Red Wings sign D Robert Hägg to One-Year Deal

Winging It In Motown

The Red Wings announced another depth signing on a blue line already full of depth-signing level players.

From the Wings’ press release on Hägg linked in their Tweet:

Hagg, 27, split the 2021-22 season between the Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres, recording nine points (1-8-9) and 35 penalty minutes in 64 games. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound blueliner has skated in 300 career NHL games with the Panthers (2021-22), Sabres (2021-22) and Philadelphia Flyers (2016-21), notching 56 points (14-42-56), a plus-four rating and 178 penalty minutes. He also registered three assists in 14 postseason appearances with the Flyers, helping the team reach the second round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Additionally, Hagg has compiled 50 points (16-34-50) and 142 penalty minutes in 202 games with the American Hockey League’s Adirondack/Lehigh Valley Phantoms from 2013-17.

I think this is yet another nail in the coffin for the idea that we should be planning to see a lot of Simon Edvinsson after Griffins training camp opens, but is a fine deal when placed into what reasonable expectations should dictate.

Hägg’s time in Philadelphia was build on expectations he didn’t quite live up to, but by the time he finished last season going from Buffalo to Florida, the idea that he’s a depth guy who fills the “hard to play against” role is pretty well set. He’s waivers-eligible and if he ends up being signed to have been depth on somebody else’s blue line then it is what it is. He’ll compete for a spot as the NHL-capable injury replacement of guys like Ben Chiarot or Olli Määttä while fighting with Jordan Oesterle for third-pair consideration during Jake Walman’s addition to the fray once he’s recovered from his surgery.

Don’t discount the chance that he may be fated for veteran duty in Grand Rapids to help teach youngsters a thing or two as well.

Charts are from Evolving-Hockey, who are not only good at providing this information but legit good folks. Check out their site here.

Hägg’s numbers aren’t great. That’s why he’s a depth signing on Free Agency Day +12 with an entirely buriable cap hit. The Wings don’t intend to rely heavily on him this season and if they need to, one shouldn’t expect that to go terribly well. He gets a chance to show otherwise this season.

[EDIT- Additional context on the state of the Wings’ defense]

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