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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Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Defenseman/Florida Panthers

Much like Kevin Shattenkirk, Oliver Ekman-Larsson would bring a winning mentality to the Red Wings, and his experience would be just as useful in finally getting this team across the threshold to the playoffs. 

The only difference is that, as a blueliner more equipped to log top-four minutes even at this stage in his career, Ekman-Larsson would also be in a better position to address a weakness. Hey, if the Red Wings can’t find anyone to stop the puck from consistently finding the net, they may as well find a blueliner or two who can consistently put themselves in good position to help stop pucks from reaching the crease. 

Ekman-Larsson doesn’t block a ton of shots on goal, but he is someone who will consistently help a team like the Red Wings establish possession in the offensive zone - his 56.1 in the Corsi this season at 5-on-5 shows us that. The Florida Panthers are a good overall hockey team, but Detroit is also good enough offensively for a player like Ekman-Larsson to showcase his skills offensively after he helps move the puck through the neutral zone. 

Although Ekman-Larsson isn’t an elite scorer, he's someone who could help further Detroit’s power play prowess, thanks to how valuable he’s been for the Panthers on the man advantage. He would also give Detroit help when they are short-handed, and he’s yet another player on this list who could contribute as a physical presence.