Detroit Red Wings: 5 Free Agents to sign this offseason

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(Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
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Vladislav Namestnikov

Maybe GM Steve Yzerman returns to the well and brings in another former Tampa Bay Lightning player in Vladislav Namestnikov.  The Russian born forward was initially drafted by the Lightning with the 27th overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Level Draft.

Namestnikov has NHL roots; his father Evgeny was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks, spent parts of five seasons in the league appearing in only 43 games.

Namestnikov has seen his fair share of ups and downs throughout his NHL career.  He projects as a third-line scoring winger.  Read that again, a third line scoring winger, not a third-line checking winger that is better suited as a fourth-line or 13th forward.  The Detroit Red Wings have way too many fourth line caliber players playing up and down their lineup.

The Detroit Red Wings can afford to trade a player like Darren Helm, waive Justin Abdelkader allowing space for some young up and coming Red Wings or a third-line free agent like Namestnikov.

The Wings currently roster too many Luke Glendening and Christoffer Ehn-type players.  It’s time to construct a fourth line of Neilsen, Glendening, and Erne, allowing a third line to consist of Valterri Filppula, Filip Zadina, and maybe Namestnikov which will provide some much-needed depth scoring.

Namestnikov has only scored 20-plus goals once in his career in 2018 when he notched 22 goals.  He’s spent time this season between Ottawa, the Rangers, and Colorado. Even though he’s traveled a lot, he’s provided his teams with depth scoring, having recorded 17 goals and 31 points in 61 games.

Detroit could likely land Namestnikov with a one-year deal worth around $3-million, with a similar agenda to Galchenyuk, a show-me type contract.  Also, a player Detroit could flip at the deadline for a mid-round draft pick.