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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Daniel Sprong has been a great stopgap, but it’s best to let him walk

Regardless of which team they play for, there are some players you can’t help but root for, and Sprong is one of them. But players like Sprong aren’t meant to be any more than stopgaps who fill a position for a season or two until a prospect is ready to take over. 

This is the situation the Red Wings find themselves in with the 27-year-old, despite his follow-up to what was a breakout year with the Seattle Kraken last season. Sprong has enough time to snag a career-high in goals scored if he gets five more, and he’s only seven points from setting a new career-high in points. 

Such production will undoubtedly raise Sprong’s value, even if he’s likely to sign nothing more than a “bridge deal” regarding an overall contract length. Since the focus should be to get younger in the Motor City and to sign such players to long-term contracts, it makes little sense to keep Sprong around. 

He’s one of those players you don’t want to see walk away, thanks to the productivity he’s put in. But if Yzerman is thinking ahead, there is no way he could justify bringing Sprong back on a multi-year deal, even if it’s for two or three seasons at a higher price if it means getting in the way of a younger prospect.