Red Wings Rebuild Might Take Longer Than Expected


Patience and fandom don’t often co-exist. But another NHL trade deadline passes and Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman is asking the fan base for more patience.

The Red Wings traded solid defenseman Filip Hronek, depth forward Oskar Sundqvist and quality forward Tyler Bertuzzi all for draft picks. The Red Wings nabbed two first round picks along with two seconds and a fourth from the deals.

They also sent forward Jakub Vrana away and got back nearly nothing. Though that wasn’t totally unexpected.

This is Yzerman’s fourth season running the show and the team has slowly improved but is still ways away from being taken seriously. Right now, the Wings are the 10th worst team in the league.

In 2020 they were historically the worst. In 2021 they improved to fifth worst. And last season they climb a few spots higher to 8th worst.

That’s growth year-over-year for sure. But they also just traded away a couple of their better players. Are you really that confident they’ll be better next year?

Lack of Studs

The team has zero superstars, which is kind of a big deal. Dylan Larkin, who just signed an 8-year extension, is not a superstar. He’s not in the same class as Auston Matthews or Matthew Tkachauk.

Mortiz Seider looks like he could be a superstar, but he’s not there yet. And I’m not sold Lucas Raymond will ever be one.

The team’s top prospects Simon Edvinsson, Marco Kasper, Albert Johansson and Cross Hanas have never played an NHL game. So, the jury hasn’t even been selected yet, let alone still out.

Not to mention, goalie prospect Sebastian Cossa hasn’t exactly been tearing up the ECHL either. Though he has been better of late.

The point of all of this is I understand rebuilds take time. Especially in a sport with a hard salary cap and draft picks that take extra time to develop. But I can’t even give you a guess as to when the Red Wings will be a playoff team.

As stated above, what would make you think they’ll be any better next year? Unless they acquire some quality players. Which they have cap space and draft capital to make happen.

But the Red Wings problem is they don’t need a quality player, or even two. They need studs. Bonafide, no doubt about it, absolute superstars.

If Seider can take the few necessary steps to get there next year, then great. That will help the cause. But even if that happens the Wings still need another couple really good players.

Maybe Edvinsson is one of those? Or possibly Kasper who has looked impressive in the Swedish Hockey League.

But those are just kids who have not gone through the trials and tribulations of a full NHL season. I can’t just bet on them being good right away.

Still on the Bandwagon

I’m not even mad at Yzerman for the moves he made. Though the Vrana trade did surprise me. Why not play him the rest of the year and then trade him over the summer. See if he can rebuild some trade value for the last month.

But the fact he traded away four players for more draft capital makes me wonder how much longer this rebuild is going to take. Again, this is the NHL, drafted players take time to develop. It’s not like football and basketball.

Getting two more first round picks is cool. But I likely won’t see those guys for another three or four years. Is that how much longer Red Wings fans are supposed to be patient?

I know a lot of you don’t care and disagree with all of this. You’re on board for the Yzerplan no matter how long it takes.

I’m still riding shotgun with you guys for now. But we’re getting closer and closer to a time where not all of his moves will be instantly deemed smart.

This is still professional sports where only one thing matters. Winning. And the Red Wings need to start doing more of it in the near future.