The Detroit Red Wings announced on Tuesday that they've signed forward Michael Rasmussen to a four-year contract extension.

Kicking in for the start of the 2024-25 season, the deal carries a $3.2 million cap hit. Below, we take a look at what kind of value the Red Wings are getting with the deal.

The Player

Standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 220 pounds, Rasmussen is a physical forward who adds a ton of size for the Red Wings up front. While he can also play down the middle, he's primarily spent time on the wing this season.

Rasmussen was originally selected ninth overall by the Red Wings in the 2017 NHL Draft.  Only a year after being selected, the forward then cracked the Red Wings' roster for the 2018-19 season, where he managed eight goals and 18 points in 62 games. After returning to the AHL for the 2019-20 season, the 24-year-old has taken on a regular NHL role since the shortened 2021 season. To this point, he's scored 47 goals and 109 points across 293 career games.

Given Rasmussen is entering his mid-2os, we can expect he's done most of the development that he's going to do, so we have a pretty good idea of what kind of numbers he can put up. However, as he's spent more time in the NHL, he's also seen a slight uptick in production.

Through 182 games over his first three seasons, Rasmussen averaged 12 goals and 26 points per 82. However, over 111 games across the last two seasons, his pace has been 16 goals and 38 points per 82. He was in the midst of an especially strong 2022-23 season, before a knee injury ended his year.

Rasmussen will likely be better suited for a long-term, bottom-six role, but has shown he can play up the lineup. He's also used fairly heavily on the team's penalty kill, which currently ranks top-10 in the league. So while his production isn't likely to climb much higher, Rasmussen remains a versatile forward.

The Term

Detroit Red Wings center Michael Rasmussen (27) skates in the first period against the Ottawa Senators at Little Caesars Arena.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Given Rasmussen's age alone, a four-year term isn't out of the ordinary. The Red Wings are building for the coming years and are just starting to be competitive again. As a result, Rasmussen, at 24 years old, fits into the mix well in terms of Detroit's window to compete. He's still at the point where there'd be no fear of age-based decline for the duration of the contract, which will expire when he's 29 years old.

There is possibly an argument that the Red Wings could've found someone who brings a similar impact, without having to give so much term. However, four years still carries fairly little risk overall for Detroit, especially at that cap hit. It's long enough that it allows the team to build the player into their future plans, but doesn't run so long as to be a possible anchor if things don't work out.

Another benefit is that at no point in the deal does Rasmussen have any trade protection. He would've been eligible for a no-trade or no-move clause later in the contract. So even if things did go sideways, the team has a way out if needed.

The Cap Hit

At $3.2 million, the cap hit on the deal likely falls within the upper-range of where it should have been. Considering Rasmussen should likely only be counted on for about 30-35 points per year, any higher of a cap hit likely verges into ‘overpayment' territory.

The reality is though that the NHL salary cap will continue to rise. Big jumps are expected over the next few years, which will help the dollar figure to look more favourable. The salary cap has been projected to go as high as $92 million for the 2025-26 season – a massive jump from the current $83.5 million cap. By the second year of Rasmussen's deal, his contract would be taking up about 3.5 percent of the team's cap space, which equates to about a $2.9 million cap hit on the NHL's current cap.

The Red Wings also benefit from a relatively healthy cap situation right now. They'll have over $25 million in cap space this offseason, according to, even after factoring in Rasmussen's extension. So in the grand scheme of things, Rasmussen's new deal is unlikely to prevent the team from making other moves.


Overall, it's a fair contract for the Red Wings. Nobody will be talking it up for being a bargain at this point, but it should provide reasonable value. Rasmussen has shown to be a good fit in Detroit and provides versatile depth.

Still at just 24 years old, there's always the possibility the forward could find another step. But so long as he can bring 10-15 goals and about 35 points per year, he's providing expected value. The Red Wings are continuing to push towards a more competitive era and retaining Rasmussen remains a step in the right direction.

The deal carries little risk with a bit of upside for Detroit. Considering the team will already have quite a bit of cap space available this summer as is, it's hard to knock the contract.

Grade: B