One dream, one realistic, and one bargain free agent for the Red Wings to sign in NHL free agency

The Detroit Red Wings won’t end up with much cap space for NHL free agency after they make some key re-signings and extensions, but they’ll sign some talent.
Detroit Red Wings v Calgary Flames
Detroit Red Wings v Calgary Flames / Leah Hennel/GettyImages
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Realistic Free Agent: Jonathan Drouin, W/Colorado Avalanche

This one wouldn’t happen if the Red Wings re-sign Patrick Kane, but until an extension becomes a reality, I’m never one to assume anything. Instead, I’d rather speculate that Steve Yzerman, if he can’t reach a deal with Kane, goes out and brings in a winger whose projected salary is roughly what it would be if he were to re-sign the 35-year-old. 

Alexander MacLean of Dobber Hockey has Jonathan Drouin going for a projected cap hit of $2.54 million, something Yzerman should fit into the team’s budget regardless of how much money he dishes out to re-sign Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider. Drouin is also younger, and he would give more years than Kane. So if Yzerman can’t or decides not to reach a deal with the seasoned veteran, someone like Drouin makes for an outstanding consolation. 

He finished last season with 19 goals and a 15.0 shooting percentage, both of which were good for the second-best numbers of his career. Drouin also had 37 assists, giving him a career-high 56 points, and his performance also earned him a career-best in average total ice time at 18:11. 

While the Colorado Avalanche were the best-scoring team in the NHL, it was still remarkable to see that Drouin was on the ice for an outrageous 49 power play goals. And his numbers on the man advantage weren’t anything to brag about, with five goals and 19 points. But either way, his presence at 5-on-4 had more than just a positive effect on the Avalanche.