The Detroit Red Wings have had a very busy offseason and are heading into the 2022-23 season with higher expectations because of it. Yet, even after their summer of spending, they still have over $9 million in cap space available. I think they should make a last-minute signing and bring in P.K. Subban on a one-year deal. Here’s why general manager Steve Yzerman should sign the 33-year-old defenseman.
Subban Would Fit Perfectly in Red Wings’ Top Six
It’s fair to say Subban would be an upgrade to the right side of their top six. Although they have made some additions this offseason, they still could use some help if the Red Wings want to be a playoff team in 2022-23, and the veteran defenseman should be on Yzerman’s radar.
At his best, Subban is an immediate upgrade over Gustav Lindstrom on the bottom pair. Although Lindstrom is still developing, it wouldn’t be a bad thing for head coach Derek Lalonde to utilize him as a seventh defenseman. Subban has the potential to make a bigger impact right now to help the team catch their Atlantic Division rivals.
Furthermore, Subban would be a perfect fit to play alongside fellow newcomer Olli Maatta. Maatta is an old-fashioned defensive defenseman who is known for his overall reliability. Subban, on the other hand, is famous for not being afraid to take offensive chances. Playing with Maatta would allow Subban more freedom to create offense, and this pairing might be exactly what the team needs.
Subban Would Provide Much-Needed Offence
The Red Wings could use Subban’s offensive production. In 77 games with the New Jersey Devils last season, he scored five goals and 22 points. Although he produced better numbers in his prime, they are still quite solid for a defenseman.
Subban could also boost the Red Wings’ power play. A successful power play might finally get Detroit back into the playoffs in 2022-23. Even if he is utilized on the second power-play unit, he would add flair and firepower.
I would also argue that Subban’s offensive totals would improve with the Red Wings. The Devils didn’t have the strongest roster in 2021-22, while the Red Wings have added some notable weapons like David Perron, Andrew Copp, and Dominik Kubalik this summer. Thus, if Yzerman can sign Subban to a cheap deal, it would be a low-risk, high-reward move.
Subban’s Vast Experience Shouldn’t Be Overlooked
Despite all the new additions, Detroit is still considered a very young team. They have several young players like Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond who represent the future of the organization. Because of this, it would be smart to add an experienced player like Subban to help mentor their prospects and developing players.
Subban is about to enter his 14th NHL season. In that span, he has appeared in 834 games, with 115 goals and 467 points. With that, he also won the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s top defenseman in 2013 and has appeared in three All-Star Games. He also played in the Stanley Cup Final with the Nashville Predators in 2017 and has 96 total playoff games on his resume.
He has had a very impressive career, and his vast experience would be beneficial to the Red Wings. Even if they are not considered contenders, adding a player who has had this much success in his career should have a positive impact on the team.
With all the cap space the Red Wings still have to work with, it would be great to see them sign Subban before the start of the 2022-23 season. I think this move would be beneficial for the player and the organization, so let’s hope Yzerman can get something done from here.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, & Detroit Red Wings for The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he’s written and edited for numerous websites. Besides his work for THW, you can also find him on NHL Trade Rumors.