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Red Wings Will Look to Add, Lightning Might Be Trade Partner

Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman says there’s room to make more moves. Could the Tampa Bay Lightning be a good trade partner?

There aren’t too many hockey insiders predicting the Detroit Red Wings to be shockers this upcoming NHL season and all of a sudden go from the worst defensive team in the league to a playoff contender. Still, that doesn’t mean the Red Wings will sit idly by and not add to their roster if any opportunities presents themselves.

Related: Red Wings Avoiding NHL Offer Sheet For “Personal Reasons”

Speaking with Nicholas Cotsonika of NHL.com, Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman notes he’s not content to just wait for the rebuild to do its thing. While he knows an element of patience will be required taking the approach the Red Wings are taking to improve, Yzerman said he wants to continually find ways to add to the team.

When asked about his strategy moving forward, Yzerman said that he’s happy with this offseason to date, the team has lots of flexibility and, “We’ll just kind of continue to do what we’re doing.” He added:

“The reality is, you’re limited to what you can do, and you’re limited, or you’re restricted, by the time it takes for each prospect to develop. Just not as simple as just going out and making a bunch of trades and getting really good players and signing a bunch of free agents.

In saying that, Yzerman doesn’t sound like he’s done for this offseason.

Steve Yzerman Red Wings NHL GM

There’s More Room, Hello Tampa Bay

Noting the team has a number of contracts and players on the roster, Yzerman believes there’s space to do more and room to make additional moves. He didn’t say what those moves might be, only that “there’s room potentially to add, and I would consider it as we go along or as we get closer to knowing when we’re going to start.”

The Red Wings currently have 22 players on their roster for 2020-21 but more than $9 million in cap space to play with those contracts. There are a few teams in the NHL — specifically the Tampa Bay Lightning for which Yzerman used to work — that are handcuffed with their cap issues and will inevitably dump a player for next to nothing. This could be an ideal way for Yzerman to make those improvements he’s talking about.

As long as Yzerman doesn’t handcuff his own franchise, it’s fair to argue there’s a fit between the Red Wings and the Lightning. GM’s love to work with their former teams. If he can help out his ex-employer but also help out Detroit, don’t be surprised if there are conversations going on between those two teams.

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