Detroit Red Wings DetroitRedWings.com presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App
 

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Summer will be busy one for Holland

With nine UFAs, Wings have plenty of holes to fill

Wednesday, 05.18.2011 / 12:00 AM ET / News
By Jeff Sanford  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
X
Share with your Friends


Summer will be busy one for Holland
DETROIT – With nine players set to be unrestricted free agents and over $12 million of cap space, the Red Wings’ offseason is primed to be one of the busier ones in recent memory. 

On July 1 — when the NHL’s free agency period officially starts — the Wings will be on the precipice of significant personnel changes. The contracts of beloved Hockeytown stalwarts Kris Draper, Chris Osgood, and Nicklas Lidstrom are all set to expire, making them UFAs.

It’s still unclear, bordering on unlikely, that Drapes, Ozzie, and Nick will all be back together next season. And it’s hard to imagine any of those players skating for another team, so the most probable course for them is re-signing with Detroit or hanging up the skates.

In Lidstrom’s case, if he wants to play in 2011-12, he will. Having a Norris-worthy season at 40-years-old does wonders for your job security, and Wings coach Mike Babcock has said he wants his captain to come back. But the futures of the other two are a bit more uncertain. Osgood, despite setting a milestone in winning his 400th game during the regular-season, played in only 11 games before hernia surgery in January sidelined him for the rest of the season and playoffs. Even if he decides he wants to stick around, should general manager Ken Holland re-sign an aging, ailing goalie?

The same goes for 39-year-old Draper, who played in 47 games during the regular-season, alternating between gritty fourth-liner and healthy scratch, posting only 11 points. While his experience and positive influence on younger players can’t be underestimated, the Wings need players who can produce on the ice if they want to move forward.

Holland faces some tough decisions should these Hockeytown fixtures decide they want to return.

And besides the future of three icons, Holland has plenty more to mull over. Younger role-players Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller and Jonathan Ericsson will also be UFAs, along with more experienced guys Ruslan Salei and future Hall-of-Famer Mike Modano, who was signed to a one-year contract last summer. Back-up goalie Joey MacDonald will also enter the UFA limbo.

Needless to say, the Wings could be a very different team next season. With Lidstrom, Ericsson, and Salei possibly leaving town, a big question surrounds the defense, which was an area of concern all season long with the Wings finishing 23rd in the league in goals against. Will Holland go shopping for a big-time blue-liner?  

A name that has been thrown around by hopeful Detroit fans is Shea Weber, defenseman and captain of the Nashville Predators who is set to be a restricted free agent in July. While being restricted means that Nashville will have the first crack at signing the 25-year-old, the Wings have the cap space and the esteem to possibly woo Weber, who would add a dangerous scoring threat at the blue line (he was tied for fourth in goals among defenseman with 16 during the regular-season). However, the Predators will likely do everything they can to keep Weber in Nashville. But there are other big-name defensemen who will be on the free agency market, such as Carolina’s Joni Pitkanen, Boston’s Tomas Kaberle, and Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa and Christian Ehroff.

Another option is to augment the Wings offensive stars Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk, and Henrik Zetterberg, who each still have a handful of years left on their contracts. Draper’s departure would free up space on the roster, and depending on what happens with Miller and Eaves, the Wings could suddenly find themselves needing some depth at the forward position.

But don’t expect the Wings to chase free agency’s biggest name, Dallas center Brad Richards, as other deep-pocketed teams with more urgent offensive needs — for instance, the New York Rangers — will surely throw a ton of money his way. But there are potential targets out there which could be netted for good value, like Washington center Brooks Laich (16 goals, 32 assists), Philadelphia forward Nikolay Zherdev (16 goals, six assists), and Calgary forward Curtis Glencross (24 goals, 19 assists).

It’s a pivotal time in the Wings’ history as they have been eliminated in the conference semifinals two years running, and face a significant re-shaping of their roster. Recent history has proven that the Wings are adept re-builders, finding success even after the team’s core players like Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, and Sergei Fedorov left in the early-to-mid 2000s.

But this year especially, what Holland and the Wings do in the offseason will be critical to the future. Undoubtedly, it will be a very interesting summer.

  

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

DetroitRedWings.com is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and DetroitRedWings.com are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

 
Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map