GP:52 | G:3 | A:2 | P:5
In November of 2013, Ericsson signed a six-year deal worth $25.5 million, with an AAV of $4.25 million / season. WHY? As a stay-at-home defenseman, Ericsson is expected to be a solid presence on the blue line with his 6’4, 220lbs frame. The problem is, he doesn’t use his body to his advantage at all.
Never topping more than 15 points for the Detroit Red Wings’, this is a contract that has never made sense not just for Ericsson, but for the team as a whole. This season he struggled with finned consistency in his game to be a regular in the lineup. I don’t see Ericsson starting over the likes of Hronek, Cholowski, Bowey, and now possibly Kaski.
With one more season left on his contract, I don’t think the Detroit Red Wings’ will even attempt to trade Ericsson as he currently holds a modified NTC, which he will have to submit a 19-team no-trade list. This is a classic Ken Holland trait if you hadn’t noticed.
The first four seasons under Ericsson’s contract, he held a full NTC, along with every other player Holland likes. This was a contract that never made sense from the beginning. Ericsson to me has always been a bottom-pairing defenseman, that was being paid like a top-4. I would have liked to see the money allocated somewhere else.
While Ericsson was given a lucrative contract given his performances over the years, I don’t think he is a terrible player. I do, however, believe due to his contract; he will be looked upon with more scrutiny because of it. I don’t think he will get playing time over the younger players, nor should he.
Currently, at 35 years old, I expect Ericsson will retire after his contract is up, as I don’t believe another team will sign him. With the speed of the game where it is at, Ericsson has had a tough time adapting to it often-times being burnt when attempting to step-up. I think there is a legitimate chance that Yzerman could buy-out his contract if they decide to make a run at an upcoming free-agent.