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There was a point during the 2022-23 NHL season that Steve Yzerman may (or may not) have thought for a moment that the Detroit Red Wings could make a run at a playoff spot. But following a couple of losses to the Ottawa Senators, it became apparent to everyone that making the playoffs was not in the cards, and Yzerman made some moves to unload expiring contracts. Heading into the offseason, the Red Wings GM was charged with adding some scorers to the mix, and that is exactly what he did.
Steve Yzerman receives high grade for Red Wings' 2023 offseason
During a recent article published on ESPN, Ryan S. Clark and Kristen Shilton graded each team's offseason so far. Here is what they said about the Red Wings, who were given an A- for their offseason up to this point.
Overall grade: A-. Detroit added to every position in free agency. And its pièce de résistance was trading for — and ultimately extending — DeBrincat. Detroit made its move nine days into July and signed DeBrincat to a four-year, $31.5 million deal that truly cements how much better and deeper Detroit is now (on paper, at least) than it was in April. That's not all DeBrincat, either. Compher brings a Stanley Cup-winning background and some sandpaper to a possible top-six-forward role. Gostisbehere and Holl give Lalonde more potential looks and ability to juggle on the blue line. And Reimer is a veteran backup who can support Ville Husso.
That's all good. Where Detroit has so often fallen short in recent years is its lack of top-end scorers and a full-team buy-in on the defensive side of the puck. Yzerman reeled in a big catch with DeBrincat, who is poised to bounce back into the type of awe-inspiring player he was with Chicago. Now Yzerman just has to hope that defensive commitment from the group at large will materialize too.
- Steve Yzerman made strategic moves during the 2022-23 NHL season to address the Detroit Red Wings' lack of top-end scorers and defensive commitment.
- The Red Wings received an A- grade for their 2023 offseason, as they added depth and talent to every position through free agency, with the key acquisition being Alex DeBrincat.
- The improved roster, with DeBrincat and other additions, has raised hopes that the Red Wings could challenge for a playoff spot in the upcoming season, signaling a brighter future under Yzerman's leadership. Yzerman remains committed to bringing another Stanley Cup to Detroit.
Bottom Line: The Future is Bright(er)
Steve Yzerman still has a ways to go before the Red Wings can contend for a Stanley Cup, but the roster he has built just may be good enough to challenge for a playoff spot during the upcoming season. One thing is for sure, Yzerman is going to do everything in his power to bring another Cup to Hockeytown!