The Detroit Red Wings have been right up against, or projected over the salary cap all offseason. Since bringing in Trevor Daley and Luke Witkowski in free agency, the team has admitted they would likely have to make a move to become cap compliant on day one of the season. Injuries could have solved that for them, but now according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press the team plans on carrying just 20 skaters and two goaltenders into the start of the regular season. That’s leaving one empty roster spot in order to become cap compliant.
Detroit currently projects to be $3.72MM over the cap according to CapFriendly, but will be placing Johan Franzen and his $3.95MM cap hit on long-term injured reserve. That will allow them to get under the limit, but still doesn’t give them much room to work with, especially if a deal is made with Andreas Athanasiou at some point. The Red Wings don’t project to have much success this year already, and now it seems like they’re starting behind the eight ball to begin the year.
With Tyler Bertuzzi and Evgeny Svechnikov both on injured reserve as well after sustaining injuries in camp, it looks like newly signed David Booth will be in the lineup to start the year despite being placed on waivers this afternoon. After adding his $700K, the team doesn’t have any room to bring up another roster player. While none of this affects the way the Red Wings will ice a lineup each night, it’s a hard way to start the year. Chasing the cap all season puts them at a disadvantage in trade negotiations, while also making it difficult to bring back Athanasiou even if an agreement is reached. The team still could need to make a trade to help them out in the coming days.
The Red Wings start their season Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild.