Detroit Red Wings: Realistic expectations for offseason free agent signings

(Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)
(Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Detroit Red Wings, Thomas Greiss
(Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports) /

3. Thomas Greiss

What we hope to see: If Thomas Greiss can put up similar numbers to his time with the New York Islanders, the Detroit Red Wings will be in good hands. Greiss had a .913 and a .927 save percentage with New York, splitting his time in the net with Semyon Varlamov.

He will likely do the same with Jonathan Bernier in Detroit, but he has a chance to seize the starting role if he outperforms Bernier. With no outstanding goaltending prospects in Detroit’s pipeline, the starter role is all but Greiss’s for the taking.

What we will likely see: The thought of a new goaltender is enticing, but it’s important to note that Greiss has just left one of the strongest defensive teams in the NHL. With the Red Wings in the midst of their rebuild, it would be incredibly difficult for Greiss to put up similar numbers with the team. He’ll likely spend the season splitting starts with Bernier, but he’ll remain the main man between the pipes for the foreseeable future once Bernier’s contract winds up.

4. Troy Stecher

What we hope to see: It’s remarkable that Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning let Troy Stecher go. With four years of NHL experience at just 26 years of age, Stetcher has a wide berth of experience and a long way to go before he’s past his prime.

Stecher has the chance to really make a name for himself with Detroit. He’s a capable bottom-four defenseman that plays a style similar to former Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen. If he outperforms his role, he will sign a long-term, team-friendly deal with the Red Wings or find himself traded for picks and prospects.

What we will likely see: In two years, Stecher’s contract will end, allowing him to explore free agency. Between now and then, it’s likely that the Red Wings will give a wide array of prospects an audition. From Moritz Seider to Albert Johansson to Jared McIsaac, it may be hard for Stecher to carve a permanent role in the Red Wings’ future.

At worst, Stecher is a perfect stopgap defenseman until the prospects come up. At best, he’ll be a wonderful bottom-four defenseman for Detroit. Stecher is a win-win player no matter how you look at him.