Detroit Red Wings' contract with Andrew Copp might be a problem

Andrew Copp's contract might be a "miss" by Detroit Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman.

Detroit Red Wings center Andrew Copp (18) handles the puck along the boards.
Detroit Red Wings center Andrew Copp (18) handles the puck along the boards. / Brian Bradshaw Sevald-USA TODAY Sports
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Andrew Copp's contract with Detroit Red Wings is ugly.

The Detroit Red Wings may not be thinking about contracts right now; that's more of the off-season topic, but halfway through year two, it's got some of us thinking. Andrew Copp's five-year contract that he signed before the 2022-23 season could wind up being ugly.

When it comes to the Detroit Red Wings forward core, Copp has already begun a descent on the depth chart. Last offseason, the Red Wings signed J.T. Compher to a five-year deal. With Dylan Larkin locked up, barring any changes, Copp will be a third-line center at best on this Red Wings team.

Copp came in as the second-line center for Detroit after a big 2021-22 season where he was a trade deadline mover, being sent to the New York Rangers. He was solid between his time with the Jets and Rangers that season but has been unable to replicate during his time in Detroit.

At some point or another, Detroit's gotta see some value start to come around. Otherwise, Copp's contract could become problematic in the long run. The Red Wings need to find a way to extract more value from their forward, or he could end up being a potential buyout down the line or a trade candidate in a salary dump.

Detroit Red Wings forward Andrew Copp's contract is a slippery slope.

Through another half-year of games with the Detroit Red Wings, Copp remains a lackluster performer overall. Copp's spent a year and a half with the Red Wings and failed to produce like he had in the past. Last season, Copp played in 82 games, scoring nine goals and adding 33 assists for 42 total points.

This year, Copp has played 40 games, scoring six goals and adding 13 assists for 19 total points. He may have snapped a scoring drought on Thursday, tallying a goal against the Edmonton Oilers. He may have three points over the Red Wings in the last few games, but he has not been great.

Copp has work to do. He's a bottom-six forward as things stand, but he has struggled to really produce as expected. No one was expecting 30 goals or 60 points even, but getting back up to 50 points or so might be nice. Crossing past last year's line of production would be nice as well.

With the third-highest contract in the forward core, boasting a $5.625 million annual value, Copp needs to find ways to bring more value to the Red Wings moving forward. If not, that contract will only get uglier for the Red Wings each year.

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