The 2020-21 NHL Season is tentatively slated to begin on December 1 of this year, and the Detroit Red Wings are going to have cap space to work with before they figure out their opening night roster for the next campaign.
GM Steve Yzerman will have the option of looking from the outside in for reinforcements for his squad in his second year on the job, and not surprisingly, some players he knows from his tenure with the Tampa Bay Lightning could potentially be on his radar.
Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News has submitted a list of players Yzerman could consider bringing aboard via trade – and that list happens to include notorious Red Wings nemesis Tyler Johnson, who absolutely torched Detroit in their 2015 and 2016 playoff matchups as well as regular season games.
Additionally, another two Lightning players are listed as potential targets: Yanni Gourde and Alex Killorn. Check out the reasoning:
►Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay, center: Johnson has a cap hit of $5 million over the next four seasons and his statistics have dropped over the last three seasons (14 goals, 31 points this season). But general manager Steve Yzerman is familiar with Johnson from his days in Tampa and at 29, Johnson would strengthen the Wings’ lineup.
►Yanni Gourde, Tampa Bay, center: With a cap hit of $5.16 million for the next five seasons, Gourde’s six-year, $31 million deal seemed generous as soon as it was signed, and it now haunts the Lightning. Gourde slumped from 25 and 22 goals in 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively, to 10 this season. He might actually thrive with a bigger role on a team like the Wings.
►Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay, center: With three more years at $4.45 million, Killorn scored a career-best 26 goals this season. But at age 30, how much better will Killorn get? The Lightning need the cap cushion to sign several important restricted free agents.
As far as the crease is concerned, two Pittsburgh Penguins goalies are included as targets (Matt Murray, Tristan Jarry), as well as former St. Louis Blues starter Jake Allen.
►Tristan Jarry, Pittsburgh, goaltender: Jarry is only 25 and will be an RFA after making $675,000, with a career-best 20-win season and .921 save percentage. Do the Penguins keep Jarry or Matt Murray? It’s difficult to envision them keeping both.
►Matt Murray, Pittsburgh, goaltender: Another RFA who made $3.75 million this season, but at age 26 he had his poorest season with 20 wins and .899 save percentage. Murray has won two Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh, but his play the last two seasons hasn’t inspired confidence.
►Jake Allen, St. Louis, goaltender: The situation is the same in St. Louis, where the Blues have two goals but appear to be leaning toward keeping Jordan Binnington. Allen, 29, will make $4.35 million next season then becomes an unrestricted free agent. Allen straightened out his game his season, with 12 wins in 21 starts and a career-best .927 save percentage.
Red Wings fans, how would you feel about Yzerman pulling the trigger on any of these potential targets?
– – Quotes via Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News Link – –