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Detroit Red Wings

Red Wings Gearing Up for Big Moves Next Season

The Red Wings are well positioned to make some major changes next offseason and could have big plans.

As of right now, Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzmerman has only eight players under contract beyond this season coming season. Just one player, Dylan Larkin, is contracted past the 2022-23 season. Essentially, that means the Red Wings have a blank slate, tons of cap room and a lot of time and space to make big plans.

Related: Tyler Bertuzzi Receives NHL Arbitration Award

This offseason, the Red Wings were active. But, none of what they added would be considered a long-term solution or much more than valuable pieces at next season’s trade deadline. There’s a possibility players like Bobby Ryan, Vladislav Namestnikov, Troy Stecher, and Jon Merrill could stick around longer, but it’s not incredibly likely. Instead, their jobs are to fill in as stop gaps or help the younger core as they take their next development steps in the NHL.

As Adam Gretz of NBC Sports is pointing out today, this kind of flexibility creates opportunity.

The Red Wings and NHL Free Agency

A deep free agent class in an NHL landscape where money might be tighter than it was this offseason is good for the Red Wings. The organization will have the room to make some strong offers to players who may choose security over the chance to win immediately. Should the Red Wings add a few pieces, they could be a much better team and rather quickly.

It would be dismissive to rule out the RFA market as well. Part of the reason an offer sheet hasn’t come in the last few weeks of this offseason is a because a handful of teams that could make offers don’t have the draft picks to give if an offer is accepted. That’s not an issue for Detroit who has nine next season and will undoubtedly have more once the trade deadline comes and goes.

Steve Yzerman Detroit Red Wings GM
Steve Yzerman Detroit Red Wings GM

Other Options for the Red Wings

The Red Wings can continue to weaponize their cap space, as they did with Marc Staal this offseason and with the cap not increasing again, they’ll be teams in a tough spot.

They can also get creative. One of the issues for many GMs is the simple lack of the ability to do anything. It’s not so much that they wouldn’t, it’s that they can’t. Their teams and handcuffed.

That doesn’t apply for Yzerman.

Next: Which NHL Team Would Take Top Spot In An All Canadian Division?

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Michael Zack

    November 8, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    Please dump your bad contracts with us…..and leave a high draft pick on the table as you walk out.

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