Detroit Red Wings: Ben Chiarot could become a roadblock in defense core

Octopus Thrower

The Detroit Red Wings have a bright future, which is great to think about. But there will be roadblocks in the future; one of those roadblocks could be one of the players currently on the roster. This off-season, Steve Yzerman went out and signed Ben Chiarot to a four-year, $19 million contract.

The deal will cover the next three seasons after the Detroit Red Wings put the finishing touches on 2022-23. Chiarot has an AAV of $4.75 million on his contract, and there were some big expectations for him in year one.

Frankly, the first year of Chiarot’s contract has been a little underwhelming at times. While he has tied his season point total from the 2021-22 season when he was traded from Montreal to Florida at the trade deadline.

However, the future of Chiarot’s contract could wind up being a problem for the Red Wings moving forward as they try to get some of their younger players worked into the lineup. Chiarot could become a roadblock for some of the team’s prospect defensemen.

Detroit Red Wings defender Ben Chiarot could be a roadblock.

Recently, Octopus Thrower Co-Expert Bob Heyrman wrote about Albert Johansson and some thoughts about how he could factor into the team’s 2023-24 lineup. That’s on the assumption that he cracks the roster, which means he has his work cut out for him.

As Heyrman notes, the Red Wings’ defense core is starting to cement itself. Moritz Seider and Jake Walman have become battery mates, and it’s become a pairing that will stick together. After that, the team has Chiarot, Olli Määtta, and Simon Edvinsson, who are left-handed shots.

That’s five of the six Red Wings’ defense spots. This likely means that Chiarot will play his off-hand side in 2023-24, and any prospects will have to battle for Määtta’s spot if they want it.

Heyrman was onto something by suggesting the Red Wings have a good problem in a defense core that could have some depth in years to come. But Chiarot could become that roadblock for players like Johansson or William Wallinder to reach the NHL level.

If the Red Wings want to see these players, a trade where the Red Wings are “paying” someone to take Chiarot off their hands could be in order. It’s unlikely right now and not going to be something that happens in 2023-24 but is something Yzerman might be looking into as the Red Wings continue to build their roster for the future.

It will be interesting to see how it shakes out, and it will be more of a problem in training camp next season, but Chiarot could become a roadblock.

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