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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Ian Cole would make the Red Wings more respectable in the defensive zone

The Red Wings need to stop allowing so many shot attempts per contest, and aspects of their 5-on-5 game cannot be down there with the worst teams in the league. Instead of struggling through another season with a pedestrian blue line, they need to sign someone who can block several shots per contest. 

Ian Cole has been a big reason Thatcher Demko was enjoying a season that could have won him the Vezina had he not gotten hurt, and he could do the same for Detroit’s next goaltender. Even if Yzerman decided to give the trio of Ville Husso, James Reimer, and Alex Lyon another season, all three of them would benefit from Cole. 

He may be an older player, so look for this to be a one-year deal and nothing more, but that’s okay since we are taking potential prospects into consideration. Yet, with 163 blocks through 76 games with Vancouver, it’s hard to ignore the fact Cole can still play at a high level and that he would at least keep the number of shots on goal more manageable. 

His presence alone wouldn’t provide any miracles, but there is a good chance that, if everything else remains equal, Cole would help take the Red Wings number of shots on goal to under 30 per game.