The Detroit Red Wings, with plenty of cap space still available, decided Thursday to buy out 37-year-old forward Frans Nelsen.
Detroit received a second buyout window because they settled an arbitration case with Adam Erne earlier this week. The Red Wings save $1 million on Nielsen’s $5.2 million contract. But they will also be charged $500,000 against the salary cap next season.
The buyout opens up a possible roster spot for Lucas Raymond, Jonatan Berggren or Joe Veleno to make the team. Currently, the Red Wings have 20 players signed. They must still sign restricted free agents Givani Smith and Filip Hronek.
You can pencil in defenseman Moritz Seider as the 23rd player on the roster. One of the 23 players is defenseman Wyatt Newpower who could also be sent to the minors to start the season.
The Red Wings have $19.4 million in cap space remaining after the buyout, not counting Seider or the two unsigned players.
Nielsen never lived up to expectations after signing a six-year deal with Detroit in 2016. He had 17 goals his first season, but never reached that number again. He never totaled more than 41 points. Last season, he netted six points in 29 games.