Red Wings: GM Yzerman Continues to Rebuild Detroit Roster

The rebuild continues for the Detroit Red Wings. Led by captain Dylan Larkin, the Red Wings have 16 current roster players under contract for 2022-23. According to capfriendly.com, the Red Wings have almost $36M in cap space for next season.

Several changes are expected before opening night.

Red Wings Under Contract

Here are the 16 players still under contract, according to capfriendly.com:

  • Dylan Larkin has one year remaining at a cap hit of $6.1 million before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA).
  • Jakub Vrana has two years remaining at a cap hit of $5.25 million before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA).
  • Tyler Bertuzzi has one year remaining at a cap hit of $4.75 million before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA).
  • Robby Fabbri has three years remaining at a cap hit of $4.0 million before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA).
  • Pius Suter has one year remaining at a cap hit of $3.25 million before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA).
  • Oskar Sundqvist has one year remaining at a cap hit of $2.75 million before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA).
  • Adam Erne has one year remaining at a cap hit of $2.1 million before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA).
  • Michael Rasmussen has one year remaining at a cap hit of $1.46 million before he becomes an restricted free agent (RFA).
  • Lucas Raymond has two years remaining at a cap hit of $925,000 before he becomes an restricted free agent (RFA).
  • Givani Smith has one year remaining at a cap hit of $750,000 before he becomes an restricted free agent (RFA).
  • Filip Hronek has two years remaining at a cap hit of $4.4 million before he becomes an restricted free agent (RFA).
  • Jordan Oesterle has one year remaining at a cap hit of $1.35 million before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA).
  • Moritz Seider has two years remaining at a cap hit of $863,333 before he becomes an restricted free agent (RFA).
  • Gustav Lindstrom has one year remaining at a cap hit of $850,000 before he becomes an restricted free agent (RFA).
  • Steven Kampfer has one year remaining at a cap hit of $750,000 before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA).
  • Alex Nedeljkovic has one year remaining at a cap hit of $3.0 million before he becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA).

The team that General Manager Steve Yzerman puts on the ice in October will be slightly different than the one that missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.

Restricted Free Agents

Once Yzerman signs restricted free agents (RFA) such as Mitchell Stephens, Filip Zadina, Olli Juolevi, and Jake Walman, the Red Wings will have 20 players under contract and plenty of cap space.

All of the RFAs are not expected to remain with the franchise. Zadina and Walman will likely re-sign contracts, but the jury is still out on whether Juolevi and/or Stephens will remain with the Red Wings.

Assuming that Stephens and Juolevi are not re-signed, the Red Wings will have five openings on their 23-player roster to start the season. One will be a free agent goaltender, and four will be players.

How will Yzerman fill out this roster?

Internal Options

Jonatan Berggren is the most NHL-ready forward in the organization. After setting a Grand Rapids record for points by a rookie, Berggren will need to earn a roster spot in training camp. Berggren has an NHL cap hit of $925,000 for two more years.

Simon Edvinsson recently signed his three-year entry-level contract with Detroit. Edvinsson will play in either Detroit or Grand Rapids next season. Edvinsson has an NHL cap hit of $925,000.

Albert Johansson has been on loan to Farjestad (SHL) for the last two seasons. With Farjestad being relegated to the HockeyAllsvenskan next year, it is likely that Johansson will play for either Detroit or Grand Rapids next season. Johansson has an NHL cap hit of $820,000 when he arrives in Detroit.

Jared McIsaac played his first professional season in Grand Rapids this year. McIsaac will challenge for a spot on Detroit during training camp. The left-shot defenseman has an NHL cap hit of $764,167.

Unrestricted Free Agents

Helping to round out the roster will most likely be at least one UFA Yzerman signs this summer.

  • Sam Gagner was an effective two-way player for the Red Wings once again this season. Yzerman may choose to re-sign Gagner to yet another one-year contract.
  • Marc Staal is a possibility to be re-signed by the Red Wings. Staal was steady for most of the year, and if Yzerman re-signs Staal, it will likely be in the $2M range he earned this year.
  • Turner Elson played all but two games in the AHL. If Yzerman decides to extend him, Elson will likely earn the league minimum of $750,000.
  • Danny DeKeyser just concluded his 10th season in a Red Wings uniform. DeKeyser had a $5M cap hit for the last six years and will likely either retire or he will explore opportunities on the free-agent market.
  • Thomas Greiss just completed his 2nd season in Detroit. At 36 and with a cap hit of $3.6M for the last two years, Greiss may opt to look at extending his career in another organization once he hits free agency.
  • Magnus Hellberg spent the final two weeks of the season with the Red Wings. He was exceptional at the recently completed IIHF World Championships playing for Sweden. If he signs with Detroit, it will likely be with a higher cap hit than the $800,000 he had this year.

Final Thoughts

It will be interesting to see what happens with this roster. If Yzerman adds one or two top-end UFA’s, the team should continue to move in the right direction and get closer to contending for a playoff spot.

Even though Yzerman likes veteran players, today’s NHL is all about speed and skill, and the young players in the Red Wings’ stable of prospects should accelerate the rebuild over the next few seasons.

Chris Giles

Chris Giles is a former junior hockey player and coach from Canada. He has been a diehard Detroit Red Wings fan for almost 50 years. Chris is an avid golfer who has volunteered at several PGA and Canadian Open Championships throughout North America.

2 thoughts on “Red Wings: GM Yzerman Continues to Rebuild Detroit Roster

  1. I think Sam Gagner will be resigned the other 3 spots left open for rookies to compete to fill

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