The free agent right-shot defenseman pool began to drain Friday when the Columbus Blue Jackets acquired potential UFA Damon Severson from the New Jersey Devils in a sign-and-trade deal.
The Blue Jackets gave the Devils a third-round pick and then gave Severson, 28, an eight-year deal worth $6.8 million per season.
It is unknown whether the Red Wings had significant interest in Severson. But with the Red Wings still rebuilding, general manager Yzerman probably isn’t looking to sign a free agent to an eight-year deal unless they are star quality. He signed several free agents last summer, and none were given the term or AAV that Severson received. Severson will be 36 when his contract expires.
The Red Wings are among multiple teams looking for a veteran right-shot defender this summer, and the list of available and/or desirable right-shot defenseman isn’t very long.
If Gus Lindstrom, as reported, is planning to play in Europe, then Moritz Seider is the team’s only right-shot D man. Youngsters Simon Edvinsson and Albert Johansson, Detroit’s two best defensive prospects, are left-handed shooters.
Don’t rule out Yzerman seeking a trade-and-sign deal. He did one last season to acquire goalie Ville Husso. Here are some other potential UFA right-shot defensemen:
Matt Dumba (Minnesota Wild)
Probably is looking for term. At 28, he’s in the prime of his career. He’s probably looking to go to a contender, although how many contenders have cap space?
Radko Gudas (Florida Panthers)
He has garnered plenty of attention because the Panthers have reached the Stanley Cup Final. Fans have a love-hate relationship with Gudas. But plenty of fans in Detroit would like to see the Red Wings make a pitch for him because they want a tougher team. He posted 308 hits this season.
Scott Mayfield (New York Islanders)
He would be a nice fit for a team looing to grow bigger and stronger. He’s 6-foot-4, 220 pounds. Mayfield blocked 168 shots this season. He thinks defense first. Would fit well in with coach Derek Lalonde’s group.
Connor Clifton (Boston Bruins)
Clinton had 23 points and 208 hits this season. He’s 28. Could be an affordable option for the Red Wings.
Travis Hamonic (Ottawa Senators)
Coming off decent season. Could improve Detroit’s third pairing. But he is not going to be a game-changer.
John Klingberg (Minnesota Wild)
Not quite what the Red Wings are seeking. Has offensive flair, but Lalonde wants more snarl and push-back. That’s not Klingberg.
Kevin Shattenkirk (Anaheim Ducks)
The plus for Shattenkirk is that he has 891 games of NHL experience. Wouldn’t think he would be Detroit’s first choice. He’s known more for offense than defense. He was -20 last season for a poor Ducks team. He will be 35 in January. Would the Red Wings take his experience for one season at a reasonable price?