The Detroit Red Wings were bad in 2021-22 but somehow were better than in 2020-21. Now that the team is shifting to the offseason, it is clear that the Red Wings are going to have some decisions to make.
Between restricted and unrestricted free agents, the Detroit Red Wings are going to have their hands full. Defenseman Marc Staal is going to be one of the players the team is going to work with this offseason.
Staal took home $5.7 million in 2020-21 and is going to be an unrestricted free agent. However, he has not ruled out a return if the Red Wings welcome it. Rumors point that the veteran defenseman is not against playing another season for this organization.
If Yzerman is smart, he will not even leave this up for a topic of discussion. There is no need even to try and get Staal to return; others can fill the role he would be playing for the organization. He was just acquired before the 2020-21 season in a move that added draft capital for the Red Wings in a sweetener deal.
The Detroit Red Wings should avoid a reunion with Marc Staal for 2021-22.
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In the 2020-21 season, the Red Wings would play their 56-game schedule out, where Staal would be in the lineup for all of them.
The 34-year-old defenseman has logged 14 years in the NHL, this past season being his first not in a New York Rangers uniform.
Staal potted three goals and added ten assists for thirteen total points over his 56 games played.
He was a minus-five and averaged 18:25 a night when it comes to ice time. The Red Wings may be reluctant to bring the veteran back, but he could serve a purpose.
The expectation is going to be that top prospect Moritz Seider is going to battle for the Calder Trophy next season, and Staal could be a good veteran pairing. Not so fast. Pairing Staal and Seider may not be a bad idea, but instead of Staal, the Red Wings already have an in-house solution.
Defenseman Danny DeKeyser would be a great substitution. DeKeyser, another veteran of the NHL, is already under contract for the 2021-22 season with a $5 million cap hit. The Red Wings would be wise to pair the veteran with Seider if they were going for that sort of setup.
In this case, DeKeyser serves the purpose, and the Detroit Red Wings would be smart just to let Staal explore other opportunities as he is an unrestricted free agent.