ESPN’s Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski filed a massive article for ESPN+ this morning, discussing the free agency outlook for each and every one of the NHL’s 32 teams. Here’s what they had to say about the Red Wings’ free agency outlook:
Key players hitting UFA: RW Bobby Ryan, C Sam Gagner, C Valtteri Filppula, C Luke Glendening, C Darren Helm, D Alex Biega
Key players hitting RFA: F Tyler Bertuzzi, F Adam Erne, F Jakub Vrana, D Christian Djoos, D Filip Hronek
Cap space: $37,565,277
What they should do: GM Steve Yzerman has already gotten some work done. He traded for defenseman Nick Leddy and goalie Alex Nedeljkovic, and re-signed defenseman Marc Staal and forward Michael Rasmussen. That’s a good start. At the moment, the Red Wings have only 13 players under contract for next season. But that number will climb when they get around to signing some of their RFAs, with an emphasis on Vrana, Bertuzzi and Hronek.
The Wings will likely go bargain hunting in free agency, as they continue to cycle through their rebuild. Yzerman signed six UFAs last offseason, none of them to longer than two seasons. The needs this time for the Red Wings: Some right-shot forwards, as the back end looks fairly filled out — including two goaltenders.