Detroit Red Wings: Lucas Raymond extension is mapped out already

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The Detroit Red Wings will come to a point where it is time to start paying the big dogs. While those “big dogs” are still young pups getting settled into the NHL, they are starting to blossom into the players the Red Wings desperately need.

With Moritz Seider being in a spot where the Detroit Red Wings should extend him on a massive contract, it means that Lucas Raymond is not far behind. The Swedish forward is due for a contract extension, and the Red Wings will have to pay up.

The good news about Lucas Raymond is that the hard work is done. Not literally, but the Montreal Canadiens just handed Cole Caufield a fantastic eight-year, $63 million contract to keep him as a centerpiece in their offense moving forward along with their captain, Nick Suzuki.

Tip of the cap to the Habs, who got it done and locked up their sniper forward. The Red Wings need to “copy the work, but change it up a little bit so it looks different” for their own good. They should use the framework of that deal to cook up one for Raymond.

Detroit Red Wings need to give Lucas Raymond his contract extension.

Raymond is fresh off of his second season in the NHL. While he had a “down” year with some regression at times, he was just fine overall and is continuing to find his footing when it comes to the NHL caliber of play.

He finished the 2022-23 season with 17 goals, 28 assists, and 45 total points over 74 games played for Detroit. This comes after being snubbed out of the Calder Trophy race in 2021-22 during his rookie campaign, where he played in all 82 games, scoring 23 goals, adding 34 assists, and managing 57 total points overall.

It might be early to start handing out the money, but the projection of Raymond to become a dominant piece of the top-six for the Red Wings is there. He’s still under contract on his entry-level deal, with a $925,000 cap hit before being a restricted free agent.

While Steve Yzerman may not be quick to hand out a major deal, he needs to lock up Raymond. Sitting on it this season to see how Raymond does in year three, if he can come out and really be a force, as is expected, might earn him that Caufield-like deal.

But, regarding Raymond’s contract, the Red Wings should be able to easily jump in and model it after Caufield’s deal with the Habs. Something in that eight-year, $60+ million sounds about right if Yzerman really wants to lock up his core now.

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