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Detroit Red Wings: Contract Projections for 2024 RFAs

General manager Steve Yzerman of the Detroit Red Wings said that he wants to strengthen the team’s goaltending, defence, and offence. However, it’s unknown how much cap room he’ll have to work with in order to sign players. It is necessary to sign a number of restricted free agents (RFAs).

Like previous year, I estimated the contracts of Detroit’s RFAs (Moritz Seider, Lucas Raymond, Joe Veleno, Jonatan Berggren, Albert Johansson, and Jared McIsaac) taking into account roster slots, player roles, supply and demand for cap space, and predicted output. Now let’s get started.

Detroit’s 2024–25 salary cap will be heavily impacted by the recently inked contract extensions of Seider and Raymond. After rerunning the figures, I found that nothing had actually altered from my projections of the two’s contracts during the season:

There have been questions and comments about Seider and Raymond signing shorter-term deals with lower AAVs instead. I want to reiterate why that would not be the optimal approach for the Red Wings:

  1. On average, players peak around 24-25
  2. Short-term/bridge contracts would end at the player’s peak
  3. The next contract would pay based on peak play, while the player starts to slowly and steadily decline
  4. Alternatively, eight-year contracts end around age 30; there’s more certainty in what the player will be thereafter to inform the next negotiation

Seider and Raymond ought to sign long-term contracts with the Red Wings right away. In light of the 2024–25 pay cap, this may take some more deft manoeuvring on Yzerman’s part, but in the long run, it’s best for the team and the players. Veleno’s N

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