Veteran Detroit Red Wings forward Sam Gagner made a humorous observation late last season that some of his younger teammates were “a little closer to my kids’ age.”
But Gagner, 33, stays away from the mound. His 13-goal, 31-point production in 2021-22 marked his best season since 2017-18. Gagner is a penalty-killer, a skilled defensive forward and a natural leader. If the Red Wings were trying to win a Stanley Cup, instead of rebuilding, they might have re-signed Gagner.
That’s why it’s somewhat surprising that Gagner is still on the free agent market.
Free agency is a crazy thing. As we mentioned earlier, Sam Gagner is having his best offensive season in 4 years, he had 13 goals (none on the PP) and 29 of 31 at even strength in Detroit, and he’s without a contract. If he returns to Adam, good news. But someone has to sign
— Jim Matheson (@jimmathesonnhl) August 15, 2022
Some of Detroit’s former players have found new jobs. goalkeeper Thomas Grace He will be Jordan Binnington’s backup in St. Louis. Mitchell Stephens He went to the Montreal Canadiens. Troy Stecher will be an 18-minute defender for the Arizona Coyotes. Even defenseman Olli Giolevi was caught with GM Pat Verbeek’s Anaheim Ducks. After being traded at the trade deadline last season, Vladimir Namstnikov signed with Tampa Bay this summer.
Check out some former Red Wings who are still unsigned.
Future Sam Win
He still seems to be signing with a good team. He has been linked with both the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. It can play an important role in the competition.
“I try to have the same mindset every night,” he said late in the season. “It doesn’t always go the way you want it to, but for most of the year I felt pretty good about where my game was at.”
Defender Danny DeKeyser
DeKeyser’s plus is that he played 547 NHL games in blue. He is an intelligent player with size. He is only 30 years old. A serious back injury seems to have slowed down his career.
His medical report could be just as important as the scouting reports on him last season. Can it be restored?
He said last April that he wanted to continue playing, but admitted that he had no idea what would happen. He may be considering a Professional Tryout (PTO) agreement to continue playing. He has to prove himself again.
Forward Carter Rowney
Injuries limited Rowney to just 29 games. He never really got a real chance to show where his game is. But NHL GMs know his value. He is a proven role player. Rowney helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup a few years ago.
He didn’t sign until September last year. Given the lack of money in the marketplace, he’ll be looking at a big minor league salary or perhaps a two-way deal with the PTO.
Forward Evgeny Svechnikov
There were no Red Wings last season. But he is a first-round pick of the Red Wings. Some fans believed they didn’t get a real chance in Detroit.
The Winnipeg Jets gave him that opportunity last season, but didn’t make him a qualifying offer. There has been speculation about the Edmonton Oilers signing him to a two-way contract. Thinking of playing in Europe?
Svechnikov is 6-foot-3, 210 pounds. He had 19 points last season. The top six didn’t score a touchdown.
Defender Denis Cholovsky
The Seattle Kraken lost him to Washington after he failed to establish himself as a regular after selecting him in the expansion draft.
Kraken apologizes to Cholowski after failing to become a regular in Washington. Kraken decided not to make a qualifying offer.
Cholowski has shown the defensive power necessary to post in the NHL. He has the ability to attack. Would it be better to play in Europe if it hits this summer?
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