The Detroit Red Wings signed veteran forward Alex Chiasson to a one-year deal following the NHL trade deadline as a placeholder for the remainder of the regular season.
Chiasson, 32, has appeared in 636 NHL games totaling 116 goals and 228 points. The veteran winger broke into the league with the Dallas Stars before seeing stops in Ottawa, Calgary, Washington, Edmonton, Vancouver, and now the Detroit Red Wings.
General manager Steve Yzerman elected to sell ahead of the deadline, moving on from Tyler Bertuzzi, Filip Hronek, Jakub Vrana, and Oskar Sundqvist. With Detroit needing bodies to finish the year, Yzerman elected to sign Chiasson, a ten-year vet who had played with the Grand Rapids Griffins this season but did not have an NHL contract.
Chiasson is essentially replacing Sundqvist for Detroit, playing on the fourth line and finding himself as a net-front presence on the Red Wings’ power play. Also, with forward Michael Rasmussen out for the remainder of the season, Detroit really needed to add some size. Since joining the Red Wings, Chiasson has recorded two goals and four points over five games.
Alex Chiasson is playing his way toward a contract extension with the Detroit Red Wings.
Chiasson has recorded a power-play goal in back-to-back games for the Red Wings and has four points over his last three games. It’s a small sample size, and it would be foolish to think this production will be sustainable, but for now, Chiasson can almost be considered an upgrade to Sundqvist.
Over the past three games, in particular, Chiasson has displayed quiet hands around the net, knocking in a couple of goals and displaying some tremendous playmaking ability.
The 6-foot-4 winger is not taking this opportunity with Detroit for granted.
“I’m 32. These are perhaps my last years,” Chiasson said. “I never took it for granted. I always worked for my opportunities. I’ve had a lot of one-year deals in my career. I’ve had to reprove myself year after year. I’ve always said this — I think the NHL is a privilege. It’s one thing to make it, but to stick around, it’s a tough league to be in, to play for a lot of years. I’m trying to squeeze everything I got out of me and make the most of this opportunity.”
After signing with Grand Rapids back in November, Chiasson totaled nine goals and 20 points over 29 games. The veteran winger didn’t just fill a leadership role for the Griffins; Chiasson was playing in all situations really for the first time in his career. The 32-year-old was working on the power play, penalty kill, and circumstances he’d never see at the NHL level, such as playing four-on-four and three-on-three.
I don’t expect Yzerman to rush out and offer Chiasson a long-term extension or anything. Still, he will undoubtedly be a player the Detroit Red Wings will consider bringing back on a one-year deal somewhere around one million dollars to fill a role on Detroit’s fourth line and a net-front option on the power play.