The Detroit Red Wings inked one of their five remaining RFAs to a deal on Thursday:
Pearson’s deal is worth $874k per CapFriendly. The four remaining–Givani Smith, Filip Hronek, Jakub Vrana, and Adam Erne are all still without a deal. Pearson played well for Grand Rapids and could potentially see time in Detroit as a depth player. The pecking order most likely at fourth line center goes Mitchell Stephens-Joe Veleno and then Pearson, but Pearson having a good camp could give him a leg up.
Arbitration Dates Set for Two Red Wings
Vrana and Erne both received dates for their arbitration, with Vrana’s set for August 11th and Erne’s set for August 21st. General manager Steve Yzerman can still strike a deal prior to those dates but once a session begins, the ruling is the final figure. (You can read more about the details here at CapFriendly).
Conventional wisdom favors both signing prior to their arbitration dates. The Red Wings certainly have the cap space, but Yzerman would let an arbitrator determine a number before he overpays. There’s certainly a case to be made that Yzerman is also taking a long view when it comes to managing the cap with his own players. Filip Zadina is a restricted free agent next offseason while Robby Fabbri and Nick Leddy can head straight to the market. The latter seem the most likely to sit down with Yzerman to discuss new terms while Zadina’s term will be influenced by his performance in the upcoming season. (Bridge vs Lock him in).
Former Red Wing Thomas Tatar Signs with New Jersey
Tatar was always one of my favorite Red Wings in the last decade so there was a nostalgic part of me that wouldn’t have minded seeing him come back on a short-term deal–even though it really doesn’t fit the plan.
Those “dreams” were dashed as Tatar signed a two-year deal with New Jersey yesterday:
It’s baffling that there wasn’t more interest when you look at his numbers but here’s hoping his next stop sees similar success. The Devils had a pretty decent offseason and should actually be improved next season.
Speaking of having a good offseason….
Red Wings Making the Right Moves
When the most respected names in hockey analysis are giving your favorite team good marks, that’s always a nice little tidbit:
The Athletic remains one of my favorite places to read hockey and Luszczyszyn is one of the best. Here’s a snippet of what he wrote about the Wings after lauding the deal to land Alex Nedeljkovic:
The rest isn’t much, but they’re all upgrades to the team’s depth. Nick Leddy had a nice bounce-back last season and provides a boost to Detroit’s defence, while Pius Suter proved in his rookie season he can be a responsible middle-six center. In addition by subtraction news, losing Luke Glendening and Darren Helm also helps.
Ranking seventh in his offseason rankings, it certainly seems like Detroit has moved past rock bottom of the rebuild and are slowly climbing out.