NHL

Who does Steve Yzerman like to collaborate with?

Who does Steve Yzerman like to collaborate with?

Every CEO has their comfort teams.

For Tampa Bay Lightning of the mid-late 2010s, it was the New York Rangers. The Chicago Blackhawks i Coyotes of Arizona they have been close companions for decades. Even the Vegas Golden Knights We have frequent business partners, though theirs tend to be “anyone who takes our contracts for draft picks.” Steve Yzerman, despite his secrecy, has a few comfort teams he prefers to deal with. Whether he prefers their style of play or sees organizational adjustments within their groups, he has often reached out to these teams and raised players, picks and everything in between to bolster the roster.

The next time you see a red wings trade, keep an eye on the teams. It is likely that Yzerman decided to deal with one of the following organizations:

Notable acquisitions: Oskar Sundqvist, Jake Walman, Ville Husso, Robby Fabbri, David Perron

With how often these two find themselves on the trade board, some have started calling the team the Detroit Blue Wings. Yzerman can’t seem to go a month without calling Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. Trades with the Blues have brought the likes of starter Ville Husso, half-six forward Robby Fabbri and one-third of the Redwood line in Oskar Sundqvist. These players tend to play aggressive, puck-first hockey, focusing on generating offense while sticking to solid, smart defense.

Even free agency can’t keep Yzerman away from the Blues. This year, he signed forward David Perron to a two-year deal, rounding out the team’s top six with an offensive forward. With players like Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko and Ivan Barbashev hitting free agency, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Yzerman pick from his group again next offseason.

Notable signings: Adam Erne, Mitchell Stephens, David Savard (‘s cap hit)

It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Yzerman deal often with Lightning manager Julien BriesBois. After all, Yzerman built the behemoth Lightning from the ground up and mentored BriesBois before his unprecedented level of success. While the changes haven’t necessarily been huge moves, they have provided Yzerman with key pieces of depth that have helped keep the team afloat. Adam Erne, in particular, has proven surprisingly efficient, leading the team in goals in 2020-21.

The 2021 fourth-round pick acquired from the Lightning in the Savard trade could prove especially intriguing. Yzerman used that pick and a second-round pick to move up in the 2021 draft, selecting Shai Buium with the 36th overall pick. The 19-year-old University of Denver defenseman currently has six points in 10 games. He is currently on pace to break last year’s record of 18 points in 39 games. If Buium does break out and make it to the NHL, his offensive instincts will be very effective for the Red Wings. Here’s a clip of his first goal of the season, for reference:

Notable acquisitions: Pius Suter, Dominik Kubalik, Brendan Perlini

While Yzerman doesn’t often deal with the Blackhawks front office directly, he does a fantastic job of poaching his unwanted players and making something of them. One man’s qualified UFA is another man’s first striker, as they say. Dominik Kubalik, who was released by the Blackhawks this past offseason, has proven to be a blessing for the Red Wings. He currently leads the team in points with 16 in 13 games. Pius Suter, another UFA acquisition, has been a quietly solid player for the Wings, playing up and down the lineup this season as a bit of a militiaman for the roster. The Hawks, realizing what Yzerman has done with their UFAs, decided to trade up and sign two former Red Wings this offseason: Petr Mrazek and Andreas Athanasiou. It’s been a while since I heard their names!

Brendan Perlini is a rarity. Not only was it the only trade in Chicago that Yzerman has made, but it also didn’t make much of an impact in Hockeytown. The player who went the other way, Alec Regula, has also struggled, playing in both the NHL and AHL over the past two seasons. At first, this trade seemed like a bit of a loss for Yzerman, but in retrospect, it seems more like a lateral move than anything else.

Notable acquisitions: Shai Buium, Amadeus Lombardi, Red Savage

These two love trade in the draft. In the four years that Yzerman was drafted by the Red Wings, he has made three trades with the Golden Knights. Whether it’s a positional priority in the draft or some other vibe-based reason remains to be seen, but Golden Knights manager Kelly McCrimmon has to have Yzerman on speed dial. The move up (and down) in the draft has allowed Yzerman to acquire a handful of fun prospects, including defenseman Shai Buium (who we talked about earlier), Team USA hero Red Savage and new recruit Amadeus Lombardi.

In the past, the Red Wings have traded Tomas Tatar for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick. Ken Holland only used one of those picks to draft Joe Veleno. The others (the 2nd and 3rd rounds) were used to acquire Robert Mastrosimone in the draft and goalkeeper Alex Nedeljkovic in an exchange with the Carolina Hurricanes. It wouldn’t be a shock to see Vegas do another draft day with Detroit. Then, with such a limited roster, they can reach to Detroit for an affordable scoring forward. I wonder who could fit the bill





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