Opinion: Red Wings Shouldn’t Upgrade Defense in Free Agency

The Detroit Red Wings shouldn’t sign a big-name free agent or defensemen this offseason.

You’re probably not going to like what I have to say, but that’s OK.

Late last week Detroit Free Press Red Wings beat reporter Helene St. James wrote an article about how the team needs defense help, along with a handful of options.

In it includes the likes of Alex Pietrangelo, Torey Krug and Tyson Barrie, among others. All of the options within her story are likely out of the equation, with only Kevin Shattenkirk in my opinion being a viable option. That’s mainly because he might be willing to sign a short-term deal.

The others, that doesn’t seem likely. Not to mention, most of these veterans will want to play for a chance at the Stanley Cup, but money talks, we all know that.

That said, I don’t want general manager Steve Yzerman and the organization’s money to talk quite yet. They’re not ready to compete for a Stanley Cup, and unless it’s a short-term deal – which I preached about in my evaluation of the Red Wings’ goalie situation – then I don’t want them to spend the money or years on pieces who don’t fit the rebuild.

Want to sign Shattenkirk to a one-year deal? Go ahead, Stevie. Want to sign Krug to a one-year deal? Let’s do that, too.

But if Yzerman falls into the same pattern Ken Holland did, which is signing players to long-term deals, then this franchise is in big trouble. For the record, Yzerman doesn’t seem to show any signs of this, and actually seems to be inline with what I’m hoping continues. Sign players to short-term deals if they don’t fit the picture. Save overpaying a defenseman now and use it to keep your core pieces like Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi this offseason.

In the meantime, let Danny DeKeyser, Filip Hronek, Patrik Nemeth and Alex Biega fill the void. Then let Gustav Lindström, Mortiz Seider, Dennis Cholowski, Joe Hicketts and likely Madison Bowey compete for two starting slots and a depth position.

Continue to identify the holes, and fill them in 2021, 2022 and beyond. The time to spend isn’t now.

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