Detroit Red Wings: Ben Chiarot heading into make-or-break season

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When it comes to the Detroit Red Wings defense core, they went out and made some moves. While some may be important in the short term, they beefed things up on the back end and added some depth with their signings.

These additions come a year after the Detroit Red Wings spent some big money on defenseman Ben Chiarot. The veteran defender signed a four-year, $19 million contract in Detroit. Chiarot’s first season in Detroit was a bit underwhelming.

The team made some improvements, bringing in new faces, but that does not leave Chiarot off the hook. He may be signed for the next three seasons, but Chiarot is in a make-or-break position. This 2023-24 season needs to be better for Chiarot if he wants to prove useful.

If things do not improve, things could get ugly for Detroit, with a defender making $4.75 million annually to be a bottom-pairing performer. So, there has to be hope that Detroit can get a better performance from Chiarot in year two.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Ben Chiarot is heading into a big year.

Chiarot’s first season did not go as planned, as was mentioned above. He played in 76 games with five goals, adding 14 assists for 19 total points. He was a minus-31 with a horrendous 38.7% Corsi rating, which was 12.2% below the team average.

He did not do many things right. While no one was expecting Chiarot to come in and be a top-tier offensive defenseman, his performance in the defensive zone was not so pretty. If Chiarot is going to be an anchor in the defensive zone, things need to improve overall.

For Detroit, they have to be expecting more. Even if the reality is that Chiarot is going to underwhelm, they have to be upset knowing that they are going to be overpaying for a bottom-pairing defender.

There’s not much to be thrilled about with Chiarot, but he hopes to change that in 2023-24. It could wind up if he can be more productive in the team’s defense core. However, if not, the Red Wings might have some decisions to make.

It’s early to consider a buyout, given that the Red Wings need the depth, but if things do not change with Chiarot’s performance, there may be some conversations to be had in the team’s front office.

It will be a big season for the Red Wings, and this is especially true for Chiarot. He needs to come out and show some improvements this fall.

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