Let’s face it, the Detroit Red Wings‘ GM Steve Yzerman has been wheeling and dealing throughout the offseason not only to make the team more competitive in the short-term but more so, to build for the future.
Heading into the 2020-21 season (odd to write that since the season will begin in 2021), the Red Wings will roll with Thomas Greiss and Jonathan Bernier as their top two goaltenders.
But is either Greiss or Bernier a goalie who will be around when the Red Wings are ready to contend for a Stanley Cup? Probably not.
So, who will be the Red Wings goaltender of the future?
Well, according to Peter Ploshehanski of The Hockey Writers, Yzerman should consider signing a ‘diamond in the rough’ from the University of Michigan.
That ‘diamond in the rough’ is Wolverines’ goaltender, Strauss Mann.
Here are some comments from Michigan head coach Mel Pearson about Mann, via The Hockey Writers:
“He has no doubt flown under the radar,” said Wolverines head coach Mel Pearson. “But that’s probably because he hasn’t taken the usual junior path to where he is today.”
“He reminds me of, dare I say, Marty Turco, just how calm he was in the net and the way he approached the game,” Pearson said. “Completely different personality-wise away from the rink though.” Mann is slightly undersized compared to today’s typical goaltender at six-feet-tall and 174 pounds. I believe this has forced him to develop other areas of his game. As Pearson noted, “He’s a student of the game that studies other teams’ shooters and top power-play units… He’s one of our better athletes and an excellent skater with a high hockey IQ.”
Ploshehanski believes that Yzerman, and his right-hand man Kris Draper, should give Mann a long-hard look and consider signing him to a deal.
From The Hockey Writers:
Yzerman and Kris Draper should give Mann a long look. Yzerman is known for making bold moves and he isn’t afraid to pull the trigger when the time is right. With the Tampa Bay Lightning, he found a lot of talent outside of the first and second rounds of the draft, and he has loaded up on free agents this offseason.
Yzerman has surrounded himself with a keen-eyed staff. Signing a college free agent would cost the base salary of $832,000 which is next to nothing in the NHL. It’s a long shot for any player to make the NHL, let alone one who has taken Mann’s route, but he could be a diamond in the rough. Signing one of the NCAA’s top goaltenders for next to nothing? It could be a deal that pays off.
Nation, is this a signing you would like to see Yzerman make?