Eklund and co broke some news for Detroit Red Wings fans near the end of the buzz cast today (8/14) First, Yzerman traded for Adam Erne. This one seems to be a head scratcher unless there is a player going out or that they plan to bury in GR. Erne still needs to sign a new deal, but Yzerman wouldn’t make the trade unless he was confident. This, to me, seems like he’s bringing one of “his guys” to the team. Someone he trusts to work and develop and help establish the culture. By all accounts a hard worker and good teammate. rnrnIt was around this time that Eklund mentioned something I hadn’t thought of. Yzerman is, potentially, not “high” on Rasmussen. It’s the first time I’ve really started to consider players that Yzerman didn’t draft and may not be sold on. it was rightly stated that Rasmussen has good hands, but he will need power play minutes to reach his potential (possibly 20 goals). If the new leadership is not impressed, he could be relegated to 3rd line duties. rnrnI recently wrote about the “intensity” culture that Yzerman seems to want to bring. It’s a great thing. He came from a Tampa Bay team that saw Stamkos, who works with fitness guru Gary Roberts, continue to work harder each year. I half expected to see a trade for Tyler Johnson, who dines on Wings regularly and whose play is far greater than his frame. I feel like a team with he and Larkin would be one that skates harder each practice, if possible. rnrnBack to Rasmussen. He had a good preseason and camp last year. Glimpses of what could happen if he gets physical and finds his spots. Larkin roomed with him to help him grow his game. Another great example of the future captain leading by example. But, Ras would go quiet for stretches. Mantha, Svechnikov, Rasmussen. All 3 first round picks. Big guys with good hands who needed to engage physically to compete. Mantha is starting to get it. Even with missing 15 games due to injury he hit 25 goals. Rasmussen had 8 goals and 10 assists in 62 games. Not terrible, but we’re going to need a differentiator. Svechnikov just hasn’t had a healthy season to show what he can do in the NHL. This year is big for all 3. rnrnThis leads to the headline, could Detroit become more Finnish? The great teams of the last 20 years had different flavors. The Russian 5 of the 90s. That was insanely fun. The Swedish Mafia of the last decade plus. Lots of skill that seemed to play for every national event. Triple Crowns with triple gold. Beautiful. Now what?rnrnDetroit brought back Valtteri Filppula this year. It felt odd. We have Nielsen, who is a very similar player. Then we signed Oliwer Kaski. Ok, he will have a fellow Fin to help him. We drafted a Finnish Dman in Tuomisto. At least he’ll have company at camp now. But there is a niggling feeling that this could turn in to something more. My eyes are set squarely on Edmonton. Pujuljarvi. Could a deal be done that sends Rasmussen back to Ken Holland? Pujuljarvi has not adjusted well. Having a Finnish center could do wonders. I’d love to get Ristolainen but that would cost a lot more than Yzerman may want to pay. rnrnWe’re seeing a turn. Stevie Y is preaching patience but he is intense. He loves this sport, and he wants to win. He’s also quiet. Whatever he’s working on seems to remain under wraps. I sincerely hope to see a few more moves as we enter into another difficult year. Yes, i want a high draft pick. But, finishing 3rd to last keeps us picking 6th. New York, New Jersey and Chicago all finished higher and had better picks last year. Maybe there’s something to sucking less and picking higher. It’d be more fun to watch, for sure.