The 29-year-old netminder will likely spend most of the season in Grand Rapids.
Alongside Gagner, the Red Wings announced this morning that Calvin Pickard is receiving a one-year extension.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) July 28, 2021
We’re still waiting to hear on the AAV, but Pickard is most likely going to spend the year as the emergency backup posted in Grand Rapids since Detroit brought in Alex Nedeljkovic to replace the departing Jonathan Bernier and Thomas Greiss still sits above Pickard on the depth chart. This all just means that whatever minimal cap hit he has will spend the lion’s share of the season buried with the Griffins unless Nedeljkovic or Greiss goes down with injury for an extended period of time.
It was a rough go for Pickard last season, but he did pick up 2 wins in 4 starts and 6 games played. He posted a .874 save percentage in those games. Detroit’s on-ice performance should improve this season and the likelihood of Pickard receiving a similar number of games in the 2021-2022 season are pretty good, so we may well see his numbers improve this year.