At this point, Detroit Red Wings general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman has nothing to lose. When you look at Yzerman’s history of making tough decisions, he’s clearly numb to making a move to better his team. I’m not going to go over the list of transactions again as I have in the past, but Yzerman did buyout Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier shortly after accepting the role.
Yzerman also made the tough decision to trade Martin St. Louis after he wasn’t initially selected to Team Canada by his GM, who also held the same title for Hockey Canada for years. St. Louis would eventually be a part of the team due to injuries, but the relationship had been strained, and the veteran speedy forward requested a trade; Yzerman obliged.
The Red Wing legend also decided to move off of goaltender Ben Bishop when it appeared the towering netminder was at the top of his game.
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Fast forward to his year and a half working as the boss in Detroit. Yzerman named Dylan Larkin as team captain, landed Robby Fabbri for virtually nothing, and also signed Anthony Mantha to a reasonable long-term contract. Yzerman also chose to buyout alternate captain Justin Abdelkader’s contract this past offseason and more recently placed veteran defenseman Danny DeKeyser on waivers.
The Detroit Red Wings should consider claiming forward Alex Galchenyuk on waivers.
Yzerman is not afraid to make a tough decision or take a chance on a player with some upside.
Alex Galchenyuk has bounced around a tremendous amount during his NHL career. In 2012, the talented forward had been ranked the fourth-best prospect in hockey and the Montreal Canadiens’ top prospect by Central Scouting as an 18-year old.
Galchenyuk was drafted third overall in ’12 by Montreal, coming out of the Ontario Hockey League as a member of the Sarnia Sting, dominating playing alongside Nail Yakupov.
As an 18-year old rookie, Galchenyuk recorded nine goals and totaled 27 points in 48 games. He’d go on to produce increasingly impressive numbers over the next three years including scoring 20 and 30 goals in back-to-back seasons. Galchenyuk totaled 108 goals and 255 points in 418 games with Montreal through six seasons.
From there, the constant traveling would begin. Galchenyuk played one full season in Arizona, recording 19 goals, then split the 2019-20 season between Pittsburgh and Minnesota, notching eight goals and 24 points in 59 games.
After signing with the Ottawa Senators this past offseason, Galchenyuk managed to appear in just eight games, recording one point before being traded to Carolina along with Cedric Paquette in exchange for former Senator Ryan Dzingle.
The Hurricanes immediately placed Galchenyuk on waivers.
The former 30-goal scorer has since fallen off. Like Robby Fabbri, Vlad Nemestikov, and even Bobby Ryan, Detroit can be where the former third-overall choice can revive his NHL career.
Galchenyuk is currently on a one-year deal worth a mere $1.05 million. The Detroit Red Wings now have about $7.5 million in free space, so why not take a flier on a 27-year old former 30-goal scorer? It seems like a no-brainer.
If Yzerman is content seeing Taro Hirose, Michael Rasmussen, and Givani Smith playing in Grand Rapids, he might as well bring in Galchenyuk to be the latest reclamation project.