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Detroit Red Wings Sign ex-Wolverine Kampfer to Improve Defensive Depth

The addition of NHL veteran Steven Kampfer is offering the Red WIngs defensive depth

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The Red Wings signed right-shot defenseman Steven Kampfer

General manager Steve Yzerman strengthened the Detroit Red Wings’ organizational depth on defense by signing veteran Steven Kampfer. He’s an Ann Arbor native and former University of Michigan player.

The 33-year-old journeyman has played 231 NHL games with the Boston Bruins, Minnesota Wild, Florida Panthers, New York Rangers and Boston Bruins. But he spent last season playing for Ak Bars Kazan in the Kontinental Hockey League. Kampfer has spent much of his career moving up and down between the American Hockey League and the NHL.

According to puckpedia.com, the Red Wings gave Kampfer a two-way contract that pays him $750,000 in the NHL and $300,000 in the AHL His guarantee is $325,000.

Could Help GR

Like their parent team, the Grand Rapids Griffins didn’t make the playoffs this season.  The Red Wings don’t want to see that happen again.  Over the next few seasons, several of Yzerman’s draft choices will be coming through Grand Rapids. He wants to make sure they are playing with a strong team.

Kampfer. a former University of Michigan player,  could start with Grand Rapids, and be a call-up if there is an injury. In 2021, he played 20 games for the Boston Bruins  In 2019-20, he played 10 games with Boston and 22 with the AHL’s Providence Bruins.  Kampfer has played 274 AHL games.

He’s coming off a strong season in the KHL, generating 11 goals and 30 points.  Kampfer is a high energy, scrappy performer who will step up and make a hit. He totaled 49 penalty minutes in the KHL. He is a right-shot defenseman and NHL teams can never seem to have enough of those.

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The Red Wings need to improve defensively next season. The team simply gave up too many quality scoring chances last season. It wasn’t all on the defense. But the defense was often leaky last season.  It’s anticipated that the Red Wings defense will look differently next season.

Yzerman has some decisions to make about his restricted free agent defensemen Olli Juolevi and Jake Walman, plus unrestricted free agent defenseman Marc Staal.

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