Bruins’ 2023 Free-Agent Targets: Detroit Red Wings

The Hockey Writers

Welcome to The Hockey Writers’ 2023 Free-Agent Targets series for the Boston Bruins. During it, we will be looking at a handful of free agents from each NHL team who the Bruins should consider pursuing this summer.

In this latest edition of the series, we will be taking a look at the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings have three forwards who the Bruins should consider making a push for during the summer. Let’s take a look at them now.

Alex Chiasson

The Bruins have several unrestricted free agent (UFA) forwards heading into the offseason. They are as followed: Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Tyler Bertuzzi, Tomas Nosek, Nick Foligno, and Garnet Hathaway. You may notice that the last three names of the listed players made up Boston’s fourth line. As a result, the Bruins are likely to bring in a bottom-six and/or depth forward this summer. Alex Chiasson is one Red Wings free agent who would make sense for Boston because of this.

Alex Chiasson Detroit Red Wings
Alex Chiasson, Detroit Red Wings (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

One has to admire Chiasson’s determination this season. After settling for an American Hockey League (AHL) contract with the Grand Rapids Griffins, he impressed the Red Wings enough to earn an NHL contract for the final portion of the year. With Detroit, he also found moderate success, as he had six goals and nine points in 20 games. That’s not bad production at all from a depth forward, and the Bruins should consider targeting him because of it.

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If signed to a league-minimum deal, Chiasson would be a solid option for the Bruins’ fourth-line right wing spot. His excellent net-front presence ability could also make him in the running for a power-play time. Overall, there would be zero risk in a Chiasson deal, so it could be worth some consideration.

Adam Erne

Another Red Wing who could make sense for the Bruins is 28-year-old winger, Adam Erne. Erne is coming off of a fairly quiet 2022-23 season with the Red Wings, as he had eight goals and 18 points in 61 games. Although his offensive production was not particularly impressive, he made an impact with his physicality, posting 160 hits. That element of his game could grab the attention of general manager (GM) Don Sweeney, as Boston will need more grit if they lose Foligno and/or Hathaway.

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

Erne has also shown in the past that he can produce a bit offensively while performing at his highest level. For example, during the 2020-21 season, he had 11 goals to go along with 20 points in 45 games. Perhaps a change of scenery and playing for a stronger team in the Bruins could help him get back to a similar pace of production.

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Given his quiet year and temporary demotion to the AHL this year, Erne is likely to settle for a league-minimum or close to the league-minimum deal. Thus, he could be an affordable option for the Bruins’ fourth line this fall.

Pius Suter

Pius Suter is the final and most notable Red Wings free agent who the Bruins could take a look at this summer. Unlike the two players listed above, the 27-year-old is capable of handling a third-line role, and that is something the Bruins may need if they lose several of their free agents. In 79 games this season, the 5-foot-11 forward had 14 goals and 24 points. His offensive production was very low for his standards this campaign, but his defensive play improved significantly. Therefore, he is a worthy target for Boston.

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

Suter offers great versatility, as he can play all three forward positions if needed. Therefore, he would be a fit virtually anywhere in Boston’s bottom six if signed. Furthermore, his improved defensive play would also provide the Bruins with another option for their penalty kill. Lastly, if he can find his offensive game next season, he also would be a candidate for power-play time.

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Unlike Chiasson and Erne, Suter is likely expecting a multi-year contract this offseason. When noting that he would give the Bruins another valuable player to their group, it is an avenue worth considering.

It is clear that the Bruins have some decent free-agent targets from the Red Wings. Erne and Chiasson would be solid and easily affordable depth options for the Bruins, while Suter could give Boston’s top nine a jolt. We will now need to wait and see if Sweeney brings in any of these three from here.

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