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We now know who was the real UFA target of Steve Yzerman on July 1st


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Will Bloggs
July 6, 2024  (9:44)
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Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman recently reflected on a missed opportunity in the 2024 NHL UFA.
Photo credit: NHL

Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman recently reflected on a missed opportunity in the 2024 NHL UFA. Yzerman revealed that the club had briefly pursued an A-list unrestricted free agent who quickly signed elsewhere after the noon ET deadline on July 1.

«We had some interest in one that we thought might be a fit,» Yzerman admitted.

«You know these things got to happen really quickly. And we decided very quickly that it's going to be really some major surgery here to try and get it done and we didn't want to waste everybody's time in really getting there.»

Yzerman did not disclose the player's name, but an educated guess points to Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos. Considering the players who signed early, Stamkos stands out as a logical target for the Red Wings. He would have addressed their need for a top-six forward and power-play presence. Additionally, Yzerman's history with Stamkos from their time in Tampa Bay strengthens this speculation.
However, it appears that fitting Stamkos into the Red Wings' salary structure was unfeasible, forcing Yzerman to pivot to Plan B.
«So there was one player we thought might have been a real good fit,» Yzerman explained. «But it was gonna be a challenge to get it done. And the concern on that day on July 1 is everybody's gone if you don't kind of go down a certain road. So we had to adjust what we decided, which way we really wanted to go here, and chose the path we did take.»

Yzerman's approach underscores the complexities and rapid decision-making required in free agency, and his ability to pivot reflects his strategic flexibility in building the Red Wings roster.
Source: YardBarker
Red Wings Yzerman Talks About The One That Got Away
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We now know who was the real UFA target of Steve Yzerman on July 1st

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