Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News took a look at the salary situation for the Detroit Red Wings and has summarized that the organization might be in a good situation to spend a little money.
He believes the potential dip in salary cap that could crush other teams, might actually benefit the financially secure Red Wings who only need to re-sign restricted free-agent forwards Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Robby Fabbri. With the leftover funds, Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman could try to land a big fish in free agency.
While a number of the high-profile names Kulfan mentions — Alex Pietrangelo, Torey Krug, Tyson Barrie, Taylor Hall, Mike Hoffman, Robin Lehner and Braden Holtby — could sign with their current teams, some may test the market to see what’s out there. There has already been speculation that the Boston Bruins don’t have the funds to hang onto Krug and that Hall will explore options outside of Arizona. Pietrangelo may want more than St. Louis is willing to give and Lehner is looking to finally cash-in on some strong seasons in net. This should be an opportunity for the Red Wings who may not be able to offer winning, but could offer cash.
Few teams will be in better shape than the Wings to take advantage of the constrained market. Long having been riddled with expensive, long-term contracts, those are expiring, giving general manager Steve Yzerman much more financial leeway.
Who might the Red Wings be leaning towards first? “Getting a defenseman such as Krug to return home and play for one of his former coaches — Jeff Blashill coached Krug in junior hockey — would be a big addition,” says Kulfan.
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