Detroit Red Wings: A second shot at Tyler Johnson could happen

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings may have a second shot at acquiring forward Tyler Johnson this offseason if Steve Yzerman so chooses.

The Detroit Red Wings are under the reign of General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman, who came to the organization from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s front office. As Yzerman keeps building the Red Wings organization to win once again, he might find himself tapping into his old organization.

This offseason, there was an opportunity where the Red Wings could claim Tyler Johnson off waivers, but they opted to avoid this and continue on. They made cost-effective signings that rounded out this organization quite nicely.

Now, sitting pretty with just over $9.5 million in cap space this season, they have room to maneuver and take on a salary dump. Rumors have been shuffling about regarding the idea of the Red Wings taking on Johnson and possibly even Alex Killorn to help the cap-strapped Lightning.

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The way it stands, the Red Wings could easily take on Johnson, meaning the organization might have another chance to make a play for Yzerman’s former player.

Johnson is a noted Red Wings killer; he annihilated the team in the postseason, always finding a way to score.

Now, the Red Wings might be able to add Tyler Johnson to the organization’s roster in exchange for cheap assets. Johnson is under contract through the 2023-24 season and is due $5 million over each season.

The question begging to be asked though is:

Is acquiring Tyler Johnson now worth the sacrifice for the next dour years?

Looking into the rumors, focusing on the package of Johnson and Killorn, it sounds great off the top. However, these two players would put the Red Wings right at the cap, and they would be committing money to both of them for multiple seasons each.

While the organization has the room and the space to do this, it does not seem in the best interest, considering how Yzerman has been spending this offseason. Everything is short-term besides resigning Anthony Mantha for a bargain.

Adding Johnson to the team for the next four years and Killorn for the next three would mean the organization has more to consider during the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft for the Seattle Kraken.

On top of that, as mentioned previously, Johnson and Killorn would take the Red Wings right up near the cap and commit $9.5 million for the next three years and $5 million in the fourth to these two.

It seems like it is better off letting Yzerman work through this rebuild the same way he has been and avoids a deal like this that spends all of their cap space they have left this year. Given how Yzerman has made some small deals that net the organization extra draft picks, it seems worth it. Building for the long-run and the extension of a time of competition seems worth a look.

However, there’s a certain aspect of this trade that just seems too good to pass up. Johnson and Killorn playing for the Red Wings under their old-GM once again? The Red Wings forwards would get a nice boost, but Yzerman may have other plans mapped out.

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Ultimately, Steve Yzerman will call the shots based on his Yzer-plan he has for the Detroit Red Wings, but the organization will get its second chance at acquiring Tyler Johnson.