3 potential buyout candidates the Red Wings must keep an eye on

Conventionally, we think of free agency and trades to help bolster a team, but the Detroit Red Wings could find a serviceable player following the buyout phase.
Nov 15, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (36) blocks a shot in front of Detroit Red Wings center Oskar Sundqvist (70) during the first period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 15, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (36) blocks a shot in front of Detroit Red Wings center Oskar Sundqvist (70) during the first period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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John Gibson would make a sensible signing and upgrade at goaltender

If there’s one underrated goaltender who I haven’t spoken much about, it’s John Gibson, and he’s a player who could immediately turn his career around if he lands with the right team. While, thanks to its play defensively this past season, Detroit may not be the ideal place for a goaltender to resurrect their respective careers, almost anywhere is better than Anaheim at the moment. 

No, Gibson’s previous five seasons have not been up to par, with just 74 wins, 129 losses, and 33 overtime losses from 2019-20 and onward. He’s also struggled with a 0.900 save percentage, a 3.36 GAA, six shutouts, and a sub-0.500 quality starts percentage. But Anaheim has also been one of the NHL’s worst teams in each of those five seasons, to the point their scoring units ranked no better than 22nd, and you can say something similar for the team defensively. 

Sure, you would want someone like Gibson to help bail his team out of trouble, especially for a player with his talent. But Anaheim has played so poorly, even Connor Hellebuyck probably wouldn’t step in there and save the situation if he were in the net over those same five seasons. 

Gibson barely played better than expected if we’re looking at xGA at even strength vs.aGA, but still, it’s hard to accurately gauge a sample size with a team like the Anaheim Ducks. So if Anaheim bought out Gibson’s contract and if the number of options for the Red Wings dwindled to the point that snagging him would make sense, general manager Steve Yzerman shouldn’t hesitate to make the move.