The Detroit Red Wings are getting back into the swing of the season, with training camp and development camp news building. Recently, the team inked defenseman Jake Walman to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. This leaves the team with 23 pro-level contracts ahead of the 2022-23 season.
The Detroit Red Wings have to stay at 23 or below that number to be able to compete in 2022-23. Obviously, this is not news to anyone, but there is a newsworthy note on the team's contract situations, player-wise. Filip Zadina is still a restricted free agent without a contract to play for the 2022-23 season.
According to CapFriendly‘s figures, he is not a part of the 23 contracts and, therefore, will not be with the Red Wings in 2022-23 if the season started today. While there's a lot of debate about what happens next with Zadina after underwhelming performances to this point, I find it hard to believe that the team would just let him walk.
Steve Yzerman finds ways to sell players for draft capital or revive careers in “change of scenery” deals like he did with Robby Fabbri. I'd expect another move coming ahead of the 2022-23 season. I do not think the offseason is over for the Red Wings; I'd bet he's got more up his sleeve.
Detroit Red Wings could make another move before the season.
While Zadina is coming off a 10-goal and 14-point performance in 2021-22 with 24 points over 76 total games played. He has not been the goal-scorer he was touted to be when the Red Wings drafted him. So the patience level in the Red Wings front office could very well be dwindling.
As the Red Wings get closer to the season, letting him walk away seems excessive. But signing him would put them at 24 contracts, meaning someone has to go. While there are a couple of names, I would rather see go before Zadina; who knows what Yzerman has in store?
He could make an easy move to cut Mark Psysk, Steve Kampfer, or one of the cheaper defensemen on the roster. Maybe the Red Wings move on from Adam Erne? A couple of names fit the build of someone the Red Wings could get rid of.
But, it feels like this could be one of those times where Yzerman surprises us all with a big move out of nowhere. Maybe it's the Tyler Bertuzzi trade that has been speculated about several times since last season. It could be nothing, but it feels like something might be brewing.
Maybe the Red Wings are going to let Zadina walk. But it is hard to let Zadina walk and let Kampfer, Psysk, Erne, etc., eat up a roster spot. I'd rather go through another year of underwhelming Zadina with false hope for a better year than use a roster spot on one of those players.
But that's why I watch the games from home as an “armchair GM” rather than calling the shots with Stevie Y. It's certainly something to keep an eye on. as the season gets closer to see how the Red Wings tackle the situation.