Thursday, July 12, 2018

Red Wings Bridge Mantha

The Detroit Red Wings haven't been shy about getting their work done in this off-season and Wednesday, they re-signed restricted free agent forward Anthony Mantha, giving him a 2-year, $6.6 million deal.

The 23-year old was a 1st round pick for the Red Wings back in 2013, but took a little bit of extra time to develop his game to the NHL level, but his 2018 season was a good indicator of what he can bring to the table, scoring 24 goals and 48 points in 80 games and there could still be more to give yet.

The Red Wings have been doing more within their own organization, rather than doing a lot of marketplace shopping, besides both Thomas Vanek and Jonathan Bernier joining the club.  All of their signings are rounding out their 2019 lineup pretty well, as they try to improve upon a fairly poor 2018 season, where they finished 24 points out of the playoffs.  A year of experience for guys like Mantha should certainly go a long ways to helping to turn the trend line upwards.

The Red Wings are starting to feel the pinch of the salary cap ceiling again, now situated less than $1 million away from the ceiling after this signing, but they still have the ability to put Johan Franzen's cap hit on LTIR relief, which would give them an extra $4 million to play with.  They'll desperately need that relief, since they still have to re-sign Dylan Larkin before it's all said and done.

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