GM Steve Yzerman has made 11 picks in his first draft ever since he took control of the Red Wings. Shot on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – At the beginning of the survey period, Steve Yzerman will make calls to the free agency, but not to one of his own colleagues.

The NHL teams can call on the free agents on Sunday to have a head start on the contract signing, which begins on July 1st. Yzerman has repeatedly announced that he will not sign major contract signings just to cause a stir during his first off-season as General Manager of Detroit Red Wings, but of course he will do due diligence.

"I'll make a few calls and see," he said. "There are players we're interested in. I'll get a sense of whether they're interested in getting to Detroit, and then what the parameters are for what they're looking for."

Red Wings defender Niklas Kronwall scores for Sharks defender Justin Braun in the first phase on Sunday, February 24. 24th 2019 in the Little Caesars Arena. (Photo: Raj Mehta USA TODAY Sports)

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The San Jose Sharks signed again before Erik Karlsson reached the open market. The Winnipeg jets have paused New York Rangers Jacob Trouba (Rochester) on June 17.

The Wings are unlikely to be a playoff team next season "Before I make it through the trade, I would go to the free agency to fill these jobs," Yzerman said. "We also want to give our younger players the opportunity to fill these seats, but we will take care of the free choice. But the player has to fit what we try to do. The value of the contract must be right.

A free agent who has the right to call himself is defender Niklas Kronwall. Kronwall, 38, led the team with 79 games last season. If he wants to retire or return all summer – he has 47 games under 1,000 games behind him and has made the achievement of that milestone meaningful – Yzerman will wait.

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"We will do business," said Yzerman. "Nothing really changes. If Nik wants to come back and play, he has a place in the team. I do not expect to give you anything until the end of summer.

The Wings have four seasoned defenders under contract next season – Danny DeKeyser, Mike Green, Jonathan Ericsson and Trevor Daley – but there is uncertainty at Green over the virus he's been dealing with last season Both Ericsson and Daley have missed a significant injury time Filip Hronek and Dennis Cholowski are leading the younger generation of defenders, and it is expected that the contracted free agent Oliwer Kaski will ask for a position [19659005] More: The Red Wings preseason schedule features rivals and many internal contests.

Contact Helen St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames Read more about the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter.


The new Detroit Red Wings expert Moritz Seider was a bastard he ended up in sixth place overall. Filmed on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press