Red Wings: Comparing Ken Holland and Steve Yzerman’s first season

(Detroit Free Press)
(Detroit Free Press) /
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Red Wings, Andreas Athanasiou
(Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports) /

2019-20 season trades

Steve Yzerman

Despite the roster’s depleted assets, Yzerman wasted no time making moves. He added a slew of low-risk, high-reward players to the Red Wings’ roster, trading for players like Adam Erne, Brendan Perlini, and Robby Fabbri. While Erne and Perlini haven’t panned out to Yzerman’s expectations, Fabbri’s breakout secured a potential long-term player for Detroit.

In addition, Yzerman shipped out Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green to the Oilers for two second-round picks and a fifth-round pick. These additional picks provided Yzerman with more firepower to build the future while maintaining the roster’s budding core. All in all, Yzerman did the best he could with what he had and still managed to secure a series of successes.

Players & Assets In: Adam Erne, Robby Fabbri, Brendan Perlini, Alex Biega, Sam Gagner, Kyle Brodziak (LTIR), Kyle Wood, Eric Comrie, 2020 2nd round pick, 2021 2nd round pick, 2020 5th round pick

Players & Assets Out: Andreas Athanasiou, Ryan Kuffner, Mike Green, Oliwer Kaski, Vili Saarijarvi, Jacob de la Rose, David Pope, Alec Regula, 2020 4th round pick

Final Grade: B

Ken Holland

Every fan in Detroit knows how conservative Ken Holland can be. The former Red Wings manager never shows his full hand, making very safe bets on the Oilers’ player pool this season. His first move saw Milan Lucic and a conditional pick traded to the Calgary Flames in exchange for James Neal, who quickly proved his worth, scoring 31 points in just 55 games.

As mentioned earlier, Holland made a trade for Athanasiou and Green, shipping out two high picks and a lower pick as a result. Unfortunately for Holland, neither truly lived up to their expectations. Athanasiou only scored two points in nine games with the Oilers, while Green played just two games for the Oilers before retiring. Needless to say, the trades with Detroit were two that Holland would live to regret.

Players & Assets In: Andreas Athanasiou, James Neal, Mike Green, Ryan Kuffner, Tyler Ennis, 2021 6th round pick

Players & Assets Out: Milan Lucic, John Marino, Kyle Brodziak (LTIR), Sam Gagner, 2020 2nd round pick, 2021 3rd round pick, 2021 5th round pick

Final Grade: C