No matter how hard you try, honeymoons cannot last forever, even if you are Detroit Red Wings general manager, Steve Yzerman.
On Friday night, news broke that the Red Wings acquired D Nick Leddy from the New York Islanders in exchange for F Richard Panik and the No. 52 overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
UPDATE: The Detroit #RedWings acquired D Nick Leddy from the New York Islanders in exchange for F Richard Panik and the 52nd selection (originally EDM) in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. pic.twitter.com/SNWmaoV14q
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) July 17, 2021
Up to this point, whenever Yzerman made a move as Red Wings GM, fans and the “experts” who write about this type of stuff raved about how he was fleecing other general managers around the league and that the “Yzerplan” was rolling out perfectly. And that is exactly what a honeymoon period is all about, everything is perfect and it almost seems like nothing could possibly change that.
Up to this point, I have been on board with just about every move Yzerman has made since returning to Hockeytown and I am all about the “Yzerplan” eventually bringing the Red Wings back to the promised land.
That being said, I truly believe Yzerman slipped up on Friday by giving up a second-round pick and paying half of Panik’s remaining contract in exchange for a 30-year-old defenseman who really has not been very good at defense as of late.
Now, I am not saying that Leddy is a bad player. In fact, I think he will come in and tighten up the left side while being a mentor for Red Wings prospect Moritz Seider.
But is that enough to give up a second-round pick, especially considering Leddy only has one year remaining on his current contract and is likely only a short-term fix for the Wings? Not to mention, chances are that the Islanders would have left him unprotected for the upcoming expansion draft.
Well, that all depends on what happens moving forward.
If Leddy comes in and shows he is a good defenseman, Yzerman very well could flip him at the 2021-22 NHL trade deadline for a late first-round pick from a contender who is looking to improve their defense.
To me, the bottom line is that Yzerman just gave up a second-round pick for a defenseman who has pretty much been an even WAR player over the past few years. What that means is that Leddy’s production is no better than what the expected production of a replacement-level defenseman would be.
Now, before you call me an Yzerman hater, please understand that I still believe in the “Yzerplan” and I believe that Yzerman will bring another Cup to Detroit. But for me, the honeymoon is over thanks to this trade.
I am sure he will win me back shortly!