Detroit Red Wings: 6 Free Agent forwards to strongly consider signing

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
6 of 7
Detroit Red Wings, Phillip Danault
(Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings need to consider adding center Phillip Danault.

Phillip Danault became a vital piece to Montreal’s Stanley Cup Finals birth.  As I watched Montreal upset the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, and Vegas Golden Knights, Danault continued to fluster the opposing teams’ top line during the most recent postseason.

I couldn’t help but think of former Detroit Red Wings center Kris Draper while watching Danault.

Danault is set to test the open market as an unrestricted free agent and will have plenty of suitors, but if a player like Luke Glendening opts to sign elsewhere, Yzerman may look for an upgrade such as Danault.  We need to understand, upgrading comes with paying the price, and usually, on the open market, it’s paying a premium or overpaying.

I don’t expect Yzerman to pay a third or fourth-line center second-line money.  I expect Danault to earn around $4-$4.5 million per season over a multi-year deal.  He’s coming off of a three-year deal that totaled $9.25 million.

I feel that Danault’s skill-set is one that Yzerman appreciates and could prioritize.  When you look at things as a whole, the Red Wings could line up Larkin, Fabbri, Danault, and Rasmussen down the middle of the lineup.  Maybe not an elite group, but at least a foursome that can wear the opponent out.

Before last season, Danault recorded 12 goals and followed that up with 13 over a two-year span before seeing the production decrease to just five in 2020-21.  Danault has also won nearly 54% of his faceoff attempts over the past five years combined.

Also, over the past three seasons, he’s finished in the top ten in the Selke Trophy voting, which is awarded to the league’s top defensive forward, finishing seventh and then sixth in each of the last two years.

Similar players to consider; Casey Cizikas, Blake Coleman, Marcus Johansson.