Detroit Red Wings: 3 players to target in free agency this summer

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(Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Detroit Red Wings, Frederik Andersen
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Free Agent to Target #3: Frederik Andersen – Goaltender

This is the big one. While the Detroit Red Wings continue to mull over goalie options, being a big spender on a goaltender might be worth considering. The team currently has Thomas Greiss under contract for the 2021-22 season for $3.6 million, but the team’s MVP for the last two seasons is walking free.

Jonathan Bernier is an unrestricted free agent and has expressed interest in returning to the organization. The Detroit News recently published a story (it is behind a paywall$$) about Bernier wanting to stick around for a return to see through the rebuild and watch it all pay off.

Bernier may not be a bad option; in fact, I have written that a return of the Bernier and Greiss tandem is a good idea. However, the Red Wings could go big and decide to bring in a Swiss netminder to shake things up.

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As was mentioned in the introduction to this slideshow, the answer for a goalie could be in-house, but the Red Wings may forgo the “IF” factor and go big with signing Frederik Andersen. The Toronto Maple Leafs’ netminder for the past five seasons.

However, the Maple Leafs have opted to go and get netminder Jack Campbell, who emerged as the starter there.

With such a hefty payroll in Toronto, while they pay the salaries of the big boys, Andersen is going to be walking free.

The unrestricted free agent should be on Yzerman’s board. Last season. Andersen logged 24 games in a down year where his record was 13-8-3 with a .895 save percentage (SV%) and a 2.96 goals-against average (GAA).

While it was a down year and injuries were an issue, Andersen was the netminder who has .914 SV% and 2.79 GAA line over his time in Toronto. Andersen signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Maple Leafs, where his $5 million average annual value(AAV) means he may be pricey.

Coming off of a down year, the Red Wings could try to pitch him a similar $4-6 million deal, knowing that he will be the team’s starter. Even if it were pitched that he splits time with Greiss in 2021-22, working him back into a starter’s role, Andersen would be a phenomenal get.

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If the Detroit Red Wings are going to sign a free-agent netminder not named Bernier this offseason, Andersen should be VERY high on the list of names to target.