The Detroit Red Wings have an opportunity to bring back a great forward in Sam Gagner. While he may not light up the scoresheet, he fills one of those bottom-six roles and would be a great addition to the team.
While the Detroit Red Wings may not be looking to make some massive changes to the roster, there are a few decisions they have to make about which players will return and which players will be targets in free agency.
There are a few options in the defensive zone, but up front, the Red Wings are likely going to keep it cheap. Gagner is a great option for the Red Wings to help them fill out the bottom six with impact players.
Last season, Gagner took home just $850,000 (according to CapFriendly) and is now an unrestricted free agent; if the Red Wings were smart, they would look to bring him back on a similar contract. He performed well and is worth the money.
The Detroit Red Wings should re-sign veteran forward Sam Gagner.
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The Red Wings have seen their fair share of veteran forwards rolling through the bottom-six forwards, but when they acquired Gagner, he was great.
He may not be turning heads or scoring left and right, but the intangibles are what make him valuable.
In 2021, Gagner did manage to notch seven goals and eight assists over 42 total games for the Red Wings.
Being a veteran center, he can lead the younger guys and ensure that the development works well as these young guys transition into the NHL.
Gagner also has done his fair share of good stuff off the ice as well. During the pandemic, he worked with the city to help provide aid and assistance and support to the Detroit community back in 2020.
He’s worth keeping around the organization if it means the team is going to move on from players like Luke Glendening and Darren Helm, which could very well happen. If the Red Wings are seeking a cheap depth option in the bottom-six, Gagner is a no-brainer for them.
He may not be putting up 15ish goals a season anymore like he did in his early days, but he finds ways to positively impact the team and also works in some scoring as well. I cannot imagine it would cost a whole lot for Gagner to return; he knows he will play here in Detroit.
Hopefully, Steve Yzerman picks up the phone and makes the call to get Gagner to return.