Red Wings’ Best Contracts for 2023-24

The Hockey Writers

Since returning to the Detroit Red Wings as general manager, Steve Yzerman has been making moves to get the organization back on track and in a position to make deep playoff runs and eventually get their 12th Stanley Cup. Many of these moves have been met with praise.

Related: Detroit Red Wings’ 2023 Signings: In Their Words & Others

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Comparing some of the deals that Yzerman has given out to some of the ones other teams have given to their players, he seems to have done quite the job at getting the most value for what he’s paying out. But what moves are considered some of the Red Wings’ best contracts for the upcoming 2023-24 season?

Daniel Sprong

Yzerman opened up the 2023 Free Agency period by bringing in veteran forward Daniel Sprong. Sprong, 26, is a nine-year veteran of the NHL and adds a layer of offensive impact to the bottom six of the Red Wings lineup that is much needed. He has also been around winning cultures throughout his career, playing in Pittsburgh and Washington. He is a player that can also slot into the second power play unit if called upon, scoring six times and totaling 14 points on the power play last season for the Seattle Kraken.

Daniel Sprong Seattle Kraken
Daniel Sprong, Seattle Kraken (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

If Sprong can replicate the numbers that he put up in the 2022-23 season, this deal could very well be looked at as one of the biggest steals of the 2023 offseason for the Red Wings. Along with the numbers that he is capable of putting up, his veteran leadership with some of the younger players who have not yet experienced the playoffs or the push for a playoff spot will add an extra layer of value as well.

Player (2023-24 team) Goals Assists Points 2023-24 Cap Hit

Freddy Gaudreau (Minnesota) 19 29 38 $2.1 million

Yanni Gourde (Seattle) 14 34 48 $5.1 million

Boone Jenner (Columbus) 26 19 45 $3.75 million

Jeremy Lauzon (Nashville) 3 9 12 $2.0 million

Sonny Milano (Washington) 11 22 33 $1.9 million

Vladislav Namestnikov (Winnipeg) 8 17 25 $2.0 million

Daniel Sprong (Detroit) 21 25 46 $2.0 million

Jason Zucker (Arizona) 27 21 48 $5.3 million
* Red Wings players are compared to players with comparable stats from 2022-23 season and cap hit for 2023-24 season

Jake Walman

When acquired by the Red Wings in February 2023 from the St. Louis Blues along with Oskar Sundqvist and a 2023 second-round pick for defensemen Nick Leddy and Luke Witkowski, no one thought Jake Walman would turn into the player he is today. He has transformed himself into a top pairing partner for Moritz Seider and has brought an energy and “swagger” to the defense that is contagious. Meanwhile, Leddy had struggled with the Red Wings and fell out of favor and Witkowski did not play a single game in the NHL last season. Walman was then rewarded with an extension for three years, worth $10.2 million.

Player (2023-24 team) Goals Assists Points 2023-24 Cap Hit

TJ Brodie (Toronto) 2 12 24 $5.0 million

Vladislav Gavrikov (Los Angeles) 6 13 19 $5.875 million

Radko Gudas (Anaheim) 2 15 17 $4.0 million

Nick Leddy (St. Louis) 2 21 23 $4.0 million

Ryan McDonagh (Nashville) 2 18 20 $8.4 million

Tyler Myers (Vancouver) 1 16 17 $6.0 million

Ryan Suter (Dallas) 3 22 25 $3.65 million

Jake Walman (Detroit) 9 9 18 $3.4 million

Alex DeBrincat

The biggest 2023 offseason move that the Red Wings made was trading Dominik Kubalik, prospect Donovan Sebrango, a conditional 2024 first-round pick, and a 2024 fourth-round pick to the Ottawa Senators for 25-year-old Alex DeBrincat. In adding DeBrincat, they got a young player who is capable of scoring 40 goals a season, which he has done twice (last in 2021 with the Chicago Blackhawks), and a player who will elevate the top line. Specifically comes the factor of impacting and elevating the players around him, mainly captain Dylan Larkin. He is also expected to take over a spot on the first powerplay unit, where last season on the powerplay, he put up 11 goals and 19 assists for the Senators.

Alex DeBrincat Ottawa Senators
Alex DeBrincat, Ottawa Senators (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This trade also came with a four-year extension worth $31.5 million. In its entirety, it could possibly be one of Yzerman’s best deals to date based on comparisons to other players at DeBrincat’s level of play. It might turn into a steal of sorts if he is able to play to his abilities, and Yzerman has been known to not be a huge fan of the “super” long extensions with players.

Player (2023 Team) Goals Assists Points 2023-24 Cap Hit

Jesper Bratt (New Jersey) 32 41 73 $7.875 million

Alex Debrincat (Detroit) 27 39 66 $7.875 million

Jack Eichel (Las Vegas) 27 39 66 $10 million

Kevin Fiala (Las Angeles) 23 49 72 $7.875 million

Roope Hintz (Dallas) 37 38 75 $8.45 million

Pierre Luc-Dubois (Los Angeles) 27 36 63 $8.5 million

Timo Meier (New Jersey) 40 26 66 $8.8 million

Robert Thomas (St. Louis) 37 38 75 $8.45 million

Overall, these three contracts are some of the most valuable and best ones that Yzerman has given out in recent memory since returning to Detroit. These moves could turn into great deals if players like DeBrincat and Sprong are able to produce the points they are capable of, if not exceed those numbers (particularly in DeBrincat’s case).

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