3 free agents the Red Wings can sign away from Utah in 2024 NHL free agency

The Detroit Red Wings have 31 other teams to sign away pending unrestricted free agents from, and even Utah has some talent.
Arizona Coyotes v Detroit Red Wings
Arizona Coyotes v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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There is no shortage of quality free agents hitting the market when NHL free agency begins in July, so Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman must look hard into those from each individual team to see if they can help his group finally return to the playoffs. It doesn’t have to be a free agent class full of game-changers, and it’s something the Utah team offers. 

The three players listed in this slideshow are not those you would think of providing value to the Wings since they are primarily bottom-pairing assets on the blue line or lower-liners. But that doesn’t mean they contain no value, as you are about to discover. 

Two are even part-timers, but when the Arizona Coyotes listed them on the lineup card this year, they proved their worth, especially the first player mentioned. The second player discussed is more of a consolation prize, but Player No. 3 would make for the ultimate value investment. 

Josh Brown, D

The Red Wings can use defense, and Josh Brown would be a sneaky good talent. I initially ran the idea of Brown factoring in as a potentially good fit in a previous article, but today, I want to dive into further detail regarding the blueliner. 

Brown isn’t a big scorer, recording just 10 points and three goals, but he’s clearing the net, blocking shots, and generally making the goaltender’s job easier, even in Arizona. If the Wings had a no-frills, part-time defenseman like Brown this past season, they would have snuck past the Washington Capitals for that last playoff spot. 

In free agency, there will be several players out there with the same ability as Brown, and they will likely have more upside and could even log more ice time and serve as full-time starters. But Brown would make a great consolation as he can give the Wings more than a half-season on the bottom-pairing and short-handed minutes. 

Despite his poor possession quality at even strength, Brown was on the ice for more goals for than allowed, and his on-ice goals for of 36 sat 11 higher than his xGF. Overall, Brown wouldn’t cost much to bring in, and he is a very underrated blueliner.