5 game-changing free agents who would drastically help the Red Wings next season

The Detroit Red Wings are in that precarious situation where they haven’t been an undisputed playoff contender, but sneaking in as a wild card was realistic.
Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers
Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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With so much cap space and a “playoffs or bust” season in 2024-25, general manager Steve Yzerman must make something happen this offseason if he’s interested in keeping himself off the hot seat. “Playoffs or bust” may not be what some fans in the Motor City want to hear, but Yzerman has been back with the organization long enough, and playing in 82-game seasons will no longer be acceptable. 

That said, Yzerman may need to keep looking to add quality talent from outside the Red Wings organization to further speed up the process. This doesn’t mean he can’t promote prospects to play for this team full-time, nor does he need to sign anyone who could get into the way of others there may not be room for when the regular season begins in mid-October. 

But he can’t just let a few players walk in free agency and only replace them with incoming prospects, lest he risk the team stagnating next year. 

Steve Yzerman must consider bringing in one or more sound free agents

There are some positions he must address through free agency, no matter what. For example, there is no way he can allow the goaltending to fare so poorly again, nor should there be any way he should sit in the press box and watch his team allow 32.4 shots on goal per game. 

Here is an interesting statistic for the Red Wings at 5-on-5: Their Corsi For is a meager 45.9 percent, showing us how poorly this team has been at getting the puck out of their own zone half the time. Sure, they can score often, but the Red Wings allow way too many shots, both shots on goal and as far as the Corsi goes. 

Just how bad was this team in the Corsi For Percentage at 5-on-5? You may not believe it, but through 78 games - not counting their recent loss to Pittsburgh - only the Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks were worse. So, when it comes to signing some unrestricted free agents this offseason, improving defensively would help lead to more chances in the offensive zone. 

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