The Detroit Red Wings aren’t exactly sure how productive forward Filip Zadina will become. But they obviously believe whatever player he turns out to be will be worth an average salary of $1.825 million.
Zadina agreed to a three-year deal for $5.475 million. He gets security and the Red Wings get a chance to have a favorable contract if Filip Zadina blossoms into a consistent 20+ goal scorer. The Red Wings drafted Zadina with the idea he had an elite scorer’s touch. Zadina managed 25 goals in his 80 games in the American Hockey League for Grand Rapids.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) August 26, 2022
This bridge deal takes Zadina within one year of becoming an unrestricted free agent.
The 2018 Detroit Red Wings first-round draft pick (sixth overall) didn’t have much leverage in this negotiation. He has been slow to develop, scoring 25 goals and 61 points in 160 games. But the Red Wings do appreciate how hard he works at his craft and the drive he has to improve.
What he hasn’t shown yet is the finishing touch around the net. But he did manage to score 10 goals and finish with 24 points last season.
No Word on Larkin, Bertuzzi Talks
Zadina has to be concerned that he won’t receive as much opportunity as he had last season. General manager Steve Yzerman signed three players (Andrew Copp, David Perron and Dominik Kubalik) who could play among the top six forwards. Copp and Perron definitely will and Kubalik might.
No matter how it works out, Zadina is probably looking at playing on the third line. Detroit fans will be disappointed if Zadina doesn’t develop into a true scoring threat. But it would not be a horrible situation if Detroit’s top six forward group was strong enough that the skilled Zadina is forced to the third line.
The Red Wings now have everyone signed for the upcoming season. Yzerman has roughly $8.2 million in cap space still available heading into the season. He isn’t expected to make any deals moving forward, although you can never be sure with Yzerman.
Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi are signed for the upcoming season. But Yzerman is trying to negotiate new deals for both players to prevent them becoming unrestricted free agents next summer. Calgary Flames fans can testify what can happen if players go to free agency. The Flames watched Johnny Gaudreau depart as a UFA and then traded Matthew Tkachuk when he revealed he wouldn’t re-sign with Calgary.