3 ways the Detroit Red Wings have improved in the summer of 2024

The Detroit Red Wings' start to the summer has been odd, but they've quietly found a way to improve overall.
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As the dust begins to settle following the NHL Draft and the free agent frenzy, I want to examine three ways the Detroit Red Wings improved, albeit quietly.

It's no surprise that Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman took a quiet approach to free agency. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit disappointed with Detroit's technique. I held out hope that the Red Wings would be able to lure a big name to Detroit, whether it was Steven Stamkos, Sam Reinhart, Jake Guentzel, Brandon Montour, or Jonathan Marchessault.

Well, to my displeasure, things didn't shake out that way for Detroit. Stamkos signed a four-year, $32 million deal with the Nashville Predators. Marchessault joined Stamkos in Nashville signing a five-year, $27.5 million deal. Montour signed a seven-year, $50 million deal with the Seattle Kraken. Following a trade to Tampa Bay, Guentzel signed a seven-year extension that averages $9 million annually. Like Patrick Kane, Reinhart never hit the open market, signing an eight-year extension with Florida for $69 million.

Yzerman did make a splash by re-signing Kane to a one-year deal with a base salary of $4 million with $2.5 million in possible bonuses. Kane's bonuses are easily obtainable; he will receive $1.5 million at ten games played (GP), $250k at 60 GP, $500k if the Detroit Red Wings make the playoffs, and an additional $250k for 60 points.

Three ways the Detroit Red Wings improved this summer (so far).

Again, although I am somewhat overwhelmed with Yzerman's summer to date, he's done a few things to improve the Red Wings.

A slight improvement within the top-six forwards.

The first part, and likely the most significant part, is bringing back Patrick Kane. The biggest part is that Kane proved he's fully healthy and healed from that complicated hip resurfacing procedure a year ago. Kane will enjoy a 'regular' off-season routine where he will train and work without nursing a severe injury. He will be a part of the Red Wings from day one of the season rather than joining the team with the season already well underway. With Kane producing at a near point-per-game clip last season, I wouldn't rule out a 90-point year from the future Hall Of Famer in 2024-25.

The second part of this equation is the Detroit Red Wings replacing David Perron with Vladimir Tarasenko. Perron, 36, provided Detroit with veteran leadership and some good offensive production over the past two years, but Tarasenko supplies a higher ceiling at this juncture of his career. Tarasenko, 32, a few years younger, is coming off a reliable 23-goal, 55-point season, which finished by hoisting the Stanley Cup for the second time in his career.

The gifted scoring winger is two years removed from his last 30-goal season, but he's accomplished the feat six times throughout his career and also reached the 40-goal plateau once. Tarasenko figures to slot in on the second-line wing, playing opposite Kane with J.T. Compher between them. With Kane driving the offense on the unit and his elite playmaking ability, don't be surprised to see Tarasenko finish the year compiling somewhere between 25-30 goals, which is a significant increase from Perron's 17 a year ago.