Holland wants to hold onto home-grown

Though Red Wings' GM has big decisions to make in off-season

Friday, 06.07.2013 / 12:00 PM
Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com

DETROIT – Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said last week that he has some big decisions to make in the upcoming weeks. With several players set to become unrestricted free agents on July 5 and a few other young players in Grand Rapids out of (waivers) options, Holland hopes to map out a plan when he meets soon with his coaches and pro scouting staff.

“When the season started last year, guys like Brian Lashoff, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, Brendan Smith, they were all in Grand Rapids,” Holland said. “Tomas Tatar's in Grand Rapids, we signed Danny DeKeyser, there's five or six players that at the start of the '12-'13 season, weren't on our roster, weren't on our radar screen other than depth.”

Now that these players are on the Wings’ radar, they’d prefer to keep them, especially in a league where more and more general managers are holding onto home-grown talent.

“How many teams in the league made significant moves last year? Obviously, Minnesota,” Holland said. “But that's my point. I think at the end of the day this is a league … we gotta draft and develop.”

There’s likely not another general manager in the NHL who has traded away more first-round draft picks than Holland has in his 16 seasons as the club’s architect. But those days of mortgaging the future to land significant pieces at the trade deadline – like Chris Chelios, Dominik Hasek, Mathieu Schneider and Robert Lang – are long gone, Holland said.

“I think I traded seven first-round draft picks trying to win the Cup. And we won the Cup in '98, '02 and '08, along with '97,” Holland said. “You can't run your team like that anymore. You can't.

“We've gone 22 straight years in the playoffs. We haven't picked in the top 14 since 1993. We don't have a guy coming through the system that I'm going to say to you is a superstar that we can plant in the middle of the locker room. We've got to grow them. We've got Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan and Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar, they've got to come through the system just like Kronwall and Zetterberg and Datsyuk did. There are no quick fixes. Twenty-nine teams want to win just as bad as we do. They're not giving their players away, they're not trading to us for a bag of pucks.”

Thirty-one different players dressed with the Red Wings this season. Only forward Jan Mursak, who signed a two-year contract with a KHL team last month, is completely out of the Wings’ picture.

Below are capsules of 30 players that highlight their 2013 season and NHL postseason, as well as their current status for the 2013-14 campaign.

Justin Abdelkader

POSITION: Right wing

AGE: 26

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Was one of four Red Wings to appear in all 48 games this season. He scored a career-high 10 goals in his new role on Pavel Datsyuk’s line, and also led the Red Wings with 119 hits.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Led the Red Wings with 61 hits, including 43 in series against the Blackhawks. He led all Wings’ forwards with a plus-4 rating.

HE SAID: “I think it was a good year overall. I think my game grew a lot just getting more experience, just getting older and getting more games in and gaining more confidence out there on the ice. I think that was big for me and adjusting to different roles and different positions was good for me.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2015-16

CAP HIT: $1.8 million

Joakim Andersson

POSITION: Center

AGE: 24

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Scored his first career goal, in his ninth NHL game, during a 5-2 loss to Anaheim in mid-February. He averaged more than 12-minutes of ice-time in 38 games as a replacement for Darren Helm (sore back) as the third-line center.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Saw an increase in ice-time during the playoffs. He scored his first career postseason goal in Game 6 against Chicago. Andersson finished second to Pavel Datsyuk for the team-lead in faceoff winning percentage, victorious on 55.9 percent (99-of-177) of his draws in the postseason.

MIKE BABCOCK SAID: “I thought Andy was real good throughout the series. Andy is one of these guys when you show line clips to a line, it's never about Andy, it's always about his wingers. Andy knows how to play. He's a big body, he knows how to play, he makes good plays, he's smart and as he gets better and becomes more comfortable and more physical – and I'm not just talking without the puck, but with the puck – he'll become a better and better player.”

2013-14 STATUS: Restricted free agent (on July 5)

CAP HIT: N/A

Todd Bertuzzi

POSITION: Right wing

AGE: 38

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: It was a rough year for Bertuzzi who suffered from a reoccurring lower back injury, which forced him to miss 41 games. He finished with three points, including a two-goal performance in his first game of the season on Jan. 25.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Played in six postseason games, including five in the opening-round series against the Ducks. For the second straight year he finished without a point in the postseason while averaging a career-low 9:36 of playoff ice-time.

HE SAID: “Playoffs are 50 times the level than the regular season is. In a regular season game you can find your way through it. In the playoffs you don’t have time to find your way through it, because a loss can end your season.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2013-14

CAP HIT: $2.075 million

Damien Brunner

POSITION: Right wing

AGE: 27

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: He finished third in team-scoring with 12 goals in 44 games in his first season in the NHL. Registered a career-high four points, including a pair of goals in a 8-3 victory over Vancouver on Feb. 24.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Finished with a team-best five goals, and ranked third with nine points. He also scored game-winning goal in Game 4 of opening-round series against Anaheim.

KEN HOLLAND SAID: “It's a hard league to score goals in. He scored a lot of goals early, then he went through a stretch where he didn't score very much and then he seemed to get a second wind. I think he got five playoff goals in 14 games which is a lot of goals. … My initial reaction is we probably, want to re-sign him but I've got to go through the process.”

2013-14 STATUS: Unrestricted free agent (on July 5)

CAP HIT: N/A

Daniel Cleary

POSITION: Left wing

AGE: 34

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: He was one of four players to appear in all 48 games, averaging 16:26 of ice-time, which was up 28-seconds from the 2011-12 season. He scored nine goals which ranked him sixth on the team with Valtteri Filppula.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: He finished second among team forwards with 25 hits. He also capped the postseason on a four-game point streak, producing two goals and two assists.

HE SAID: “I felt great about the season. I'm glad the knee is behind me. That was a huge thing for me, clearing that up. Health, I feel good. My shoulder feels good. But everybody's kind of dinged up a little bit. But I was able to play every game and every day skated so that was good. … Taking off the jersey in Chicago, I had to take a minute. I don't know. I don't want to get too emotional but certainly the relationship I have with Detroit is very special for me. The fans support we had this year late in the season and in the playoffs was probably, maybe the loudest, most boisterous we've had since I've been here. It was amazing, the treatment that we got, how they responded.”

2013-14 STATUS: Unrestricted free agent (on July 5)

CAP HIT: N/A

Carlo Colaiacovo

POSITION: Defenseman

AGE: 30

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: A separated right shoulder forced him to miss most of the season, however, he did play in eight games, averaging 18:54 of ice-time per game.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Played in nine games, including all seven in the Chicago series. Finished with one assist from Game 4 against the Blackhawks.

HE SAID: “Just focus on the positive. Focus on the way I finished. Obviously I’m really proud of my teammates and the job that we were able to accomplish. I’m happy that I was able to finish the season off the way that I did. But don’t be satisfied. Summer is starting now. I’ve got to get myself refocused and make sure I’m back here next year.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2013-14

CAP HIT: $2.5 million

Pavel Datsyuk

POSITION: Center

AGE: 35

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Led the Red Wings with 15 goals, 49 points, eight power-play goals, six game-winning goals and a plus-21 rating. Also finished tied for the league lead with 56 takeaways and is a finalist for the Selke Trophy given annually to the league’s best defensive forward.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Finished third on the team with nine points, including three goals, giving him 103 career playoff points, which ranks him seventh all-time in franchise history, just one-point shy of hall-of-famer Alex Delvecchio.

HE SAID: “Through all of the injuries many people stuck together and of course, the people around and the fans were emotional and helped us keep our heads up. When we started winning and the fans started cheering it gave us more confidence. It was fun.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2013-14

CAP HIT: $6.7 million

Danny DeKeyser

POSITION: Defenseman

AGE: 23

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Made his NHL debut in Colorado on April 5, and collected his first point (assist) in a 3-0 win at Nashville on April 14.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Collected five hits and three blocked shots in two games before suffering a fractured thumb in Game 2 of the opening-round series in Anaheim.

HE SAID: “The time I had here was great. I learned a lot about the professional lifestyle, the professional game here. Next year I won’t have much of a transition and I’ll be ready to go right off the bat. Anytime you can get experience like this it will help. It’s going to benefit me for sure long term. … Couple games in the playoffs was a great experience for me as well. Down the road I’ll know what to expect. It won’t be a surprise for me.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2013-14

CAP HIT: $1.35 million

Patrick Eaves

POSITION: Right wing

AGE: 29

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Returned to the lineup after missing 14-months with post-concussion syndrome. Produced two goals and six assists in 34 games, while averaging 10 ½ minutes of ice-time while working as a grinder on the fourth-line. Finished tied for fourth on the team with a plus-6 rating at home in 18 games.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: He scored his lone postseason goal in the waning minutes of the first period in Game 6 against Chicago. He also finished with two assists, including on Drew Miller’s game-winner in Game 3 vs. the Blackhawks.

HE SAID: “Well, I came back and that was one of the biggest things. I came back and I was able to play the way I wanted to play. We had a good run in the playoffs, so overall I would say it was great. … I knew right away. My doctors wouldn’t have cleared me unless I was (ready) and that was right after training camp. Going through training camp was really big because I wasn’t quite sure yet. Once I got through that I was good.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2013-14

CAP HIT: $1.2 million

Cory Emmerton

POSITION: Center

AGE: 25

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Averaged more than 10 ½ minutes of ice-time in 34 games. Collected two goals and four assists, also had the game-winning goal in a 5-2 win over Nashville on April 25.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Was tied for second among Wings’ forwards with 25 hits. He had three points in the postseason, including two in the series against Chicago. He scored his sixth-career postseason goal in Game 6 at Chicago.

HE SAID: “Individually, I took a pretty big step for myself. I got to contribute to the penalty-kill and be a part of that, which for me was a big step. You hope to improve and get better and this year was a good case for me of improving, but obviously there are a lot more improvements that I would like to make. It was a good year, but it would have been nice to have gone a little bit further, but it didn’t happen.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2013-14

CAP HIT: $533,333

Jonathan Ericsson

POSITION: Defenseman

AGE: 29

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Big E led the defensemen with 67 hits and finished second on the team with 21:19 of ice-time per game. He also scored three goals, including his second career game-winner in 3-2 victory over Los Angeles on Feb. 10.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Led the defense with 31 hits and collected three assists while averaging 22:33 of ice-time in 14 games.

HE SAID: “It was a lot of games in a short amount of time, didn’t get the chance to rest or heal up. It was intense and fun, but I think the biggest challenge was trying to be consistent through all of those games when you don’t have a lot of time between games. It was hard because we didn’t know if we were going to practice, not practice, so it was a fine line, but I think the leaders on this team and the coaches did a good job.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2013-14

CAP HIT: $3.25 million

Valtteri Filppula

POSITION: Left wing

AGE: 29

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Despite missing seven games with an injury, he led the Wings’ centers with a 55.4 percent faceoff win percentage. He finished with a disappointing nine goals and eight assists.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Suffered a high left ankle sprain in the opening minutes of Game 7 at Chicago. He finished with two goals, four assists and a minus-4 rating during the postseason.

MIKE BABCOCK SAID: “You need good players. If you don't keep the good players you have you got to acquire good players, so the devil you know is usually better than the devil you don't.”

2013-14 STATUS: Unrestricted free agent (on July 5)

CAP HIT: N/A

Johan Franzen

POSITION: Left wing

AGE: 33

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: The Mule finished second on the team with 14 goals and six power-play goals; he was third on the team with 31 points. He finished out the season with 13 points in the last 13 games.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Three of his four goals came on the power play. He had a three-game point streak during the conference semifinals, and finished with a team-low minus-6 rating.

HE SAID: “You want to be in the playoffs with this club with the history, and you definitely want to keep the streak going. It meant a lot. We had a lot of injuries and all of that, but halfway in we started to play some good hockey. We didn’t win games by scoring a lot of goals, but we worked hard and we were hard to play against. And Howie was great for us all year. Without him, yeah, we leaned on him a lot of times. We don’t have that firepower that maybe we used to, so having a good goalie and not having to score four or five goals, that was huge.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2019-20

CAP HIT: $3.954 million

Jonas Gustavsson

POSITION: Goalie

AGE: 28

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: He started four games and came in to relieve Jimmy Howard three times. Posted a 2-2-1 record with a 2.92 goals-against average and an .879 save percentage. He missed 14 games with a reoccurring groin injury.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Did not play.

KEN HOLLAND SAID: “He didn't work out because he didn't play. I would say to you first off, over 82 games, there's a little more opportunity to try things. When you get into a 48-game schedule, and before you start, Helm is out and you've got Game 1 and Colaiacovo's out, by Game 4 Smith is out and White's out and Bertuzzi's out. We were trying to stay afloat. Sometimes we get into a position, we can do trial balloons, we can try things out. We were trying to eke out a win every night to stay afloat. We got hit with so many injuries and so many things going on, I've heard many managers talk, it was a different year. It was fast. It was 48 games in 99 nights. With the last 15 games, if you're the coach, you're going to the same guys over and over again. We couldn't afford to lose a game. It might have put us out. I think that has to factor into the evaluation and assessment of not only the team, of some individual players. It was a unique year.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2013-14

CAP HIT: $1.5 million

Darren Helm

POSITION: Center

AGE: 26

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: He suffered a low back injury prior to the Red Wings’ training camp in January. He appeared in one game, a 5-3 win over Minnesota on Jan. 25, however, he re-herniated the disc, which caused him to miss the rest of the season.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Did not play. He’s expected to return in time for training camp in September.

HE SAID: “I just have to get healthy. There are days that I feel good and I’m getting better slowly. I just have to get better. It’s got to turn around. I’ve talked to a lot of people who have said it just takes times and you have to say positive and you have to hope it gets better. … I’ve taken it a lot slower. Haven’t been on the ice yet, so I real hope that’s going to help. I’ve talked to people who have had back pain, back issues, who really don’t know what’s going on. They just take time and I’m thinking this is going to be one of those.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2015-16

CAP HIT: $2.125 million

Jimmy Howard

POSITION: Goalie

AGE: 29

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: As the team’s workhorse he started 42 of 48 games and finished tied for the league lead with five shutout victories, and was tied for seventh with 21 wins. Clearly the team’s MVP and one of the reasons the Wings managed to qualify for the playoffs for the 22nd consecutive season.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: He posted career-bests with a 2.44 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage. He also had collected his second career shutout, blanking the Blackhawks 2-0 in Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena.

HE SAID: “It started off a little slow, but it definitely got going. Obviously you want to go a lot farther, a lot deeper in the playoffs, but I’m proud of how this team worked this year. … I was pretty healthy, so I was fortunate out there. I know a lot of guys are playing injured and just putting it out there on the line for us every single night, so it’s great to be able to have teammates like that.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2018-19

CAP HIT: $5.291 million

Jakub Kindl

POSITION: Defenseman

AGE: 26

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: He played in 41 games and tied his career-best with 13 points. He led the defensemen with a plus-15 rating while averaging 18:33 of ice-time, which was 4 ½ minutes more than he averaged in the 2011-12 season.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: He finished second on the team with 20 blocked shots and was tied for the team lead with a plus-4 rating. He also scored the team’s lone power-play goal against the Blackhawks in the conference semifinals.

HE SAID: “It really helped me out when I went overseas and played with all of the minutes and all of the situations. It got me ready and gave me all of the confidence in the world to come here and play. … When you look at this team compared to what we used to have with all of the big names and the older guys that made us even more special, more interesting because not a lot of people believed in us. Nobody believed that we could make the playoffs and we finished seventh and then the playoffs came and we beat the second-best team in the NHL and we lost to the best team in the NHL in Game 7. Obviously it was disappointing because we came so close to winning, but other than that it was a great ride.”

2013-14 STATUS: Restricted free agent (on July 5)

CAP HIT: N/A

Niklas Kronwall

POSITION: Defenseman

AGE: 32

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Led the Red Wings with 83 blocked shots and average ice-time of 24:21. He was one of four Red Wings to play in all 48 games. He also was tied for sixth among NHL defensemen with 29 points.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Posted team-highs for average ice-time logged (25:20) and total blocked shots (30). His 26 hits were third most on the team, following Justin Abdelkader (61) and Jonathan Ericsson (31).

HE SAID: “Losing always sucks. It's something you don't want to get used to. I thought we had a good thing going in here. We all believed in what we were doing, stuck to the game plan. We did a lot of good things out there. At the end of the day it's about winning games. … Just the way we played in the Anaheim series. Going in we knew we had a good chance to beat them. It went seven games, we learned a lot along the way, came together even more as a team. We figured out a way to find a way to win. I thought we did a lot of that in this series as well.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2018-19

CAP HIT: $4.75 million

Brian Lashoff

POSITION: Defenseman

AGE: 23

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: He scored his first career goal while making his NHL debut on Jan. 21 in Columbus. He played in 31 games for the Wings. He also played in 37 games for the Wings’ minor-league affiliate in Grand Rapids, collecting six points with a plus-6 rating.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: He appeared in three games, all during the opening-round series against Anaheim. He had six hits and six blocked shots.

MIKE BABCOCK SAID: “Outstanding. He's just smart, he's big. He's big and he's smart, so because you're big and you're smart and you're competitive, you get to play lots so good for him. … He knows how to play and he competes hard. He makes a good first pass and he’s a good penalty killer.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2015-16

CAP HIT: $725,000

Drew Miller

POSITION: Left wing

AGE: 29

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: One of the Wings’ top penalty-killing forwards. He broke his right hand while killing a penalty on April 20 in Vancouver, forcing him to miss the rest of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs. At the time of his injury he ranked second on the team with 81 hits and led the Wings’ forwards with 41 blocked shots.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Returned from injury in Game 2 of the Chicago series. He scored the game-winning goal in Game 3 against the Blackhawks. It was his first postseason goal in two years.

HE SAID: “I think with our coaching staff and everyone that's involved, I think everyone believed we had the team to do it. We beat Anaheim, which had the third-best record and took Chicago to Game 7 and they had the best record during the regular season. We know we were right there. It's a tough loss but we know that we can hang with the teams that were the best all season. … I think I found a role that I can play here and they count on me to do that night in, night out, so it's definitely somewhere I'd like to stay. You just never know, gotta wait and see.”

2013-14 STATUS: Unrestricted free agent (on July 5)

CAP HIT: N/A

Petr Mrazek

POSITION: Goalie

AGE: 21

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Made his NHL debut in a 5-1 win at St. Louis on Feb. 7. He made 26 saves on his first game, which earned him a second start 10 days later. In his second game, a 3-2 loss at Minnesota, he stopped 21 of 24 shots in defeat.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Did not play.

MIKE BABCOCK SAID: “Now you got to do it again, and you got to do it again. And when you've done it for 15 straight years, they say you're good. … I had no idea what he was going to do (in his debut). It looks like he's got moxie and it looks like he can play, so let's see him play.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2014-15

CAP HIT: $790,000

Gustav Nyquist

POSITION: Left wing

AGE: 24

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Though most of his season was spent in Grand Rapids, he played in 22 games with the Red Wings, averaging just over 13-minutes of ice-time. At the time of his last call-up, he led the AHL with 60 points in 58 games and was named to the AHL’s Western Conference All-Star team.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Was one of seven Red Wings to make his Stanley Cup playoff debut. Finished with two goals and three assists and scored the overtime winner in Game 2 against the Anaheim Ducks.

MIKE BABCOCK SAID: “Nyquist I thought made our team last year in training camp and then we didn't have room for him and it took him a while to get back this year. … I don't even know how much speed he has, he's quick but he's smart. What I like about him is he knows how to play without the puck so he gets good chances and he's real good at hanging onto the puck and use someone's push from behind to give him momentum. He's like Zetterberg in that way, he can really hang onto it and control it and make good plays and see what's going on.”

2013-14 STATUS: Restricted free agent (on July 5)

CAP HIT: N/A

Kyle Quincey

POSITION: Defenseman

AGE: 28

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: He appeared in 36 games and finished second among defensemen with 46 blocked shots, including the Jordan Eberle shot that fractured several bones in his face on March 15 in Edmonton.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: He finished with two assists, both came in the Anaheim series. He also collected 14 hits, nine blocked shots, and a minus-3 rating.

HE SAID: “We’ve got some great players on D. I think we’re top 10 in goals-against and hopefully stay that way next year. The system we played this year was more defensive and it was fun to be part of. …. (Next year) come in and be ready for whatever role he throws at me. Every year it seems like there’s something different, different role to play. This year, it was playing with Smitty and Kuba, and hopefully I’ll be ready for whatever role next year.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2013-14

CAP HIT: $3.775 million

Mikael Samuelsson

POSITION: Right wing

AGE: 36

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Missed most of the season with a variety of injuries that included a groin, fractured index finger and strained pectoral muscle. Managed to play in four games and posted one assist, which came on Brian Lashoff’s first career goal on Jan. 21 in Columbus.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Played in five games against Anaheim, scored a goal in Game 5 and added an assist in Game 6 before he was sidelined again by a sore pectoral muscle.

HE SAID: “It was definitely a frustrating year for me. Once I thought I was fine, I injured myself again. It’s one thing if you have the same thing, but I had different ones. In my mind it was unbelievable, just fluky injuries that turned out to be kind of bad like this latest one. It’s going to heal over the summer, but also when I broke my finger in the morning skate. In my mind that should never happen, but obviously it was fluky. Everything seemed to happen to me this year. It doesn’t help that I’m not young anymore and it just doesn’t heal in a heart-beat anymore. When you start to think about it like that it was very frustrating. I wanted to come here and show that I can still play the game and have a very good year. But it didn’t happen this year.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2013-14

CAP HIT: $3 million

Riley Sheahan

POSITION: Center

AGE: 21

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: For the second straight season he was called up for one game. This time it wasn’t the season-finale, rather a 1-0 loss to St. Louis on April 7.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Did not play.

MIKE BABCOCK SAID: “He’s going to be a player for us, but he’s got to get quicker and he’s got to have more pace to his game. When you’re ready and you come here, you show you’re ready. When you’re not quite, then you’re going to get caught.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2013-14

CAP HIT: $900,000

Brendan Smith

POSITION: Defenseman

AGE: 24

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: He missed 11 games with a sprained shoulder suffered on Feb. 2 at Columbus. Still, he played in a career-high 34 games, averaging 18:24 of ice-time. He finished with eight assists and a plus-1 rating.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: He collected five points, including two goals. His last goal was the game-winner in Game 2 at Chicago. He finished with three points and 10 shots on goal in the Chicago series.

HE SAID: “I think I grew a lot actually. I think I went through a lot of challenges and I did a really good job of getting better at it and understanding what it’s like to play at the NHL level. I think it was a great season actually. … I think there’s a lot I need to improve on. Just playing a little bit better in my own end and defensively being a little bit more sound. Those are a few things I need to work on.”

2013-14 STATUS: Restricted free agent (on July 5)

CAP HIT: N/A

Tomas Tatar

POSITION: Right wing

AGE: 22

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: This tenacious, speedy forward, who isn’t afraid to go to the hardest parts of the rink, appeared in 18 games with the Red Wings, producing four goals and three assists as a bottom-six forward.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: Did not play.

MIKE BABCOCK SAID: “He just generates offense. He’s quick. He’s on the puck. He’s not shy. You know, can he keep doing it? I don’t know. But he sure has thus far. … He’s on the puck, for sure. He gets it back, he makes those little plays and he’s quicker than I thought he was. … He's got to learn how to play without it. But he has skills in those area, so as he gets better without it and as he gets heavier on the puck, as far as taking care of it, he'll become an important player for us.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2013-14

CAP HIT: $840,000

Jordin Tootoo

POSITION: Right wing

AGE: 30

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: He played in 42 games and led the Red Wings with eight fighting majors. Finished with eight points, and scored the game-winning goal in a 3-1 victory over Los Angeles on April 24.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: He played in Game 1 of the opening-round against Anaheim, but was a healthy scratch for the remaining 13 games of the Red Wings’ playoff run.

MIKE BABCOCK SAID: “I thought Toots was great for us. He did everything we wanted. He was physical, he gave us energy. … I thought he was fantastic for us. We're thrilled with him. Maybe if you're on the outside looking it, you say Toots never played, but I thought he was great.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2014-15

CAP HIT: $1.9 million

Ian White

POSITION: Defenseman

AGE: 29

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: He played in 25 games and was a healthy scratch 18 times, including the final nine games of the regular season. Finished with two goals and two assists, and was a plus-5.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: He was a healthy scratch through the playoffs.

HE SAID: “I thought I was playing pretty well. I played seven games in a row the last time I played and I was on the ice for one goal against in seven games. I scored a goal too, and thought I was playing pretty well, and obviously not letting goals in is what I’m paid to do, so for whatever reason I wasn’t in the mix and sometimes that’s how it goes. … I know that I can help this team out and help it win. My game fits well with some of the guys here, the puck-possession game, and we have some real skilled forwards who have to have the puck in their hands and I can deliver that. Yes, it’s real disappointing to have it end this way. When I came here, and after last year, I thought I might be able to have a long future here, but we’ll see how everything goes in the next month.”

2013-14 STATUS: Unrestricted free agent (on July 5)

CAP HIT: N/A

Henrik Zetterberg

POSITION: Center

AGE: 32

2013 SEASON HIGHLIGHT: The first-year captain led the Red Wings with 37 assists and finished second with 48 points. He also led all Red Wings’ forward with 20:31 of ice-time per game.

PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHT: He led the Red Wings with 12 points, giving him 114 career postseason points, which ranks him fifth all-time in franchise history.

HE SAID: “It was a fun year. I think we went through a lot as a team and I think the guys around me made it a lot easier, having Kronner, Cleary, Mule, Pavel, all those guys that have been here for a long time made it easier for me being a captain. … Going to Game 7, overtime, we were right there to play (in the) conference finals. In a way, I'm proud of the guys for what we've done. A lot of young guys came up, played good. Went through a lot of injuries this year but guys came in and played well. Definitely looking forward to next year.”

2013-14 STATUS: Under contract through 2020-21

CAP HIT: $6.083 million

*Age reflects player’s age at start of 2013-14 season

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