3 Forwards That the Red Wings Need to Pursue in Free Agency

Valeri Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Valeri Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
Valeri Nichushkin of the Colorado Avalanche. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Valeri Nichuskin, LW/RW

Valeri Nichushkin came into the league back in 2013 with the Dallas Stars. Showing signs of being a pretty good player in this league, the Stars decided to give him a chance. That wasn’t the smart move.

In his four years with the Dallas Stars, he did not do well at all from a production standpoint. He played in 223 games with them and only had 23 goals, 51 assists for 74 total points. But it was clear that he wasn’t the player they thought they were getting and that’s when he ended up in Colorado.

Since moving teams, Nichushkin has really hit his stride. More specifically, this season. Nichushkin has been incredibly valuable to the Avalanche in their current post-season run, but he was also a huge part to their organization throughout the regular season as well.

Having played in 62 games this season for the Avalanche, he was able to record 25 goals, 27 assists, for a total of 52 points. All the while having a +/- of +21. And if you look up a little bit you’ll see that in 223 games with the stars he had 23 goals; In 62 games with the Avalanche just this season, he had 25 goals. Which has always been the point that I’ve tried to make- a change of scenary may be all it takes for some of these ‘Washed up players’.

Now, even though he was very good in the regular season, he has absolutley been a force this post-season for the Avalanche. Having played in 17 games so far, he has eight goals and five assists for 13 total points. But, what’s even more surprsing is the time on ice he’s been seeing.

For his incredible efforts, the Avalanche have decided to give him an increase in ice time.

But, now it’s time to talk about why the Red Wings should sign him:

The Red Wings roster is wide open since they currently have 11 players listed as free agents. Not to mention the cap space they currently have, money is no issue if they want to go after some of the bigger names on the free agent market. But that’s not Yzerman’s style. He seems to like the depth more than the star power. That’s what Nichushkin is, except, he has proven to be a rising star.

Now, I have no idea if he’ll ever be a point per game player but truth be told, we wouldn’t need him to be. What we need him to do is be a gritty defensive player that can score in front of the net and shoot the puck on the wing.

Contract Options

Option A: 5yrs/$20,000,000($4,000,000 AAV)

Option B: 3yrs/$15,000,000($6,000,000 AAV)