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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Signing Ilya Samsonov would immediately upgrade the crease

It would make a ton of sense for the Toronto Maple Leafs to re-sign Ilya Samsonov following his resurgence this season. For the longest time, the Maple Leafs were one of those, “Well, they would be a great team if they just had some decent goaltending,” and Samsonov has recently given them that. 

While Samsonov’s quality starts percentage this season is just 0.500 with a 0.895 save percentage and a 3.00 GAA, let’s judge him more on what he’s done recently. Since January 2024, Samsonov has a 0.913 save percentage, 601 saves on 658 shot attempts, and an 18-4-1 record. 

He’s been a major reason that the Maple Leafs managed to pull ahead and take third place in the Atlantic Division, and there is no reason to believe he won’t parlay that success in the playoffs. Perhaps he will test the market in July if general manager Brad Treliving doesn’t manage to re-sign him before free agency begins. And if that’s the case, Steve Yzerman would be wise to swoop in and try to bring him to Michigan. 

Given the struggles the Red Wings have faced this season at goaltender, even if Yzerman signed no one else, Samsonov’s presence would give this team better results defensively.