After their third consecutive first-round exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Detroit Red Wings will be looking to bolster their lineup to get back into the contending position their fans have grown accustomed to. Their most urgent need is scoring after finishing 23rd overall in the NHL in goals scored last season. In addition, adding defensive help is a need. Here are the top five free-agents that Detroit should consider going after.
Keith Yandle would be a welcomed addition to Detroit’s lineup, especially if they decide to part ways with Kyle Quincey. Yandle is known for his excellent skating, great offensive skills, and playing all over the ice; not to mention playing the point on the power play.
Another player who the Red Wings should consider signing is Troy Brouwer. The reliable forward had a strong playoff for the St. Louis Blues, recording 13 points as they reached the Western Conference Finals. His size (6’3, 213 lbs) is a valuable asset, as well as his ability to compliment skilled players, his defensive play, and willingness to play in front of the net. He also shoots right-handed, something Detroit needs more of.
This former captain of the Winnipeg Jets and two-time Stanley Cup champion would be another welcomed addition to Detroit’s lineup. He finished last season with 25 goals splitting time between the Jets and Blackhawks, who acquired him at the trade deadline for his second tour of duty with the club. He fits in well on the offensive side of the game and isn’t afraid to dish out hits when needed.
This tough forward can play either center or wing, and his known for his nose for the net, gritty play, and ability to dole out punishing body checks. He also chips in offensively, having totaled 160 points the last three seasons. His shut-down style of play would be a tremendous addition, and would also take pressure off Justin Abdelkader, who is currently Detroit’s grittiest forward.
The number one free agent priority for Detroit (and, let’s face it, the rest of the NHL) will be Lightning forward and captain Steven Stamkos. Unable to reach a deal with Tampa Bay, he’ll be the most coveted free-agent forward in years. He had been linked to the Red Wings earlier this year with a potential trade that didn’t fall through. The former 60-goal scorer is still in his prime, and would give Detroit arguably their first true “sniper” since Marian Hossa in 2008-09. With Pavel Datsyuk’s likely departure, the Red Wings will need offensive help. Signing Stamkos would fit the bill perfectly.