Red Wings News & Rumors: Kane, Trade Market, Prospects & More

The Hockey Writers

The Stanley Cup playoffs are down to the final four teams, which means the Detroit Red Wings are that much closer to upgrading their roster this offseason. Yes, the 2024 NHL Draft, free agency, and trade season are right around the corner.

In the meantime, get caught up on the latest Red Wings news and rumors, including an update on Patrick Kane, the trade market, buyout options, prospects, and more.

Red Wings “In the Mix” for Kane

The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun shared updates on several free agents – one of which was Patrick Kane.

“Patrick had a fantastic season based on where he started after major surgery, hip resurfacing, and he was able to get back to his ‘A’ game,” Kane’s agent Pat Brisson told LeBrun. (from ‘Rumblings on Guentzel, Kane, Stamkos, Lindholm, Bertuzzi and more as NHL free-agent market heats up’ – The Athletic – 5/24/24)

Patrick Kane Detroit Red Wings
Patrick Kane fit in nicely with the Red Wings once he ramped up. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

LeBrun added, “But where it goes from here, Brisson wasn’t ready to add anything else for the moment. Detroit remains in the mix and I believe Brisson will speak with Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman over the coming few weeks.”

On the surface, this is standard business. There’s interest in bringing Kane back, as there should be.

LeBrun also mentioned Kane wanting term, which tracks with what Kane shared in his end-of-season press conference, and that “it’s more likely Kane goes to market July 1.”

A plausible scenario would be the Red Wings offering two years, with Kane and Brisson wanting a third. Then, Kane hits the free agent market and finds similar offers, but none with a third year. Detroit could then circle back to re-sign Kane – he chose the Red Wings originally for a reason, after all.

Tyler Bertuzzi ran into a similar situation last summer. He wanted more term than the Red Wings were willing to give, got traded, and ultimately settled for a one-year deal in the offseason. Kane is a different player, sure, but wants and offers don’t always align.

Red Wings Pursuing a Starting Goalie?

Detroit’s goaltending wasn’t spectacular in 2023-24. Ville Husso, James Reimer, Alex Lyon, and Michael Hutchinson combined for a 3.17 GAA and .902 SV%. Could there be a change in net?

The Fourth Period reported that the Red Wings are among the several teams interested in acquiring a No. 1 goaltender this season. This was in reference to Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins possibly being on the move.

It’s interesting that this rumor specified a “No. 1 netminder” – not a 1A/1B tandem goalie or backup to replace Reimer. You won’t find starting goalies in free agency this year. If the Red Wings want to acquire a workhorse goalie, they’ll have to explore the trade market.

In my opinion, the Red Wings are better off prioritizing top-six upgrades through trades before acquiring a starting goalie. They can do both, but adding a high-end forward is more important – even if Kane returns.

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Red Wings & Their Buyout Options

If the Red Wings want to create cap space to acquire a top-six forward and a starting goalie, they could buy a player out. Teams can begin doing so either June 15 or 48 hours after the last Stanley Cup Final game.

Below are players who could be bought out, plus the salary cap penalty if the Red Wings choose this route.

  • LW Robby Fabbri – $1,166,667 cap hit in 2024-25; $1,416,667 cap hit in 2025-26.
  • RD Justin Holl – $1,133,333 cap hit for the next four seasons.
  • G Ville Husso – $1,583,334 cap hit for the next two seasons.
  • LD Olli Maatta – $1,000,000 cap hit for the next two seasons.
  • RD Jeff Petry – $1,593,750 cap hit in 2024-25; $375,000 cap hit in 2025-26.

Detroit’s No. 1 Prospect Pool

McKeen’s Hockey counted down the NHL’s top prospect pools, and the Red Wings took home the No. 1 spot.

It’s nice to see the Red Wings get some credit for how they’ve drafted over the last few years. It shows that the rebuild is paying off and that there’s high-end talent on the way.

Some of that talent will be in Detroit next season. In addition to Simon Edvinsson, Jonatan Berggren, and Albert Johansson—the latter two weren’t included in McKeen’s top 10 prospects—we could also see one or two of Nate Danielson, Marco Kasper, and Carter Mazur up with the Red Wings in 2024-25.

Detroit likely won’t retain the No. 1 ranking with so many prospect graduations. Then again, Axel Sandin Pellikka, Sebastian Cossa, Trey Augustine, and their 2024 first-round pick—plus those mentioned above who remain in the minors—still present an outstanding prospect pool.

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