Detroit recently sent highly regarded UFA Brayden Schenn packing as he was not good fit with the club. In 7 pre-season games, Schenn recorded 0 points and was a -2. It was clear early on that Schenn was not interested in being a leader on the team and Coach Tortorella confirmed this by stating, 'We have a pretty good idea of who is going to be staying with us now, Schenn wasn't interested'.
In return, Detroit was able to wrestle a high risk, high reward young Defensman in Ryan Merkley. He was drafted 21st overall and is a tremendous skater with excellent balance and overall mobility. Merkley is also a creative playmaker with an outstanding vision and puck skill that can quarterback the power play. Coach Tortorella comments on Merkley joining the team, " Our power play (stinks). We moved the puck, but we didn't produce. Merkley should help improve that".