DETROIT -- As the dust settles on 2024 NHL free agency, Executive Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman believes the depth and talent of the Detroit Red Wings’ revamped roster for the 2024-25 season has the club better positioned to succeed.

“I think we’re in with that group of teams that has a chance to compete for the playoffs,” Yzerman said at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday. “If we stay healthy, if our goaltending is good and players outplay your expectations, we might get in. Or you might just miss by a point on the last game of the season. That’s the fine line of it all. I look at the roster today and compare it to last year’s group; it’s a little bit different. It might be a little bit better fit as far as roles for players where they sit on the roster today.”

Detroit made several key moves on the eve of free agency on Sunday, re-signing Patrick Kane to a one-year deal and extending qualifying offers to restricted free agents Lucas Raymond, Moritz Seider, Jonatan Berggren and Joe Veleno.

“We will get contracts done with them,” Yzerman said about the club’s four restricted free agents. “It’s just a question of when and what term we do on all of them.”

The Red Wings stayed busy once the free agent market opened on Monday, signing defensemen William Lagesson and Erik Gustafsson, goalies Cam Talbot and Jack Campbell (Port Huron, Mich., native) and forwards Sheldon Dries (Macomb, Mich., native) and Joe Snively. Detroit also re-signed Christian Fischer.

After signing forward and St. Clair, Mich., native Tyler Motte on Tuesday, the Red Wings signed forward Vladimir Tarasenko before trading Robby Fabbri and a conditional fourth round pick in the 2025 NHL Entry Draft to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for goaltender prospect Gage Alexander on Wednesday. Detroit then signed defenseman Tory Dello on Thursday.  

"We had certain objectives at the opening of free agency that we hoped to accomplish and address," Yzerman said. "We pivoted and were able to bring in some players to replace some of the players we couldn’t bring back and address some areas of concern with the players we brought in.”

Yzerman said the way the open market for depth players took shape surprised him.

“The big fish, nothing was really shocking or unexpected there,” Yzerman said. “What was more interesting was the term and dollars a lot of role players got. I didn’t really see that. There were a lot of players around the league that were free agents that would be a good fit for us and who we would have liked to get.”

Yzerman didn’t reveal who, but said the Red Wings explored adding a big-name free agent.

“We had some interest in one that we thought might be a fit,” Yzerman said. “These things happen very quickly, and we decided very quickly that it’s going to be some major surgery here to try and get it done. We didn’t want to waste everybody’s time getting there.”

Detroit finished with 91 points last season, an 11-point improvement from the 2022-23 campaign. To take another step forward this season, Yzerman said internal improvement will be key.

“We expect a little more out of Lucas Raymond,” Yzerman said. “Alex DeBrincat, his shooting percentage for his career was down a little bit last year. The great scoring chances that he had, hit the bar and went out. We think that’ll contribute a little more.”

Yzerman said he is confident in his long-term vision for the Red Wings, who he knows will face higher expectations this season.

“Ultimately we’re still trying to put together that core of young guys who are going to be together and start to creep into the playoffs, hang around in the playoffs then eventually win,” Yzerman said. “That is the long-term plan. We’ll stick with that. We try to surround these young players with good people and better hockey players to help them become better players and slowly inch forward.”