What to Make of Detroit’s First Days of Free Agency?


Leading up to the NHL draft the Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman made a strange trade when it comes to asset management. The Red Wings traded Jake Walman to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for future considerations. This was characterized as a mystifying move by some as Walman could have been traded without adding a second-round draft pick to the deal.

The Red Wings did not add a superstar player on the first day of free agency. This is despite the team being linked to many free agents prior to the 2024 NHL draft. That does not mean that the team did not improve, though. The Red Wings drafted right-winger Michael Brandsegg-Nygård with the 15th pick in the first round of the 2024 NHL entry draft. Brandsegg-Nygård is now seen as the best right-wing prospect in the Red Wings’ system. With this pick, Brandsegg-Nygard became the first-ever Norwegian drafted in the first round.

Yzerman was fearful of the amount of term that free agents were asking for. At 35 years old and coming off a hip resurfacing surgery, Patrick Kane asking for three years was not in Yzerman’s plans. This is despite Kane scoring 20 goals and adding 27 assists in 50 games played for the Red Wings after joining the team during the 2023-24 season. With that being said, the Red Wings re-signed Kane to a one-year contract worth $6.5, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.

Kane was the fourth-leading scorer on the Red Wings during the 2023-24 season. This is where the goals need to come from in 2024-25 if the Red Wings are going to make it back to the playoffs. Despite leading the Red Wings in scoring with 33 goals, captain Dylan Larkin has been injured late in the last two seasons and needs support throughout the lineup. Larkin underwent surgery for an upper-body injury recently and should reportedly be ready for training camp.

The Red Wings signed goaltender Cam Talbot to a two-year, $2.5 million contract. This signing was in response to the Red Wings needing to use three different goalies during the 2023-24 season. This was something that Yzerman made mention of during his end-of-season press conference. A veteran at 36 years old, Talbot had a .913 SV% for the Carolina Hurricanes in 54 games played with a record of 27-20-6.

There are now four goaltenders on the Red Wings’ roster. This is untenable for a team that rostered three goalies during the 2023-24 season. During his end-of-the-season press conference, Yzerman stated that he did not want to sign a goalie if the contract did not include term. Questions still need to be answered regarding the injury of Ville Husso. The 29-year-old played in only 19 games after a lower-body injury sidelined him.

The rest of the moves that the Red Wings made filled out the bottom of the roster. If these types of moves do not pan out, they can be moved to the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL. The prospect pipeline needs filling out and these are the types of acquisitions that can be made for a team up against the salary cap of $88 million. The fact remains that Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider still need to be signed.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
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  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

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