One pending free agent the Red Wings can steal from their Atlantic Division rivals

Even if the Detroit Red Wings look to promote in-house, it doesn’t mean Steve Yzerman won’t still look outside the organization for help this summer.
Ottawa Senators v Detroit Red Wings
Ottawa Senators v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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The Detroit Red Wings could still make the comeback this season and land a spot in the NHL Playoffs. Regardless of what happens, this organization and their fan base should be intrigued, since 2023-24 has been a much-improved year from what we saw in 2022-23. 

Since February 29th, Detroit is a meager 4-10-2 (10 points), and they have struggled through a couple of identical frustrating spans this season. So they still need to grow as a team and it also wouldn’t hurt for general manager Steve Yzerman to look beyond the organization to add just one more free agent or two, even if he’s looking to bring up some prospects next year. 

Further, why not look toward some players who have become familiar faces who are currently suiting up for division rivals season slated to become free agents once 2023-24 comes to a close? Let’s check out a few names he should at least consider bringing to the Motor City this summer. 

Kevin Shattenkirk, Defenseman/Boston Bruins

Kevin Shattenkirk is a 14-year veteran with a Stanley Cup on his resume and as a defenseman, he would be well-equipped to help the Red Wings out near the crease. He’s not the top-four player he was if 2023-24 gives us any indication since Shattenkirk is logging third-pairing minutes - a career-low 15:43 of average total ice time. 

But this shouldn’t deter Yzerman if he needed to fill one more vacancy on the blue line, as Shattenkirk has shown he can still produce. He should once again threaten to block triple-digits worth of shot attempts next season, he’s still relatively physical, and he can still possess a two-way game - 22 points and five goals in 57 outings with the Bruins. 

Shattenkirk, like many free agents on this list, also won’t get in any prospect’s way, as he’s at the point in his career where he’s signing one-year deals, and nothing more. At 35, there is a good chance he retires if the Bruins win the Cup, but if he wants to return and play again, he wouldn’t cost the Red Wings much.  

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