Steve Yzerman ‘excited’ over acquisition of G Alex Nedeljkovic

The Detroit Red Wings fleeced the Carolina Hurricanes this afternoon, acquiring Calder Trophy finalist Alex Nedeljkovic for the contract rights of soon-to-be RFA Jonathan Bernier and the 94th overall selection in the upcoming NHL Draft. Detroit then immediately signed Nedeljkovic to a two-year contract worth $3 million per season.

It’s the latest stroke of genius for the Red Wings general manager, who once again proves why he’s one of hockey’s best at the position. He took full advantage of the Hurricanes, who didn’t want to pay the goaltender who won them several playoff games this past spring what he wanted and lowballed him with an offer of half of what he’d sign for with Detroit.

“Well, obviously we have high hopes for Alex based on his performance this year in Carolina,” Yzerman said of the acquisition. “A younger guy with who we feel has a lot of upsides. We’re pretty excited about it. He did really well this year; everyone in our organization is familiar with him thanks to his local ties…he felt it was a good opportunity to get a younger goaltender with some upside who could help us win games.”

Would the fact that the Red Wings now have a solid young goaltender locked up for the next two seasons potentially shy them away from selecting goaltending prospect Jesper Wallstedt? Not necessarily, but according to Yzerman, the team will be going with who they feel is the best fit.

“We’re going to pick who we think is the best prospect and who has the most potential regardless of position,” Yzerman explained. “Where we’re at and where we’re picking, it’s too hard I think to draft for a specific need.”

“Ultimately , our goal is to build a playoff team and a Stanley Cup contender. That hasn’t changed. In the interim, we’re trying to give our younger player a more competitive team.”

But, why would the Hurricanes want to part with such a promising young player?

“You’re going to have to ask them why they were comfortable doing that,” Yzerman said.

Checkmate.

– – Quotes via Detroit Red Wings Link – –