When Red Wings fans saw what their team gave up in a trade for Alex DeBrincat, they had to be happy. Domink Kubalik – a very poor man’s DeBrincat – a prospect who has been trending down, a fourth-round pick and a likely mid-first round pick.
None of those assets should come back to bite the Red Wings in the butt. And as long as DeBrincat can produce at his average career numbers, Detroit will clearly win the trade.
But that’s not what made Steve Yzerman look like a genius in this acquisition. Because the Ottawa Senators had zero leverage with DeBrincat. He was a disgruntled star player who’s contract expired next season.
He was either leaving in due time for free. Or Ottawa could trade him now and at least get something. A lot of NHL teams are still strapped for cap space too. Which makes trade partners limited.
DeBrincat is also coming off a down season. Decreasing his value on the trade market. Ottawa was likely never going to get a grand package of assets sent back to them. Not like the one they gave up to get DeBrincat, just a year ago.
But when the extension DeBrincat signed with the Red Wings was announced shortly after the trade, that hit different. That’s when we received confirmation, yet again, that Yzerman is playing chess, not checkers.
A Short Deal for DeBrincat’s Stature
The 25-year old forward is not a superstar, but he’s certainly classified as a star player. If this was the NBA, DeBrincat would be a max contract player.
In the NHL, those players almost always sign contracts for seven or eight years. The max amount allowed in the league.
This off-season alone, we saw David Pastrnak, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Timo Meier, and Jesper Bratt all sign eight-year deals with their respective teams.
All four of those players are in their prime age range and are star players like DeBrincat. There is a great argument Pastrnak is a superstar but I digress.
The main point here is Yzerman was able to get their guy to commit to half the amount of term as these other high-caliber players. That’s almost unheard of these days.
Alex Killorn is a 33-year-old forward who is past his prime. He never has been nor will he ever be as good as DeBrincat. Anaheim just signed him to a four-year contract a couple weeks ago.
You got a guy who’s eight years younger in the prime of his career at the same term. That’s absolute wizardry from Yzerman.
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