Red Wings: Brendan Perlini needs to find success in 2020-21 season

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings should be looking for Brendan Perlini to find success during the 2020-21 season if he wants to stick around.

Heading into the offseason, Detroit Red Wings forward Brendan Perlini will be a restricted free agent, acquired in a trade last season with the Chicago Blackhawks that send prospect defenseman Alec Regula the other way.

It was one of Yzerman’s first in-season trades, and part of his acquisition of 2014 NHL Entry Draft first-round selections. He also made a move to get forward Robby Fabbri, who already signed a nice extension this offseason to help the Red Wings.

The Red Wings did not get the same prowess and positive performance from Perlini that they did out of Fabbri, so 2020-21 will be a proving ground for Perlini. It is more than likely that General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman brings back Perlini on a “prove yourself” contract.

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Perlini will still be looked at as an “investment” or just a player looking to prove he belongs.

The 2020-21 Red Wings roster will likely have a fair amount of these types of players, given all of the restricted free agents that Yzerman will be negotiating with this offseason.

The hope for Perlini in 2019-20 was that a change of scenery and a new system would allow him to thrive and flourish.

However, this was not the case for the 24-year old left-winger who was moreover a fourth-line depth forward.

In 39 games with the Red Wings in 2019-20, Perlini would log just one goal and three assists for four points on the campaign.

The issue with Perlini’s on-ice performance was the minus-18 plus-minus rating while only seeing 10:46 of ice time, on average, every game.

For those who value the analytics of hockey, Perlini posted a Corsi For percentage or CF% of 40.8%, which was 5.3% lower relative to the team average.

Given that CF% is a measure of possession, the disparity to the team average is worrisome when the Red Wings were horrifically bad, as fans already know.

Perlini’s lone (almost) eleven minutes of ice time was not being put to good use as evident by the analytics, and the game film would likely support this. The likelihood is that Yzerman will bring him back, which is fine, but he needs to show improvements in his game in the upcoming season.

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With the upcoming offseason about to be an interesting one, it will be exciting to see how Yzerman handles all the restricted free agents. When Perlini is brought back on a “prove yourself” contract, the expectations for him should be elevated.