from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,
The Wings only have $46.2 million committed to 11 players right now, with decisions pending on 12 restricted free agents. The Wings will bring back some of those restricted free agents but still will have plenty of money to add productive, proven players from cash-strapped teams.
Pittsburgh (15 players under contract, $13.2 million available cap space), Tampa Bay (15 players, $5.3 million cap space), St. Louis (20 players, $2.04 million cap space) and Toronto (16 players, $4.5 million cap space) are teams who will have to make deals.
With that in mind, here are some players who could interest the Wings this offseason:
- Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay, center: Johnson has a cap hit of $5 million over the next four seasons and his statistics have dropped over the last three seasons (14 goals, 31 points this season). But general manager Steve Yzerman is familiar with Johnson from his days in Tampa and at 29, Johnson would strengthen the Wings’ lineup.
- Yanni Gourde, Tampa Bay, center: With a cap hit of $5.16 million for the next five seasons, Gourde’s six-year, $31 million deal seemed generous as soon as it was signed, and it now haunts the Lightning. Gourde slumped from 25 and 22 goals in 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively, to 10 this season. He might actually thrive with a bigger role on a team like the Wings.
- Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay, center: With three more years at $4.45 million, Killorn scored a career-best 26 goals this season. But at age 30, how much better will Killorn get? The Lightning need the cap cushion to sign several important restricted free agents.