There may not be any actual professional hockey being played as March comes to an end, all thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t mean the business side of the game halts with it. In fact, the process has been sped up; players considering to sign with an NHL organization are now at the forefront as more and more leagues officially cancel their seasons.
As of now, the Red Wings haven’t inked a free agent. They’ve been linked to a few Swedish players, but little on the college or CHL front.
There is one name out there that links to Detroit, though. On Tuesday, a Russian outlet reported that there is a 50 percent chance Alexander Kadeykin departs the KHL for North America. If you’ve kept tabs on the Red Wings’ farm system religiously, you’ll know that Kadeykin was originally drafted by Detroit in 2014 (201st overall). This isn’t the first time Kadeykin’s name has come up in recent memory, though. Jiri Fischer, the Red Wings’ Director of Player Development, spoke a year ago on the prospect of Kadeykin coming over.
Now at 26 years old, Kadeykin is coming off his best season in the KHL. In 59 games he produced 11 goals and 29 points, setting career highs in both categories. It was down the stretch, in particular, that Kadeykin turned it up, scoring 10 points in the final month of the regular season.
Should Kadeykin stay in Russia, the Red Wings would still retain his rights. Should he come over, well, that is a much more complex situation. Would Kadeykin consider playing in Grand Rapids? That’s a key factor, as many Russian players in the past have viewed the idea of coming over as NHL or bust.
This should be an interesting storyline to follow, especially as we get deeper into the doldrums of the NHL’s hiatus.