5 players the Red Wings shouldn’t bring back next season

The Detroit Red Wings have been going through a long rebuild since Steve Yzerman returned to the organization, so now it’s time to take the next step.

Carolina Hurricanes v Detroit Red Wings
Carolina Hurricanes v Detroit Red Wings / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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Olli Maatta has been serviceable, but there are better, younger options

Shayne Gostisbehere is in the final year of his contract, and while the Red Wings should be committed to getting younger, they should seriously consider hanging onto the 31-year-old blueliner, who is fourth on the team with 47 points at the time of this writing. Had Gostisbehere not played such a stellar game, then he would have been easy to let walk, but that hasn’t been the case, and someone else needs to leave this logjam.

Unlike Gostisbehere, Olli Maatta has another year left on his contract, so like Holl, he would also factor in as trade bait. Maatta has also been a serviceable member of the Red Wings defensive rotation, playing short-handed minutes and logging a stellar on-ice save percentage of 93.3 percent at 5-on-5.

Detroit’s 11.8 on-ice shooting percentage while Maatta is on the ice is another testament to how well he’s played for them in both zones, which would make it tough for the team to part ways with him via trade. 

Maatta isn’t a bad fit, but the Red Wings already have a decent six-man rotation brewing with Simon Edvinsson coming along and Moritz Seider having established himself as a top blueliner. This would likely drop Maatta down to the seventh man in the rotation. But at an AAV of $3 million, even for another year, it’s best to trade him, get compensation, and bring in a cheaper rotational piece.