Detroit Red Wings re-sign RFAs Adam Erne, Taro Hirose; who’s next on Steve Yzerman’s list?

Detroit Free Press

Helene St. James
 
| Detroit Free Press

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Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman got two of his restricted free agents signed Thursday, extending a guy he brought in and one he inherited.

Adam Erne and Taro Hirose were signed to one-year deals. That leaves negotiations to be completed with RFAs Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi. Dmytro Timashov was also qualified ahead of Wednesday’s deadline.

[ Wings don’t qualify 3 RFAs, but spots might not go to prospects ]

Yzerman has said he’s confident he’ll get Mantha and Bertuzzi, two of the team’s most important players, signed before the start of 2020-21. The NHL’s current target date has been pushed to Jan. 1.

Yzerman’s history with Erne, 25, dates to when Tampa Bay’s 33rd overall draft pick in 2013. Yzerman traded for Erne in August 2019, in exchange for a fourth-pick in 2020, seeing the 6-1, 212-pound winger as someone who could add grit to the lineup.

Erne reached 20 points in 2018-19 with the Lightning, but tallied just five points in 56 games his first season with the Wings.

More from Yzerman: Sizing up his draft class after casting wide net

Hirose, 24, was a free-agent addition by former Wings GM Ken Holland, signed out of Michigan State in March 2019. Hirose turned heads with his quick start, tying a franchise record by recording an assist in each of his first five games. He had one goal and six assists in his first 10 games.

Hirose (5-foot-10, 162 pounds) wasn’t able to continue that showing in 2019-20, and he split the season between the Wings (seven points in 26 games) and the Grand Rapids Griffins (27 points in 35 games). 

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. 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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