3 former Red Wings who Steve Yzerman should not bring back in 2024-25

The Red Wings will see their fair share of former players hit the free agency market this summer, and a few of them belong in different uniforms.
Apr 11, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (39)
Apr 11, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (39) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 3

Tomas Tatar, F

Tomas Tatar could bring some outstanding defense on the Red Wings lower lines, and they can’t go without it this season. Tatar has also proven in the past that he can be a good depth scorer, and although the Red Wings don’t have a massive sense of urgency to add scorers, the more they have in the lineup, the tougher they will be. 

Further, Tatar had more than just a solid stretch during his first tenure in Detroit, where he put up 186 points and 94 goals in 318 games between 2013-14 and 2016-17, with 18 game-winners and a sound 13.4 shooting percentage. Tatar was also a physical middle-six and sometimes a top-six player, landing 337 body checks and coming up with 132 takeaways. 

But Tatar is also not the player he was, and it’s something he showed us this past season when his overall points total dropped from 48 in 82 games with the New Jersey Devils in 2022-23 to just 24 in 70 games in 2023-24. 

Tatar still put up good advanced numbers at even strength, including a 38-28 on-ice goals for vs. goals against ratio, despite the minus-1.0 possession quality, 30.4 xGF, and 31.4 xGA. 

But let’s remember he played for a very good Colorado Avalanche team and spent most of the season with the Seattle Kraken. Seattle wasn’t a great team, but their goaltending was stellar in 2023-24. Further, 16 of Tatar’s on-ice goals for, in relation to a 10.8 xGF, occurred in Colorado. 

Signing him wouldn’t be a terrible idea, but at an older age with less production and the circumstances Tatar found himself in, he would be a risk for a team seeking a postseason berth.


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)