New Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde wants his team to be harder to play against and GM Steve Yzerman is acquiring players to help him make sure that happens.
The Red Wings signed rugged defenseman Ben Chiarot to a four-year deal worth $4.75 million per season.
“That’s kind of been my identity in the league since I came in, as a guy who’s hard to play against, makes life difficult for opposing forwards,” Chiarot said. “That’s kind of what I’ve been since I came in the league and that’s why I think the Red Wings are bringing me in.
Chiarot is 6-foot-3, 235-pound left shot shutdown defenseman who adds a physical presence and smart playing style. Chiarot helped the Montreal Canadiens reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2021 and was traded to the Florida Panthers before the trade deadline.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) July 13, 2022
The Hamilton, Ontario native will add a big body to the penalty killing unit and he can clear a crease. With 6-foot-4 Swedish rookie Simon Edvinsson expected to join the team and 6-foot-2 Olli Maatta coming aboard, the Red Wings suddenly have a much bigger defensive unit. Moritz Seider is 6-foot-4.
The Red Wings haven’t told Chiarot what their plans are for him. But he has an idea.
“I think the idea is to come in and play with either Moritz (Seider) or (Filip) Hronek, the two young righties,” Chiarot said. “Come in and be a stabilizing presence for them. That’s what I’ll do.”
If Chiarot played Edvinsson, it would leave rookie Simon Edvinsson playing with Hronek. Of course, we don’t know if Yzerman is done making changes.
Chiarot recorded 157 hits last season. That would have been second on the Red Wings last season. Adam Erne had 161. Seider had 151. Chiarot had 120 blocked shots last season. That also would have ranked second on Detroit.
With the Red Wings signing Chiarot, they have no room for Marc Staal. He signed a one-year deal with Florida for $750,000. His brother Eric signed a tryout contract with the Panthers.