The Detroit Red Wings got busy this offseason, adding in many new faces, hiring a new coach, and finding ways to shake things up on the roster without jeopardizing any of the main pieces. However, the team was able to pull off a trade that might have slipped under the radar.
Detroit Red Wings General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman vastly improved the team’s goaltending situation. Back in July, he traded a third-round pick to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for the young netminder, Ville Husso. It’s a move that should be viewed as a victory for the Red Wings.
Mortgaging some draft capital to upgrade the team’s goalie tandem was an exceptional part of the offseason. Husso brings a mix of youth and excitement to the Red Wings organization. Husso signed a three-year, $14.25 million contract extension to remain in Detroit through the end of the 2024-25 season.
It was a solid addition, with Thomas Greiss serving as the team’s backup for the past two seasons. While he was adequate at the position, but he was nothing special. The Red Wings upgraded big time with their move this offseason for multiple reasons. Especially with Alex Nedeljkovic coming off of a season he would probably like to forget.
Detroit Red Wings adding Ville Husso is a breath of fresh air.
The Detroit Red Wings needed a change. Coming into last season, the expectations for Nedeljkovic were high. There was a thought that he might vault himself into the running for a Calder trophy or at least be a vast improvement from the Greiss/Bernier tandem the fans had been watching in years prior.
The reality was that Nedeljkovic struggled. He did not have the season many would have hoped. Nedeljkovic managed a 20-24-9 record over 59 games (52 starts) with a .901 save percentage and a 3.31 goals-against average. His prior numbers were uncharacteristic, though it was a much larger sample size.
The 2022-23 season allows Nedeljkovic to ease back into a 1B role. The Red Wings will hope they have their guy once again in Husso. Husso has not been a standalone starter in the NHL for a whole season. However, in 2021-22, he was able to settle into a starting role when the St. Louis Blues called upon him in absence of Jordan Binnington.
Husso played to a .919 save percentage and a 2.56 goals-against average over 40 games (38 starts) with a 25-7-6 record. So it is easy to see the intrigue with Husso. He has the potential to perform well and showed he could step in and be a solid option for the Blues last season.
But, like Nedeljkovic, he is yet to come into a season as the 1A option and be THE guy. The beauty of it is that the Red Wings have two guys who may thrive in a platoon role, which could work out well if the two end up working a 1A and 1B tandem.
It feels like right now, the plan will be a 60/40 split, with Husso getting the bulk of the appearances. But things could change as the season gets underway. But Husso, being acquired and extended, flew a little under the radar with all the other moves the team pulled off.
The Red Wings vastly improved their tandem ahead of the 2022-23 season, with Husso being a refresher for the team’s goalie tandem. On the bright side, Sebastian Cossa has even more upside and is working his way towards the Red Wings.