Red Wings: Frans Nielsen a buyout candidate after arbitration hearing

(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings may still have a chance to buyout Frans Nielsen after Tyler Bertuzzi’s salary arbitration hearing.

The Detroit Red Wings are continuing to go through their offseason in preparation for the 2020-21 season, and General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman has done an incredible job. As the offseason continues, he has another “loophole” opportunity where he could perform another buyout.

While the Red Wings do not really need to take advantage of this loophole, it might free up a spot in the Red Wings lineup on a nightly basis. The cap space and salary relief coming from the buyout would not be as crucial in this scenario.

That being said, Ansar Khan of MLive recently wrote($) about the opportunity the Red Wings have to buyout forward Frans Nielsen after Tyler Bertuzzi‘s arbitration hearing during a two-day period.

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When Tyler Bertuzzi’s arbitration hearing occurs and a settlement is reached, the Red Wings will have a two-day period to complete a buyout.

The purpose of this “clause” or “loophole” is to allow a team to come with some salary cap space given the settlement from the arbitration.

However, given the Red Wings cap space situation, this is basically just a free chance to buyout Frans Nielsen and free up a roster spot.

As it stands now, Nielsen is under contract through the 2021-22 season, making $5.25 million while producing just nine points in 2019-20.

Nielsen has not exactly panned out as the Red Wings were hoping, and a major fall of in 2019-20 leaves him as a candidate for Yzerman to buy out with this second chance opportunity.

While he passed on Nielsen during the original buyout period, going with Justin Abdelkader instead, this time might be different.

After 60 games with four goals and five assists for nine points with a minus-13 plus/minus rating, Nielsen may just be a veteran presence for the organization. If Yzerman believes this and opts to keep him, so be it, but this is a perfect opportunity to move forward without Nielsen and free up a spot.

A buyout of Nielsen’s contract would carry a cap hit of $3,416,667 in 2020-21, $4,416,667 in 2021-22, and then $666,667 for two more years after. This would ultimately save $1,333,333 in total for the Red Wings, courtesy of estimates from CapFriendly‘s buyout tool.

So, while the arbitration hearing for Bertuzzi approaches, Yzerman should be prepared to make another roster move in the coming days after the two sides reach an agreement.

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A buyout of Frans Nielsen is not totally necessary, but the opportunity presents itself, freeing up the roster spot might be worth it for the Detroit Red Wings organization.