3 players the Detroit Red Wings absolutely shouldn't bring back next season

There is a busy off-season ahead for the Detroit Red Wings. Here are three players that shouldn't return next season.
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The Detroit Red Wings and general manager Steve Yzerman are poised to have a busy off-season this summer. Detroit has a few important pending free agents to get extended and will suddenly find themselves juggling the salary cap. Yzerman needs to make sure this team, which has been slowly ascending over the past few seasons, doesn't abruptly become stuck in neutral.

The Red Wings ended their season with 91 points. Unfortunately, this was not enough to secure them a spot in the playoffs. Their inability to perform well in March played a significant role in their failure to qualify for the postseason for the eighth consecutive year. Although the team had more overall wins than the Washington Capitals, they still missed the tiebreaker because the Capitals had more regulation victories. The Red Wings have no one to blame but themselves for missing out on the playoffs.

The first order of business for Yzerman is extending restricted free agents Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider. Both are likely to command in the $8 million per season range. Following that, Yzerman will need to decide whether David Perron and/or Patrick Kane will be returning to the organization next season. Then, it's decisions on Shayne Gostisbehere, Joe Veleno, Christian Fischer, and Daniel Sprong.

It's unlikely all will be returning, especially if Detroit is eager to improve in a few areas this summer via the free-agent market. Here are three players the Detroit Red Wings definitely shouldn't bring back next year.

The Detroit Red Wings should move on from Jeff Petry.

Despite having one year left on his current deal, the Detroit Red Wings need to move on from veteran defenseman Jeff Petry.

The homecoming for the Ann Arbor native didn't go as planned this past season for the son of Detroit Tigers legend Dan Petry. Petry finished the year with three goals and 24 points over 73 games. The veteran defender managed a minus-7 rating while maintaining a Corsi For Percentage of 44.4%, playing just shy of 19 minutes per night. Although he never appeared to be a reliable defender over the course of the year, Petry didn't perform as poorly over the first 2/3 of the season as many made it out to be, but the little good he did during that time was quickly washed away by a god awful March.

Petry played 51 games and scored two goals, earning 18 points, and maintaining a plus-4 rating while playing an average of almost 19 minutes per night before March. In March, Petry played 13 games, earned two assists, and had a minus-14 score while playing for 19 minutes. Although plus/minus is not a preferred stat in 2024, it can still be an indicator of performance if it changes dramatically over a short period of time.

Petry has one year remaining on his current contract, which has an average annual value of $2.3 million. It's not a large cap hit, so Yzerman may be able to move to a club looking to add a third pairing or veteran depth defender.