The Detroit Red Wings made a splash in the free agency market this offseason. While they made a couple of different signings, perhaps the largest one was to grab defenseman Ben Chiarot, a veteran defender who has been around the league for nine years running.
This offseason, the Detroit Red Wings signed Chiarot to a four-year, $19 million contract to join the team's defense core. It's a deal that gives him $4.75 million over each of the next four seasons. He's been around the league for nine seasons now, and the team is hoping he will help solidify the defense core.
Believe it or not, Chiarot was a former fourth-round draft pick of the Atlanta Thrashers. While the Thrashers franchise was relocated to Winnipeg to revive the Winnipeg Jets franchise, Chiarot would not see the ice until the team had completed its relocation.
Now, at 31 years old, he is starting his tenure with a new team. He's going to bring two-way upside and be that study defender that the Red Wings have needed. The addition helps solidify and sure up the team's top-four defenders and should lead to beneficial addition for the Red Wings.
Detroit Red Wings added Ben Chiarot this offseason to solidify their defense core.
Chiarot has spent his career with three teams. The Winnipeg Jets, Montreal Canadiens, and Florida Panthers. He has spent the last three seasons with the Canadiens before being traded to the Florida Panthers during the 2021-22 season. He was dealt to the Panthers in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2023, a fourth-round pick in 2022, and Ty Smilanic.
He finished out the remainder of the season with the Panthers and made the playoff push with them before being eliminated. He scored a career-high in points in 2021-22, potting nine goals and adding 17 assists for 26 total points. It was his career-best in assists and points: while tying his career-best with his nine goals.
Now, the Red Wings are likely not expecting Chiarot to be some scoring menace, but he's going to bring plenty of value for the defense core. He's one of those players who plays the game tough. He's going to throw the body around, play solid defense, and be a lockdown defender in the defensive zone.
There's going to be a lot to like with Chiarot. His defense will bring value to this Red Wings team. He may not fill up the scoresheet, but he's going to play a big role in keeping the other team off the scoresheet. Chiarot is known for his defensive abilities.
He's going to play with some grit, get himself into some puck battles, and likely come away with the puck. The knock on Chiarot's style of play is that he can take some penalties due to his aggressiveness and physicality. But the Red Wings are going to be just fine with him on the team's back end; it's not going to be a liability.
The Red Wings certainly strengthened their defensive core with the addition of Chiarot to the team's group of defensemen.