Detroit Red Wings add goalie depth to close out 2021-22 season

(John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
(John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings are closing in on the final stretch of their 2021-22 season. In a depth move, the team went out and added 31-year-old Magnus Hellberg, who has spent the last four seasons overseas in Russia’s KHL.

After passing through re-entry waivers, Hellberg was given the all-clear to join the Detroit Red Wings and provide some depth. He’s likely going to provide depth for the Grand Rapids Griffins down in the minors, who are without Calvin Pickard, who is injured.

The team has been turning to Swedish netminder Victor Brattstrom who has not performed as well as many would have hoped ultimately looking to switch things up, they targeted Hellberg. He has not played in the NHL since the 2016-17 season but will add depth at the very least.

Having depth is always important when it comes to netminders, and without Pickard, the Red Wings did not have a lot of depth waiting in the minors if they needed an emergency call-up. Hellberg will join the Red Wings for now and remain around until the end of the 2021-22 season.

Detroit Red Wings add goalie depth with the signing of Magnus Hellberg.

The Red Wings picked up Hellberg on a contract that expires following the end of the 2021-22 season. This means that he’s just going to be around for a short period of time, likely get a chance to play and try and earn a call back in his depth role.

If he excels in his chances, he’ll get the opportunity to come back in the fall in a depth role; after all, he will be an unrestricted free agent. Hellberg had two solid seasons in 2019-20 and 2020-21 with sub-2.00 goals-against averages.

In 2021-22 he logged 37 games with HK Sochi of the KHL, where he had a 2.42 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage. Indeed not as good as the prior years, but in a depth role, the Red Wings are not looking for the next Vezina winner, just someone who can stop some pucks and keep the Red Wings/Griffins in games when called upon.

His last time in the NHL was 2016-17 with the New York Rangers where he logged just two games. He stopped 26 of 28 shots in his one start and one relief appearance. Nothing crazy at all, with just four games appeared in over three seasons in the NHL.

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Ultimately the 2021-22 season is coming to an end, but Hellberg is someone the Red Wings are taking a chance on to eat up some games in the crease and serve as a competent depth guy if needed.