The Detroit Red Wings have brought back one of their top minor league players, inking Ben Street to a one-year extension for 2017-18. No financial details were released. Street was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Fresh off a Calder Cup championship with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Street is one of top offensive performers in the AHL. Almost a point-per-game player in the minor leagues, he put up 21 in the 19 playoff games for the Griffins, and will return to try and take them back to the finals next season. At 30, he’s worn a captain’s “C” in the past and was an alternate in his first season in Grand Rapids this year. While he’s likely not going to play in Detroit very much, having top players like him helping carry the load in the minors is part of an oft-used development strategy to help slowly bring along prospects in a winning culture.
Street was just one of the Red Wings several UFAs, which include Drew Miller and Joe Vitale. Whether the team goes after a full rebuild and starts from scratch, or tries a short reload is still yet to be determined. GM Ken Holland has said before that he wants to make it back to the playoffs right away, but with the lack of real star players that will be a difficult task to accomplish.