Detroit Red Wings: 3 free agent forwards Steve Yzerman should sign

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Detroit Red Wings
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Mikael Granlund

Understanding that the Detroit Red Wings will be forced to field both Valtteri Filppula and Frans Nielsen next season, Mikael Granlund would be a perfect third-line center in Detroit.

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Unlike the aforementioned pair of current Red Wings mentioned in their late 30s, Granlund is still just 28-years old.  The center played seven seasons with the Minnesota Wild before spending his last two in Nashville with the Predators.

Granlund recorded 17 goals last season while averaging over 17 minutes on ice per game and is a confident contributor on special teams.  His Corsi For Percentage came in at a solid 52.4, which is far above the Red Wings team average of 45.8.  Granlund brings that Detroit-style utility knife play.  Granlund can play center or wing and fits in anywhere needed from the second line to the fourth group.

The veteran forward is coming off of a lucrative deal that averaged $5.75 million per season.  He’s due to see a significant salary decrease due to his offensive skill-set ceiling and the NHL’s frozen salary cap situation.

I’d expect Granlund’s next deal will be in the neighborhood of $3 million per season, and if Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings have any say, it would be just a one-year deal with the hopes of flipping his services at the trade deadline for much-needed draft capital.

Next. Yzerman wisely avoids claiming Tyler Johnson. dark

Granlund has played 540 NHL games and recorded 352 points.