The Detroit Red Wings made a couple of big moves this off-season to bolster up the roster. One of those big moves from the Red Wings was to go out and sign veteran defender Ben Chiarot to strengthen the team’s defensive core.
Detroit Red Wings General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman went out and signed Chiarot to a four-year, $19 million contract. He’s been in the league for 10 years and is a veteran defender. However, has not exactly settled in super well with the Red Wings.
Do not get it twisted, he’s had some value in the defensive zone and tallied some offense, but there was not as much to like as many were hoping for to start Chiarot’s tenure in Detroit. There were expectations he would help anchor the top pairing but instead has looked like more of a second-pairing guy.
He has proven to bring value in the defensive zone with his physicality, but I have just been underwhelmed by his performance in totality in 2022-23. The offense is what’s lacking. Even for a defensive defenseman, things have not panned out as some were expecting.
Detroit Red Wings defender Ben Chiarot has been underwhelming.
In 2022-23, Chiarot played in 46 games where he has four goals and nine assists for 13 total points. Also of note, he has 101 blocks and 106 hits on the season, speaking to the gritty part of his game.
But the offense has been underwhelming, and he’s worth about a -0.75 WAR, according to figures from JFresh Hockey of EP Rinkside. Even being a defensive asset for the Red Wings, his Corsi For % numbers are horrendous. Chiarot comes in 12.9% lower than the team average.
I’m all for the defensive defenseman narrative, but it just feels like there needs to be more coming from Chiarot. The offense is lacking big-time, and his defense could still be better. He gets caught jumping into the offense at times, and if he’s going to sell out for defense, he needs to do so.
I understand that can sound conflicting, given I am saying that his offensive skills need to improve as well. But something has to give. I’ve been underwhelmed by Chiarot’s performance in 2022-23, and I would like to see him either tap into some more offense or really sure up the defense to be the team’s lockdown defender.
He’s got the potential to be a top-pairing defender; he just needs to show it more for the Red Wings as the season continues. If not, it could turn into a long four years with Chiarot back there.
This could be me jumping to conclusions, as I was not a huge fan of the move to sign Chiarot from the get-go, but I can see where he brings value; I just wish there was more.