Detroit Red Wings have utterly mishandled the Jonatan Berggren situation

The Detroit Red Wings have dropped the ball with Jonatan Berggren. They have handled this situation poorly and its going to come back to bite them in the long run.
Dec 11, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Jonatan Berggren (48) in action
Dec 11, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Jonatan Berggren (48) in action / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings have gone out and assigned Jonatan Berggren to the Grand Rapids Griffins. After yet another cup of coffee with the Red Wings, he was demoted from the NHL level. Honestly, it's frustrating to watch Berggren get shafted like this. It also brings me to believe the end of the line is coming.

I've been higher on him for a couple of years now. After 2022-23, I thought he would become a bottom-six fixture. Frankly, I thought he would play alongside Joe Veleno or Michael Rasmussen and start to get his sea legs under him. Sure, those three names do not have the making of a dominant force, but it really felt like Jonatan Berggren had a spot to grow and develop with the Red Wings.

But instead, the Red Wings find themselves in a spot where Berggren has been pushed out of Detroit. To an extent, Detroit has forced its hand with Berggren. He's got to be disgruntled, whether he's showing it or not, but the trade rumors circled pre-deadline, and the Red Wings never pulled something off.

It seems like this situation has not been handled very well. Detroit dropped the ball a little, but given that they added in Patrick Kane, it became even harder to see where Berggren could fit with this roster. Detroit called up Berggren and gave him another teaser of games, but it's just another one of those situations where they missed the boat.

Detroit Red Wings have mishandled the Jonatan Berggren situation.

Berggren was demoted to start the 2023-24 season due to his waiver-exempt status. Now, the Red Wings are doing the same thing, manipulating his service time like teams do in baseball, in a way. They narrowly keep Berggren as a waiver-exempt player. Per the WIIM piece on Berggren's assignment, he has just one more game before he loses that waiver-exempt status.

He's a pending restricted free agent (RFA) this summer and will likely be someone the Red Wings have to move. Maybe I'm reading the room incorrectly, but Berggren's tired of being in the AHL. While the numbers are good and he's performing/producing, he's ready for the NHL, but the Red Wings are not in a position to give him that consistent chance.

Detroit will pigeonhole themselves into a spot where he has to be moved to another team. Sure, I trust Steve Yzerman to win trades, with many of his deals looking all right in the long run, but this one worries me. Giving up Berggren is one of those moves where the Red Wings will be the loser on the other end.

Berggren has a bright future and I'm holding to that. Sending him back to the minors was not the best decision for the team, and it had to be seen by others. Even though he was not producing much in the NHL, he deserved more of a chance than he has gotten in 2023-24.

Berggren's 12 games in the NHL this year is frustrating. He's got two goals and four assists but has yet to have the chance to really settle into a role with the team over an extended period. For now, he goes back to Grand Rapids. He has played in 43 games, with 19 goals and 27 assists for 46 total points.

He'll look to help out Grand Rapids down the stretch, but the Red Wings may have really mishandled this situation.