Detroit Red Wings: How Each Offseason Addition and Departure Will Affect Team

Isaac SmithAnalyst IJuly 14, 2013

Detroit Red Wings: How Each Offseason Addition and Departure Will Affect Team

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    The Detroit Red Wings made some waves in NHL free agency by signing Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss on the first day the market opened.

    But in making these moves, the Red Wings also paved the way for departures of prominent members of their team, including Valtteri Filppula (signed with Tampa Bay), Carlo Colaiacovo (bought out) and possibly Dan Cleary, who remains without a deal.

    Detroit's management also needs to figure out if it wishes to retain the services of some young restricted free agents, including Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson.

    This article will look at the impact of each of these departures and signings on the immediate future of the Red Wings.

Addition: Daniel Alfredsson

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    Daniel Alfredsson will turn 41 this coming season and is obviously over the hill in terms of his abilities as a hockey player. But the 40-year-old Swede has the heart of a warrior, seeking his first-ever Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings.

    Alfredsson still fills a big hole for the Red Wings at right wing. He is the most experienced and talented natural right wing to play for the Red Wings since Brendan Shanahan.

    The longtime Ottawa Senators' captain also doesn't shy away from playing on the special teams and can play top minutes, albeit somewhat less effectively than he could just five years ago.

    The Red Wings are taking a gamble on Alfredsson, with a contract worth up to $5.5 million with performance bonuses, via CapGeek.

    Plain and simple, Alfredsson is a high-risk, potential high-reward signing for the Red Wings. The money is the risk, but more so the cap space than the money.

    The bottom line is that if he can put up the points-per-game that he averaged this past season with the Senators, the Red Wings will be in good shape. That translates to roughly 45 points in an 82-game season. Whether Alfredsson can bring that kind of offense into his 40s remains to be seen, however.

Addition: Stephen Weiss

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    Stephen Weiss had season-ending wrist surgery after playing his last game on March 3. Just the previous game against the Carolina Hurricanes (pictured above), Weiss fought Justin Falk and was issued a game misconduct, finishing the night with 19 penalty minutes.

    Weiss will hopefully be doing less fighting with the Detroit Red Wings as he effectively "replaces" Valtteri Filppula as the second-line center.

    But Weiss has been much more prolific since 2006-07 than Filppula has been for Detroit. In fact, it isn't really close, statistically.

    Weiss has hit at least 42 points in every season since 2006-07, with a career high of 61 points in 2008-09. Filppula, on the other hand, has hit 40 points just twice in his career, with a career high of 66 points in 2011-12.

    Weiss brings a defensive aspect that will be much more evident than Filppula.

    The former Florida Panthers assistant captain doesn't go through long dry spells like Filppula did in his time with the Red Wings and thinks, per Brendan Savage of MLive, that the pressure to be better than Florida will lead him "thrive" in Detroit.

Departure: Valtteri Filppula

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    Realistically speaking, Valtteri Filppula could have been a one-hit wonder in terms of offensive production.

    Steve Yzerman, GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning, thinks otherwise. Yzerman signed Filppula to a five-year deal worth $5 million per season, per CapGeek.

    But what if Valtteri Filppula is the next Jonathan Cheechoo? It will be no skin off of the Red Wings' backs, as Filppula thought he deserved to be paid like a No. 1 center, per Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.

    Filppula got the money obviously, but one good season in the NHL does not make a No. 1 center.

    If Filppula flops in Tampa Bay, it will be because he ends up centering the second line. If he succeeds in Tampa Bay, it will be because he gets to feed the puck to Steven Stamkos.

    Either way, Red Wings fans shouldn't take Filppula's exit too hard right now.

Departure: Carlo Colaiacovo

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    Carlo Colaiacovo got the short end of the stick in Detroit.

    As a mediocre defenseman with some potentially better talent in Brian Lashoff and restricted free agent  Brendan Smith, Colaiacovo received his buyout before the Red Wings went shopping in July.

    Colaiacovo took a while to get accustomed in Detroit, but he played just six regular-season games this year and nine playoff games.

    The Red Wings lose experience in favor of youth and potential by buying out Colaiacovo.

    But if the Red Wings can get over losing Nick Lidstrom and Brad Stuart in the same offseason, a run-of-the-mill defenseman like Colaiacovo shouldn't do any serious damage to Detroit's chances next season.

Departure: Damien Brunner

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    Simply put, Damien Brunner didn't want to stay in Detroit for the amount that Ken Holland offered.

    Brunner decided to test free agency and was unsuccessful in finding a team that was willing to take a chance on Brunner for the amount that he was asking from teams.

    Now, the Swiss forward is without a job. But it was entirely his fault that he was without a job to start with. He has just two goals over the last 25 games of the regular season.

    Despite his playoff performance, Brunner doesn't have what it takes to be consistent in the NHL, as he does not attack the net well enough on a regular basis.

    It is unfortunate that he isn't getting another chance in Detroit next season, but the fact remains that he turned down Ken Holland's offer before free agency started.

    The Red Wings will turn to Daniel Alfredsson to replace Brunner's offense next season.

Potential Departure: Dan Cleary

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    Losing Dan Cleary would be a blow for the Red Wings. The Newfoundland native goes to the dirty areas on a consistent basis for the Red Wings and always seems to find pucks close to the net for goals.

    But the Red Wings only have $2.3 million in cap space per CapGeek, meaning that they might not have enough space to sign Cleary.

    The Red Wings also have 14 forwards signed to their roster without restricted free agents in Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist.

    Does that pave the way for an exit for Cleary at this point? If he is seeking a three-year deal as Sean Gentille of Sporting News suggests, then it probably wouldn't work in Detroit.