Red Wings News & Rumors: DeBrincat, Free Agents & More

The Hockey Writers

By this point, most other NHL teams have joined the Detroit Red Wings in offseason mode. It won’t be long until the Stanley Cup Final concludes and executives from around the league congregate in Nashville for the draft.

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In this week’s edition of Red Wings News & Rumors, we’ll cover potential trade targets, free agent options, and more as the offseason heats up.

Red Wings & Alex DeBrincat

In his “Rumblings” column on Wednesday, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun connected DeBrincat and the Red Wings after the forward’s agent reportedly provided the Ottawa Senators with a list of teams he’d approve a trade to.

“I don’t know for sure which teams are on DeBrincat’s list, but I would bet it includes the likes of Nashville, Vegas and Dallas. (Everyone wants to play in Vegas!) And I wonder about a team like Detroit. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Red Wings would be of interest to DeBrincat.”

–Pierre LeBrun, The Athletic (from ‘LeBrun rumblings: Gavrikov gets NHL trade market rolling, Dubois wants out, DeBrincat’s list of teams and more’ – The Athletic – 6/7/23)

In a vacuum, yes, the Red Wings could use a player of DeBrincat’s caliber. Who wouldn’t want a former 40-goal scorer?

However, there are two major barriers to a trade here. First, Detroit and Ottawa are in the same division. Teams rarely trade star players within their conference, let alone their division. 

Potential Detroit Red Wings trade target Alex DeBrincat of the Ottawa Senators
Alex DeBrincat skating with the Ottawa Senators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Second, both organizations are focused on emerging from their respective rebuilds. Why would Ottawa want to trade a top-six forward to a team they’re competing against for a spot in the playoffs?

It’s entirely possible that the Red Wings show interest in DeBrincat. That said, it’s going to take quite an offer to convince the Senators to trade the forward to Detroit. It might be best if the Red Wings focus elsewhere so they can maximize the return on their assets.

Red Wings Pursuing Suter & Chiasson?

Ansar Khan of the Detroit Free Press reported that the Red Wings have interest in bringing back forwards Pius Suter and Alex Chiasson.

It’s unclear if this is speculation or information that has been shared by a member of the organization. Either way, it’s worth exploring.

Pius Suter Detroit Red Wings
Should the Red Wings re-sign Pius Suter? (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Last season, Suter was one of Detroit’s most improved players from a defensive standpoint. He was a versatile chess piece for the Red Wings, playing effectively up and down the lineup. In addition, Suter also was one of their best penalty killers.

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The problem, though, is that he doesn’t exactly address any of Detroit’s major offseason needs. Surely, he’ll be useful next season if brought back, but would his contributions be worth taking up a roster spot that could go to a more impactful player? I’m not so sure.

As for Chiasson, a two-way deal would be great if he was amenable to such an agreement. He was an immovable object in front of the net, especially on the power play

Interest In Pierre-Luc Dubois?

It’s no secret that Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois wants a change of scenery. How about a view of the Detroit skyline?

Regarding Dubois, The Fourth Period noted that the Red Wings were “among the teams believed to have expressed some level of interest.” 

Potential Detroit Red Wings trade target Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Winnipeg Jets
Pierre-Luc Dubois skating with the Winnipeg Jets. (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The report stated that the interest dates back to last season – Detroit could still be interested or may have opted to pursue other options. 

If the Red Wings trade for Dubois, he’d give them a clear-cut No. 2 center to play behind Dylan Larkin. Dubois can also play on the wing, giving Detroit flexibility once Marco Kasper is deemed ready for top-six responsibilities.

However, acquiring the 24-year-old pending restricted free agent would cost the Red Wings significantly – first in assets, then in cap space. The Fourth Period added that, “Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will be looking to move Dubois in a talent-for-talent swap rather than selling him off for younger assets and draft picks.”

Related: Red Wings Should Avoid These Prominent Free Agents

Unfortunately, Detroit’s best trade chips are in the latter category – prospects and draft picks. Unless something changes, it doesn’t look like the Red Wings and Jets are a match as trade partners here.

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