Detroit Red Wings: 5 Worst Transactions since 2016

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Every NHL team has had its misery through bad trades or free agent signings.  The Detroit Red Wings are no exception.  The Ken Holland Era produced some questionable transactions that have forced new General Manager Steve Yzerman to completely refurbish the on-ice product, but even the Captain has made a couple plans that didn’t work out as planned.

Here is a look at the worst transactions or decisions Detroit made over the last five years.

It was like Detroit went into panic mode when Pavel Datsyuk announced that he was moving his game back to Russia.

Immediately, Frans Nielsen was signed to a six-year UFA contract for $31.5 million.  Nielsen was 32 years old at the time and he was a solid offensive contributor for the New York Islanders.  He was also an alternate captain so he was bringing veteran leadership into the Red Wings dressing room.

For the first three seasons, Nielsen played in all situations and scored 41, 33, and 35 points.  The last two seasons have been horrible offensively for Nielsen.  He scored nine points in 60 games in 2020-21, then scored one goal and six points in 29 games in 2021.

He passed through waivers, was placed on the taxi squad, and left unprotected in the Seattle Expansion Draft yet still remains with the Red Wings.  Steve Yzerman had a chance to buy out Nielsen after the playoffs, but that did not happen.

Nielsen will most likely be placed on waivers once again in order to open a roster spot for a younger player like Joe Veleno.  There is no doubt that Nielsen’s days in the NHL are coming to an end at some point during the next 12 months.

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