4 Red Wings Who Won’t Be Back Next Season

The Hockey Writers

The Detroit Red Wings have had a year of mixed results in 2022-23. As a result of this, they traded Tyler Bertuzzi, Filip Hronek, Oskar Sundqvist, and Jakub Vrana before the deadline passed. Yet, when it comes to this summer, we should expect more changes to their group made. As a result, let’s discuss four Red Wings who are not expected to be back next season.

Adam Erne

One pending UFA who the Red Wings are likely to part ways with this summer is Adam Erne. After recording a 20-point campaign in 45 games for Detroit in 2020-21, the 2013 second-round pick earned his current two-year, $4.2 million contract. However, the Connecticut native has had trouble replicating that production since and even spent some time in the American Hockey League (AHL) this season because of it. Thus, don’t be surprised to see general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman let him walk.

Adam Erne Detroit Red Wings
Adam Erne, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

In 52 games played this season, Erne has eight goals to go along with eight assists and a minus-8 rating. Overall, it has been another fairly underwhelming season for him. Perhaps a change of scenery could help him get things back on track, as he has shown in the past that he can produce fairly well in the NHL while playing at his best. Thus, he shouldn’t have too much trouble landing a cheap contract this summer because of it.

Robert Hagg

Robert Hagg was one of the many free-agent signings that Yzerman made last summer. He was brought in to provide more defensive depth and potentially play bottom-pairing minutes for them. Overall, he’s served his role as a depth defenseman fairly well, as he has one goal and four points in 30 games played. Yet, when noting that the Red Wings have several notable defenseman prospects, it is more than likely that the Red Wing will not bring back Hagg.

Related: 4 Red Wings to Keep an Eye on Post Trade Deadline

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Although Hagg’s days with the Red Wings are expected to be coming to a close, he’s another player who should not have too much trouble finding another home in the NHL this summer. After all, he is a big-bodied defenseman who plays a heavy game, and there’s always a market for players like him. Thus, look for him to ink another one-year contract elsewhere at a cheap cap hit.

Pius Suter

After posting a 36-point campaign in 82 games during his first year as a Red Wing last season, Pius Suter has just 21 points in 67 games this season. As a result of this drop in production, it certainly seems possible that Detroit will move on from him this summer. After all, the Red Wings could find a notable upgrade over him for their top six in free agency or in the trade market.

Pius Suter Detroit Red Wings
Pius Suter. Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Yet, at the same time, there is no question that Suter would have some suitors as a free agent this summer. While performing at his best, he can provide decent secondary scoring in a middle-six role and has gotten praise for his defensive play. Thus, perhaps he could land a two-year deal at a little over $2 million per season as a free agent this summer.

Alex Nedeljkovic

Alex Nedeljkovic’s rocky tenure as a Red Wing is very likely coming to an end this offseason. After an excellent rookie 2020-21 season with the Carolina Hurricanes that saw him sport a 15-5-3 record, 1.90 goals-against average (GAA), and .932 save percentage (SV%), the Red Wings thought that they were getting their long-term goalie of the future. Instead, he struggled mightily since his arrival in 2021-22 and has spent the vast majority of this season in the AHL.

Alex Nedeljkovic Detroit Red Wings
Alex Nedeljkovic, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

In nine appearances for the Red Wings this year, Nedeljkovic has a 2-4-2 record, 4.09 GAA, and .880 SV%. As a result of his struggles, there is a good chance that the Ohio native will need to settle for a league-minimum contract or even sign a professional tryout contract (PTO) this summer.

Other pending UFAs who the Red Wings could elect to move on from this offseason include Alex Chiasson, Jordan Oesterle, Magnus Hellberg, and Mark Pysyk. On the bright side, if the Red Wings do no bring back all of the players listed above, none of them are significant losses. We will need to wait and see what decisions Yzerman makes from here.

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