Steve Yzerman’s Take on the Red Wings’ 2024-25 Season: Key Updates and Insights

Steve Yzerman, the Red Wings’ general manager, discussed the team’s new signings and preparations for the 2024-25 season. The team added key players like Vladimir Tarasenko and Cam Talbot while focusing on improving their defense and aiming for the playoffs.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Red Wings added players like Vladimir Tarasenko and Cam Talbot to boost their offense and defense.
  • The team focuses on improving defense and hopes for better performance from young players.
  • Yzerman is cautiously optimistic about the team’s chances of making the playoffs this season.

Strategic Offseason Acquisitions to Boost Red Wings’ Offense

The Red Wings kicked off the signing period by re-signing star winger Patrick Kane and capped it by adding scoring winger Vladimir Tarasenko. Tarasenko’s two-year contract worth $4.75 million AAV is expected to bolster Detroit’s top six forwards.

Steve Yzerman, the Red Wings’ general manager, expressed confidence in Tarasenko’s ability to contribute significantly to the team’s offense.

A left-shot winger, bigger body, a little bit different type of player than our wingers, Lucas Raymond, Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat,” Yzerman said of Tarasenko.

Scorer, straight-ahead guy who’s big and strong and will go to the net. We feel that’s a really good addition.

Tarasenko’s recent performance supports Yzerman’s optimism. He scored 55 points in 76 games last season and 50 points in 69 games the year prior.

His presence is expected to replace some of the scoring lost with David Perron’s departure and Robby Fabbri’s trade to Anaheim.

However, Yzerman acknowledged that making up for the 53 goals lost this offseason would require contributions from other players, including internal progress from young talents like Lucas Raymond and Jonatan Berggren.

Key Defensive Upgrades for the Red Wings’ 2024-25 Season

Improving team defense has been a major focus for the Red Wings. The most significant defensive upgrade came with the signing of veteran goalie Cam Talbot to a two-year, $2.5 million contract.

Talbot, with a career save percentage of .913, is expected to provide a reliable presence in the crease. This addition is crucial, given Ville Husso’s injury issues last season.

You go and look back at his numbers, they’re consistently really solid,” Yzerman said.

Big guy and competitive guy who’s had a relatively strong career. Expect his save percentage to help and reduce the number of goals against.

Talbot’s arrival is part of a broader strategy to improve team defense. Yzerman also brought in Tyler Motte, a forward known for his defensive skills.

While Motte won’t replace the scoring of departed players like Daniel Sprong, his defensive prowess is expected to help the team keep more goals out of their net.

The defensive changes extend to the blue line, with Erik Gustafsson replacing Shayne Gostisbehere. While Gustafsson may not score at Gostisbehere’s level, his defensive abilities are seen as a slight upgrade.

Additionally, a full season of Simon Edvinsson is expected to strengthen the team’s overall defense.

Yzerman’s Optimism for Playoff Chances

When asked about the team’s playoff chances, Yzerman remained cautiously optimistic.

He stressed the importance of staying healthy and receiving strong goaltending performances.

I think we’re in with that group of teams that has a chance to compete for the playoffs,” he said.

If we stay healthy, if our goaltending is good, and you get some maybe unexpected — some players outplay your expectation — we might get in.

Yzerman also pointed out the potential for internal improvements, especially from Lucas Raymond, who is expected to keep getting better.

Having an entire season with Patrick Kane, who scored 47 points in 50 games last season, is also seen as a positive factor.

Making the playoffs in the tough Atlantic Division will be difficult despite these improvements. Detroit finished with 91 points last season but just missed the playoffs.

With other Eastern Conference teams getting stronger, the Red Wings will need to build on last season’s momentum and perform consistently to secure a playoff spot.