffs for a few years and we’re obviously not going to make it this year, so that dictated what we did here, and then ultimately out have to decide who are we going to keep, and if we move guys.”
“We don’t move guys just for the sake of moving, we have to play off what the return is for each player, and ultimately, the return was two second round picks, and we felt like that was a good value for what we’re trying to do.”
Steve Yzerman explains why the Red Wings traded Andreas Athanasiou pic.twitter.com/XIkhFoMUjr
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) February 24, 2020
– – Video via Brad Galli of WXYZ – –