The Detroit Red Wings had a successful October. With a record of 6-3-1, they sit second in the Atlantic Division, and they’ve outscored every team in the division. Alex DeBrincat is tied for the most goals in the NHL with nine, and Dylan Larkin is fourth in the NHL with 15 points. A lot went right for the team in the first calendar month of the season, and now they hope to keep that momentum going into November.
Hopes of keeping that momentum going sure got a boost in recent days. Not only did one of the organization’s top prospects return from the injured list, but it looks like they’re hammering away at a new deal for a fan-favorite player.
It’s time to catch up on the latest Red Wings news and rumors!
Red Wings Working on New Deal for Rasmussen
Michael Rasmussen, affectionately known as “Moose” across Red Wing fandom, is on the final year of the three-year, $4.38 million deal he signed back in 2021. Since he signed that deal, he has seemingly become one of the more important players on the Red Wings’ roster.
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Rasmussen is the type of player that cannot be defined solely by his stat sheet. With 89 points through 249 career games, the former ninth overall selection instead plays a variety of roles that utilize his size and overall competitiveness. The 6-foot-6 forward puts his body on the line in the defensive zone, and he knows how to grind opponents down in the offensive end. It is no coincidence that the Red Wings went 7-15-2 last season after he suffered a season-ending injury late in February. Overall, Detroit was 27-21-8 with him in their lineup.
It should be no surprise, then, that Red Wings general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman is reportedly trying to get Rasmussen signed to a new deal. According to insider Elliotte Friedman, the two sides are actively working on an extension. While Friedman did not offer any insight into what the new deal could look like, it is still welcome news considering how much the player has endeared himself to the fanbase.
Although Rasmussen’s deal carries a cap hit of $1.46 million, his actual salary this season is $1.9 million (per CapFriendly). “Moose” could see his salary double over the course of his next deal. Considering how much he has elevated his game over the last couple of seasons, it’s probably safe to say that he has earned the pay raise, and all it comes down to now is the length of the deal.
It is also important to note that Rasmussen isn’t the team’s only pending restricted free agent (RFA) that is in need of a new deal. Both Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond are on expiring contracts, and both project to enjoy a big pay raise when all is said and done. Joe Veleno, whose one-year deal expires after this season, is also slated to be an RFA at the end of this season.
The salary cap for next season is projected to increase by a substantial amount for the first time since the pandemic, and that should provide additional funds for Yzerman to lock in his youngest free agents between now and the start of next season. With that in mind, it appears that Rasmussen will be the next player to receive a deal that shapes the Red Wings’ cap structure for the foreseeable future.
Carter Mazur Returns to Grand Rapids
Carter Mazur, a third round pick of the Red Wings back in the 2021 draft, has officially returned to the American Hockey League (AHL) to begin his first full pro season. After suffering a lower-body injury during training camp, the Jackson, Michigan native did not partake in the preseason.
Mazur has made a name for himself as one of the Red Wings’ top prospects since the team selected him in the 2021 draft. He was dominant in two NCAA seasons with the University of Denver, and that dominance followed him to the AHL where he recorded six points in six games with the Grand Rapids Griffins to close out the season. Due to his scrappy nature and undeniable offensive abilities, he was recently named the Red Wings’ sixth-best prospect by THW Red Wings writer Logan Horn back in September. Prior to that, he was named the Red Wings’ third-best prospect by THW Red Wings writer Devin Little.
In his first game with the Griffins this season, Mazur lined up on Grand Rapids’ second line alongside Elmer Söderblom and Amadeus Lombardi. Although he didn’t record a point in his first game of the season, he should quickly round into form and show what made him one of the most exciting collegiate players to watch over the last two seasons.
- Max Bultman of The Athletic released a fun article detailing the reasons why each player wears the number they wear. (from “Alex Ovechkin, jai alai, and more stories behind the Red Wings’ 2023-24 jersey numbers”, The Athletic, Nov. 2, 2023)
- Alex Lyon, the Red Wings’ third-string goaltender, has yet to see game action this season as Detroit continues to keep him on the NHL roster to avoid exposing him to the waiver wire. Although the Red Wings could assign the 30-year-old to the AHL on a two-week conditioning stint, goalie prospect Sebastian Cossa has performed very well thus far for the Griffins, seizing the starting role from veteran Michael Hutchinson. Is it even worth it to send Lyon on a conditioning stint, or is he stuck in his current situation, for better or worse?
- Robby Fabbri returned to practice on Nov. 1. The forward has been out since the first game of the season with a lower-body injury. His status likely now goes from week-to-week to day-to-day.