3 pending UFA forwards the Detroit Red Wings need to re-sign

The Detroit Red Wings have four pending UFA free-agent forwards, three of whom should be re-signed this offseason.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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The Detroit Red Wings need to make re-signing Patrick Kane a priority.

Many questions needed to be answered after the Detroit Red Wings signed future Hall of Fame forward Patrick Kane. He's answered them all. The main concern about the one-year prorated deal worth $2 million in real money this season would be how Kane's resurfaced hip would respond over the course of the season. Well, the hips have been fine. Kane did miss a couple of weeks due to a lower-body injury just before the All-Star break, but that injury, thankfully, had nothing to do with the hip.

Kane looks like his old self with the Red Wings. He's displayed elite vision and playmaking ability, plus he's always a threat to score while he's on the ice. Kane is a threat at even strength, but he's worth his weight in gold while working on the power play. Kane is one of the main reasons the Detroit Red Wings maintain the 11th-best power play (23.3%) in the league.

Kane's 3.2 points per 60 minutes is his best since 2020-21. His Relative Corsi For sits at 2.5 during even strength play, considerably better than his career average of 1.7. Kane averages nearly 18 minutes per night, usually playing on Detroit's top line. Kane has recorded nine goals and 23 points over 24 games this season. The players admire him, a three-time Stanley Cup winner who brings a winning pedigree to this young Red Wing team. I struggle knowing how much Yzerman could potentially receive in return for Kane ahead of the trade deadline. Still, I feel as though if he's willing to remain in Detroit for the next couple of seasons, his on and off-the-ice impact may actually benefit the organization as much or more than what they'd get in return for his services. Also, it goes without saying that Kane chose to join the Red Wings when he could have signed with just about any Stanley Cup contender. If he's enjoying his time in Detroit and the organization's overall direction, I could certainly see a reunion this summer.

The Red Wings have a robust prospect pool, and at some point, you need to surround those young players with proven leaders who have been through those seven-game playoff series. You can't go into the playoffs with a bunch of inexperienced 'kids' and hope to win a Stanley Cup. The right chemistry needs to be in place, and a player like Kane, someone Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond, Alex DeBrincat, and Moritz Seider can lean on when the going gets tough, is also essential. It's similar to why Yzerman initially brought in David Perron and, more recently, J.T. Compher.

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