4 pending unrestricted free agents the Red Wings must bring back for 2024-25

The Detroit Red Wings should focus on promoting their young core, but it doesn’t mean they need to let all their unrestricted free agents walk.
Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers
Detroit Red Wings v Florida Panthers / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Re-signing Patrick Kane needs to be Steve Yzerman’s top priority

Even the most passionate Detroit Red Wings fan had to be taking the “cautiously optimistic” approach regarding the Patrick Kane signing. On one hand, Steve Yzerman landed one of the best wingers in NHL history, but that winger was also 35 years old and coming off of a hip resurfacing procedure. 

There was a better chance of this being one of Yzerman’s more ill-fated moves despite the low price tag and contract length. Then Kane started playing again and became nearly a point-per-game player, with 42 points and 18 goals in the 43 contests he’s played since he debuted with Detroit as of April 4th.

Say what you will about Kane in foresight, whether you were for him coming to the Motor City or not, but nobody saw him returning to form like this. He’s enjoying a better season than he had last year and if Kane had been ready to roll in October, he’d have easily surpassed his 2022-23 points total. 

No, Yzerman doesn’t need to sign Kane to a long-term deal, but it would be wise to bring him back for another season, if not two years, for what has been one of the bigger surprises and feel-good stories in the NHL. Maybe Kane doesn’t play as well as he did this season in 2024-25, but he will fare well enough to remain a positive asset in Detroit.