Red Wings: 4 players to target in a trade due to flat salary cap

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings, Jeff Blashill
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings will enter the NHL offseason sitting in a great spot, having a plethora of cap space in a year where the NHL salary cap will remain flat.

Due to the halt in play because of COVID-19, the NHL salary cap will be froze entering next season.  With the cap not increasing, it leaves a plenty of NHL organizations scrambling to figure out how they can better themselves in free agency plus retain their own pending free agents.  The Detroit Red Wings sit in a beneficial spot.

The National Hockey League announced the flat salary cap would remain at $81.5 million for at least next season, but there is a chance it will stay the same for the next two years as the league tries to recoup their losses due to COVID-19.  Under the current bargaining agreement, the cap won’t increase until league revenues reach $4.8 billion, which triggers the next salary cap inflation.

It’s an offseason that Detroit rids themselves of a few atrocious contracts.  The Johan Franzen contract is set to expire, Detroit also sheds the contracts of Jonathan Ericsson, Trevor Daley, and Jimmy Howard.

The first order of business for general manager Steve Yzerman will be to extend a few key restricted free agents (RFA).  The Wings have 12 pending RFA’s entering the offseason.  It’s a group headlined by budding star forward Anthony Mantha followed by the teams lone All-Star last season Tyler Bertuzzi.

Yzerman will be anxious to get these two young top-six forwards new deals that marry them to the Red Wings for years’ to come.  After that, Detroit will likely prioritize re-signing Robby Fabbri.  As soon as those three forwards are locked up, Yzerman will have decisions to make on Madison Bowey, Taro Hirose, Dmytro Timashov, Brendan Perlini, Christoffer Ehn, and Adam Erne.

After all the contracts are settled, the Detroit Red Wings will still have a plethora of money left to spend on unrestricted free agents.  Detroit will likely target the top defender available whether its Torey Krug or Alex Pietrangelo along a goaltender to pair with the team’s current starter Jonathan Bernier.  The Wings will also be in the market for a scoring forward, maybe pending free agent Taylor Hall, a former league MVP, who also played his junior hockey just across the border in Windsor, guiding the Spitfires to back-to-back Memorial Cup Championships.

The Red Wings also sit in a great position serving as an organization to acquire castaways from salary cap stricken organizations across the league.  Here are four players that could be cap casualties the Detroit Red Wings could target in a trade.