The Detroit Red Wings offseason is going to be an interesting one. The team will find themselves with plenty to do, between finding a new coach, going through the draft process, and having a successful free agency period. They need to find a few players that fit what the team needs and avoid the players who are overrated or provide false hope.
With Steve Yzerman perched in his general manager chair, running this thing, the Detroit Red Wings are certainly in good hands. He's had plenty of success with free agency in the past, finding the right guys out there for the job. Herb Brooks said in Miracle On Ice, “I'm not looking for the best players. I'm looking for the right ones.”
This quote rings true for the Red Wings and what they have been able to do in recent years. From rental players to acquisitions that have remained around, the team has brought in players in the offseason who have benefited the team's roster in multiple ways.
But as the Red Wings front office starts to work through the free-agent class, weigh out the options, and see which players best fit the team's needs, they have to figure out who will fit with this rebuild. While this could change based on who the team hires as the new coach, there will be players that the Red Wings should aim to avoid, that is certain.
The Detroit Red Wings need to avoid certain players in the free-agent class.
With plenty of talent out there, the Detroit Red Wings have to do their due diligence and cross off the players who will not gel well with the team they are constructing for the 2022-23 season. That said, let's look at four players that the Red Wings should avoid in free agency this summer.
First up, we'll look at two forwards the team can cross off their list.
As the Detroit Red Wings continue to move forward trying to figure out what is best for their rebuild, they will need to identify where to get some more scoring. Filip Forsberg has become a perennial scorer over in Nashville. He's scored more than 20 goals in all but one of the last eight seasons, and the season he failed to reach 20 was cut short due to injury.
Forsberg is coming off of a tremendous bounce-back season. In 69 games played for the Nashville Predators, Forsberg produced 42 goals and assists for 84 points on the season. It was a career-high in goals and points for Forsberg. Surely, adding someone like this in free agency would benefit the team's offense.
There's no denying that adding a 40-goal scorer who's likely to pot 20+ in 2022-23 would be a benefit, but there are drawbacks that will outweigh any benefit he brings. While Forsberg is just 28 years old, he will expect a long-term contract; I'd venture to assume in the six-to-eight-year range, getting him paid through the rest of his prime.
He's only going to get older, and the expectation is that he will start slowing down once he hits the wrong side of 30 years old. But on a long-term deal, the Red Wings would wind up being stuck with his contract, something the team has done in the past and cannot afford to do again; with Yzerman steering the ship, I doubt it's an issue.
While age and decline in a long-term deal is one issue, money is another. Even with the salary cap slated to be on the rise, the expense seems like it would be better served being spent on other options. Forsberg's coming off of a six-year, $36 million contract he signed with the Predators.
After the season he produced in 2021-22, he will want a raise, and the Red Wings should steer clear of that. With extensions being needed for Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi (maybe), the team should avoid Forsberg. Next is another veteran forward who may seem enticing but is not worth the Red Wings' time.