from Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
After the first few days of unrestricted free agency, I looked back over the moves teams have made, and the more I look at what GM Steve Yzerman and the Detroit Red Wings have done, the more I like them to make a push for a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division this coming season.
With the caveat that, like many people, I don’t like the amount of salary or term Yzerman gave to defenseman Ben Chiarot, the rest of Detroit’s additions should make a big difference for them in 2022-23. The dependable goal-scoring of veteran winger David Perron will be a major boost for their offense, as will the signing of former Jets and Rangers forward Andrew Copp. Although Chiarot is overpaid at $4.75 million, he’ll add bite to the lineup, and if new head coach Derek Lalonde has better luck on the health front with veterans Robby Fabri and Jakub Vrana, Detroit’s offense will be formidable.
All things considered, the Wings have enough punch in their roster now to see them giving the Boston Bruins a run for their money for the fourth playoff berth in the Atlantic. The Ottawa Senators will also be in that mix, and determining that last playoff spot may come down to which team has the best goaltending. Detroit has the relatively inexperienced Ville Husso between the pipes, but if he gets enough offensive support, he could thrive in the No. 1 role.
The other thing to bear in mind with the Wings: Yzerman still has more than $10.2 million in cap space. Some of that will go to restricted free agents Jake Walman and Filip Zadina, but there should still be a good chunk left over for Yzerman to spend on an in-season addition. That could put Detroit over the top in the playoff race. Regardless, keep your eye on the Red Wings this year. They could make the post-season for the first time since 2015-16, and that’s welcome news for Wings fans.
read on for Proteau's views on the Islanders and Coyotes...