Detroit News’ Ted Kulfan wrote a number of articles taking a look at the possible free agent targets for the Detroit Red Wings this offseason. A team with extra cap space operating in a league where most teams may have to shed salary, there are options presenting themselves to GM Steve Yzerman.
For the Red Wings, their season is pretty much officially over. As the NHL comes to an agreement on the new 24-team playoff format, Detroit is on the outside looking in. Players can pack up and head home knowing nothing is on the immediate horizon for them, but for Yzerman, the work is just getting started.
He needs to find a way to drastically improve his rebuilding team while wisely using money that not all other franchises will have access to. There’s buzz the Red Wings might target a player like Torey Krug, but the chances he re-signs in Boston are also good. What else does that leave?
Taking a look at each position, Kulfan first listed a number of proposed forward options for the Red Wings this offseason. He writes, “The Wings ranked last in goals scored (142), goals per game (two), and ranked 29th on the power play (14.9%)” Adding that the top line is effective, after Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha, goal-scoring was lacking.
He explains that fans should expect the Red Wings to be active in landing a scoring forward and lists potential names like Colorado’s Vladislav Namestnikov, Florida’s Evgenii Dadonov, Mike Hoffman, or Erik Haula, Nashville’s Mikael Granlund, Vegas’ Tomas Nosek, or the New York Rangers’ Jesper Fast as targets.
Kulfan then focused on the blue line saying, “But the unit has to get deeper and more experienced, which means the Wings likely will be busy sifting through the free-agent market.” He listed Toronto’s Tyson Barrie, Pittsburgh’s Justin Schultz, The Washington Capitals’ Brenden Dillon, or Andy Greene from the New York Islanders as possible options.
Finally, goaltending targets include Robin Lehner, Anton Khudobin, Thomas Greiss, and Cam Talbot. It will be an interesting goalie market as more names start to pop up in the rumor mill and a typical surplus of goalies fight for NHL jobs where money might be hard to come by.
Speaking of goalies, Ansar Khan of MLive reports that Jonathan Bernier will be back with the Detroit Red Wings next season. Almost 32-years old, he’s got one season remaining on his deal and the Red Wings might hang on to him longer than that. The replacement in net will need to be for pending UFA Jimmy Howard who won’t be back.
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