The Detroit Red Wings have over $48 million in cap space going into the summer signing period. With money to spend, but a limited number of roster spots available, General Manager Steve Yzerman may entertain offers to take on a bad contract from another team. This worked out with Marc Staal last year. Detroit took on Staal’s contract plus a second round draft pick in 2021 for future considerations. The Pacific Division is no exception as some teams are stretched to the cap and need to find buyers to free up cap space.
Here are three teams that Detroit could target.
Contract: One Year, $5,750,000 (Annual Cap Hit)
The Calgary Flames are desperate to open up cap space for 21/22. According to capgeek.com, the Flames currently have 13 players under contract for next year and only have $14.525 million of cap space remaining. Johnny Gaudreau has one year remaining before he becomes an UFA. The Flames have been looking to trade Gaudreau all summer. Look for Gaudreau to be traded at some point after the Expansion Draft.
Johnny Gaudreau would immediately become Dylan Larkin’s first line left winger. With Tyler Bertuzzi trade rumors swirling in Hockeytown, a trade for Gaudreau would be a tremendous opportunity for the Red Wings. Gaudreau just completed his 9th NHL season and has scored 494 points in 520 games. His best season occurred in 2018-19 when he scored 99 points.
Steve Yzerman may be able to get Gaudreau for a great price. The Flames are in cap trouble, Gaudreau becomes an UFA next summer, and the Red Wings could use a top six winger.
Johnny Gaudreau to Detroit
William Wallinder (SHL) and 5th Round Pick (2022) to Calgary