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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Dominik Kubalik, Forward/Ottawa Senators

Dominik Kubalik should be a familiar face to Red Wings fans, as he spent the 2022-23 season with the organization. Steve Yzerman moved Kubalik in the Alex Debrincat trade, but so far he’s been a not-so-good fit with the Ottawa Senators. 

Barring some unforeseen extension, it’s not likely that Kubalik sticks around in Ottawa, allowing him to test the free agent market. One reason Detroit should be on his radar is mainly thanks to the fact he played well last season, recording 45 points and 20 goals in 81 games. 

It was his best year since he arrived in the NHL during the 2019-20 season with the Chicago Blackhawks. And if you remember correctly, Kubalik proved to be a serviceable forward not just at even strength, but also on the Red Wings power play, where he scored a career-best seven goals at 5-on-4.  

This article has already shared a couple of forwards who would bring a much-needed physical presence to Detroit, but the familiar face in Kubalik would be ideal. Zemgus Girgensons plays with energy and Colin White can bring depth, but Kubalik would have chemistry with many of those in the lineup and still share a dose of physical play.

That could make him the most ideal forward slated to be a free agent for Yzerman to sign if he needed a proven lower-liner for 2024-25.