Red Wings GM Is Plotting Team’s Return to Glory

    • Steve Yzerman is shrewdly building the bedrock for Detroit to be a future Stanley Cup contender.
    • Rookies Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond could both be Calder Trophy finalists this season.

They won’t be competing for the Stanley Cup this season, but the Red Wings are quietly constructing a future contender using an NHL version of the Philadelphia 76ers’ “Process.”

In 2019, the franchise hired GM Steve Yzerman, a Detroit legend and the architect of Tampa Bay’s perennial contenders — though he left before the Lightning’s back-to-back championships.

Now, Yzerman is shrewdly building the bedrock for the Wings to return to their former glory.

  • Detroit has the second-lowest 2021-22 cap hit in the NHL ($70.4M).
  • Two of its highest cap hits — defensemen Nick Leddy ($5.5M) and Danny DeKeyser ($5M) — are playing on expiring contracts.
  • If they leave, it would free up the team to give an extension to captain Dylan Larkin and make some big future signings.

Yzerman will also have to consider extending rookies Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond: His two recent first-round picks have been impressive playing on entry-level deals and could be key to the Red Wings’ long-term success.

Seider (+225*) and Raymond (+300*) are currently projected as Calder Trophy finalists, per betting odds. If that holds, it would be a great omen for Detroit.

The last three teams with multiple Calder finalists in the same season (2013-14 Lightning, 2007-08 Blackhawks, and 2006-07 Penguins) have gone on to win multiple Stanley Cups in the following years.