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Free Agency List Predictions and Thoughts

By on July 18, 2022 0

A lot can change in a day. And in the case of the Red Wings, it was.

After being one of the worst teams in the NHL for the past 3 years, the Red Wings have been pushing just about every button available so far this offseason to try and improve. Of course, we won’t see any product on ice for a few months, but there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

When you believe in your GM, and I’m sure I can say we all do, the next biggest decision you can make to shake things up is to replace your head coach. That’s exactly what Steve Yzerman chose to do, eventually replacing Jeff Blashill with Derek Lalonde.

We haven’t seen Lalonde coach this team yet, but based on the resume and his comments from the intro press conference, he appears to be a guy who’s proven himself and honed his craft, and is ready to go. the next big step in his career. . I can’t help but think that this experience will be invaluable as he looks to help this young team take the next step in their development.

Then came the draft – I don’t know if it was because it was the first in-person draft in years, because it was in Montreal, because of the cap crisis, or a combination of both , but there was a lot going on in the draft of the year, especially the first round. Not only did the Red Wings nab another great prospect in Marco Kasper, but they handed out a third-round pick to pick up, then sign, goaltender Ville Husso to really solidify the position. Yzerman also mentioned that there were “other things” he wanted to do on draft night that didn’t materialize.

So before we even got to free agency, we had already checked a few major “rebuild action” boxes: replacing the head coach, checking. Get another NHL goalie on the cheap (in a tight goalie market, by the way), check. Run another draft, check.

Then came the opening of free agency last Wednesday at noon, which proved even more hectic and frantic than the draft. And it should come as no surprise that the Red Wings were no exception, as they continued to explore every avenue to become a better team. In the first 24 hours of free agency, the Red Wings signed three forwards and three defensemen, and spent $20.7 million in annual cap to do so.

So what did we get for all that dough? And has that made the Red Wings a significantly better team? It’s time for us to continue the exercise we started earlier to see how Yzerman has improved not just the roster, but the ever-important asset base we need to work with moving forward.

Once again, congratulations and credit to CapFriendly for the details of this article and throughout the week.