Detroit Red Wings: Could Frans Nielsen could be part of bigger plan?

(Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports)
(Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports) /

Detroit Red Wings forward Frans Nielsen could be traded to Seattle during the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft.

The Detroit Red Wings, like every other team, will need to prep for the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft when the Seattle Kraken enter the league. There are a few teams that the Red Wings could be likely to lose in the expansion draft; one of them should be listed as Frans Nielsen.

While Frans Nielsen is not a forward that the Kraken are going to jump all over, but that is where Steve Yzerman comes into play. Red Wings General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman is at the helm of this organization and has been making improvements to the organization left and right.

As Yzerman keeps going through his Yzerplan, he continues to make Red Wings fans proud all over the place. Nielsen could have been bought out due to a loophole opportunity during Tyler Bertuzzi’s arbitration process and settlement.

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Yzerman opted to pass up on that opportunity and keep Nielsen as a part of the 2020-21 roster after buying out Justin Abdelkader earlier in the offseason.

Nielsen is just plain bad and is not really worth much for this organization in his current state. He has not been the player the Red Wings signed him to be.

In 2019-20, Nielsen played in 60 games, scoring four goals and five assists for nine total points for the Red Wings.

Those nine points come with quite the price tag; Nielsen will be paid $5.25 million in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

Now 36-years old, he is entering the last two seasons of a six-year, $31.5 million contract that he signed back in the 2016 summer.

The Yzer-plan might call for Frans Nielsen to be on his way out of the Detroit Red Wings organization.

In the upcoming 2021 NHL Expansion Draft, the Red Wings should try to lose Nielsen and hope that the Kraken can be bribed to take him off of Yzerman’s hands. Since teams can try to persuade the Kraken to take certain players by way of “bribery.”

This same concept was employed by the New York Rangers, who did the same thing with Marc Staal before the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Flipping us some draft picks along with Staal so the Red Wings could take him off their hands.

As soon as it becomes a possibility, the Red Wings should start the bargaining with Seattle, looking to see them take Nielsen rather than anyone else. The Red Wings do have the payroll to keep Nielsen around, so worst-case scenario, it is fine. But moving Nielsen is one of the organization’s better moves.

Even if Yzerman sacrifices some draft capital, it could be recouped by trading some of the players that have been signed for the 2020-21 season. Those could be acquired before trade talks, but they could be labeled as bargaining chips for the Yzer-plan.

If Yzerman can swing a deal where the Red Wings get the Kraken to select Nielsen by kicking them some draft capital so they avoid taking any one of the Red Wings unprotected players of value., things will look REAL good on the 2021-2022 payroll. There is plenty of time for this to be worked out, but it is an idea to ponder.

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The Detroit Red Wings need to consider trying to work out a deal with the Seattle Kraken for forward Frans Nielsen.