Detroit Red Wings don’t qualify 3 RFAs, but spots might not go to prospects

Detroit Free Press

Helene St. James
| Detroit Free Press

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Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman opened three more roster spots, but they won’t necessarily go to prospects. 

Yzerman did not extend qualifying offers to restricted free agents Madison Bowey, Christoffer Ehn and Brendan Perlini by Wednesday’s deadline. That opens up two forward spots and one for an offensive right-shot defenseman. Yzerman’s 2019 first-round pick Moritz Seider fits the latter description, but he might be headed to play in Sweden. 

The Wings loaned Seider to his old German club, Mannheim, but the DEL has yet to start playing; leagues in Sweden are up and running, though. Placing Seider in a club there, even though it might mean he can’t opt out for the season, could make sense; the NHL has a target date of Jan. 1 to start the 2020-21 season, but there’s nothing certain about that.

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Yzerman deferred comment until “things are finalized.”

“I’m not trying to be coy, I’m just trying to be respectful to everybody. But yeah, we weigh these decisions. You want everybody playing, but in particular some of these young kids that can be loaned.”

In addition to Seider, the Wings have loaned the following players to European teams: Joe Veleno, Malmo (SHL), Michael Rasmussen, Graz 99ers (Austria), Jared McIsaac, HPK (Finland), Filip Hronek, Mountfield HK (Czech); Filip Zadina, HC Ocelari Trinec (Czech); Gustav Lindstrom and Filip Larsson, both Almtuna (Swe-2) and Mathias Brome, Orebro (SHL).

Yzerman has rid the Wings of multiple players he inherited, including veterans Jimmy Howard, Trevor Daley, Jonathan Ericsson and Justin Abdelkader. 

More on this roster: Wings’ costly decision to cut Abdelkader: Who will take his place?

Acquired from Washington in 2019 in exchange for defenseman Nick Jensen by former GM Ken Holland, Bowey came to the Wings with the hopes he could thrive in new surroundings. A 2013 second-round pick, Bowey was a smooth skater with offensive instincts, but he didn’t show enough growth in the defensive zone and became expendable even as he ranked second among the teams defensemen with 17 points in 53 games.

That leaves the right-side defense featuring Filip Hronek, Alex Biega and Gustav Lindstrom; of those, only Hronek is a top-four defender. If Seider stays in Europe, Yzerman could address the hole via trade or free agency.

More on free agency: Andreas Athanasiou won’t be re-signed by Oilers

Contact Helene St. James at Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings will be published October 13 by Triumph Books. To order, go to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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