5 Free Agents The Detroit Red Wings Should Still Consider Signing

By Josh VanDyke

5 Free Agents The Detroit Red Wings Should Still Consider Signing

Niklas Kronwall celebrates with teammates after a goal during a 2015 game
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings were big spenders in free agency this offseason, signing Mike Green and Brad Richards to sizable deals. The team also re-signed valuable restricted free agents such as Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith. With little cap space available and a logjam on the NHL roster, the team may need to make some trades to clear up space. If that does happen, there are five free agents the team should consider signing.

5. Lee Stempniak

Lee Stempniak of the Winnipeg Jets follows the play down the ice during a 2015 game
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5. Lee Stempniak

Lee Stempniak of the Winnipeg Jets follows the play down the ice during a 2015 game
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The Red Wings have a lack of depth at left wing and need more production from its bottom six forwards. Stempniak would be cheap solution to both of these problems if the team were to move players like Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen, or Landon Ferraro. Stempniak recorded 28 points for the Rangers and Jets last season with a +0.9 Corsi rating, which would have been third among Detroit's wingers.

4. Jiri Tlusty

 Jiri Tlusty of the Winnipeg Jets skates with the puck against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on March 12, 2015
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4. Jiri Tlusty

 Jiri Tlusty of the Winnipeg Jets skates with the puck against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on March 12, 2015
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Much like Stempniak, the only way the team would pursue Tlusty would be if they moved a young forward before the season started. Despite being on a terrible Carolina Hurricanes team, Tlusty put up 23 points in 53 games before adding 8 points in 20 games for the Jets after being traded at the trade deadline. Tlusty recorded a +7.9 Corsi rating last season which would have finished fifth overall among all Red Wings forwards.

3. David Schlemko

David Schlemko of the Calgary Flames skates against the Vancouver Canucks during a 2015 playoff game
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3. David Schlemko

David Schlemko of the Calgary Flames skates against the Vancouver Canucks during a 2015 playoff game
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David Schlemko appeared in 44 games for the Arizona Coyotes, Dallas Stars, and Calgary Flames during the 2014-15 season. At only 28-years-old and a cap hit of $1.19 million, Schlemko would be a value as a depth defenseman on the blue line. If nothing else, he would be a great addition to the AHL-affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins as the organization tries to decide which defenseman will round out its NHL rotation.

2. Christian Ehrhoff

Christian Ehrhoff of the Pittsburgh Penguins plays the puck against the New Jersey Devils during the game at the Prudential Center on March 17, 2015
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2. Christian Ehrhoff

Christian Ehrhoff of the Pittsburgh Penguins plays the puck against the New Jersey Devils during the game at the Prudential Center on March 17, 2015
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The Red Wings were in the Christian Ehrhoff sweepstakes last offseason and weren't able to lure him to the Motor City. Now the 33-year-old defenseman is on the open market after over a month of free agency. The team already inked a younger, big name defenseman in Mike Green but if the team were to move a younger defenseman such as Jakub Kindl or Kyle Quincey, it wouldn't be a bad idea to sign the veteran free agent.

1. Cody Franson

Cody Franson of the Nashville Predators skates against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on April 7, 2015
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1. Cody Franson

Cody Franson of the Nashville Predators skates against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on April 7, 2015
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The Red Wings will likely move one or two of the defenseman on their roster before the season starts due just the sheer numbers on the current NHL depth chart. If that does happen, Cody Franson would be the best available free agent in the defensmen pool. Franson recorded 36 points last season with a plus-4.0 Corsi rating.

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