3 blueliners the Red Wings must avoid trading for in the 2024 offseason

The Detroit Red Wings need to acquire defensemen and goaltenders in 2024, but there are three potential trade candidates they should refrain from targeting.
Dec 22, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Red Wings right wing Alex DeBrincat (93) Philadelphia
Dec 22, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Alex DeBrincat (93) Philadelphia / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
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Rasmus Ristolainen, D/Philadelphia Flyers

During his eight seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Rasmus Ristolainen logged top-four minutes and put up over a half-point per game with some of the worst teams in the NHL. That hasn’t been quite the same story with the Philadelphia Flyers, and it’s just one indication Ristolainen has regressed as a player. 

So far, throughout his stint in the City of Brotherly Love, Ristolainen has averaged just 19:32 of ice time, over a four-minute decrease from what we saw with the Sabres, where he averaged 23:53. 

Ristolainen’s contributions when his team has the puck have also been a far cry from his days with the Sabres, as he has just 40 points in 171 games played. So it’s not like he would make for an adequate replacement for someone like Shayne Gostisbehere should the latter go elsewhere. 

Then there is the case for the fact Ristolainen has made fewer appearances than Timothy Liljegren, as he’s played in an average of just 57 contests per year since he debuted with the Flyers. Also, like Liljegren, the best trade package for Steve Yzerman regarding Ristolainen would entail him trading a late-round pick and placing the former first-round selection onto the third-pairing. 

Ristolainen has accumulated 448 hits and 312 blocks in Philadelphia, and as mentioned so many times, the Red Wings could use a blueliner who can be physical. But that’s about all Ristolainen will give them, and right now, his best bet is to play somewhere on a third-pairing.