Detroit Red Wings: Is a Frans Nielsen buyout really worth it?

(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
(Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports) /

As the Detroit Red Wings continue to work through the offseason, the latest window to conduct a buyout of a player has officially happened. That being said, it brings some relevance to the discussion about a buyout of Frans Nielsen.

The question is: Should the Detroit Red Wings buyout veteran forward Frans Nielsen?

The answer lies within the team’s cap situation and roster situation. There are a few different ways to look at it. I understand those who think it would be a benefit. In one regard, buying him out would clear some cap space and free up a spot in the Red Wings forward core.

But do the Red Wings really need more cap space? Adding an extra forward spot is a good thing, but the best plan of attack seems to be just weathering the storm of the final year of Nielsen’s deal.

As it stands, Nielsen is slated to take home $5.25 million next season before becoming a free agent after that. The 37-year old veteran seems to be reaching the end of his road and is simply just going to eat up minutes for the Red Wings.

The Detroit Red Wings have a decision to make with veteran forward Frans Nielsen.

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With the Tampa Bay Lightning winning the Stanley Cup Championship, the buyout window opened at 11 p.m. last night.

This leaves teams the opportunities to conduct a buyout, and the Red Wings can choose to move on from Nielsen, as mentioned above.

But it seems like letting him ride it out with the organization might be the best move for the organization.

Nielsen’s $5.25 million cap hit this year does not seem worthy of a $500,000 savings (calculated using CapFriendly’s buyout calculator). The Red Wings are not in salary cap hell; they have plenty of room to work with.

Letting it ride with Nielsen and getting him off the books after this season seems like the best move given the Red Wings’ vast amount of cap freedom as it stands. That brings up the question of roster makeup.

With the youth movement likely to start becoming more common for the Red Wings, an extra spot in the forwards being open might be an attractive look for Yzerman. But I do not think Yzerman is going to budge on that, risking a prospect being rushed and derailing a development path.

It is not like the Red Wings have a plethora of prospects chomping at the bit for their crack in the NHL. They do, sort of, but most of those players are not quite ready for the NHL level on a consistent basis yet.

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So as the buyout window has opened up, the Red Wings should stand pat and let Nielsen finish out this final year of his contract.