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Wings hoping for splashy summer

Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 4:28 PM ET / News
Associated Press
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Wings hoping for splashy summer

DETROIT - Ken Holland didn't expect to get lucky enough in the NHL draft to select an instant-impact player.

In free agency, though, the Detroit general manager wants to add at least a couple standouts with enough talent and experience to help the franchise right away.

"We're going to be active and very involved in free agency because we have cap space and holes we'd like to fill," Holland said. "But to be successful, you have to draft and develop guys."

Detroit didn't have a first-round pick Friday — giving up No. 19 overall to Tampa Bay as part of a three-team trade for defenceman Kyle Quincey — then had several selections Saturday.

The Red Wings took Halifax Mooseheads forward Martin Frk in the second round, 49th overall, with their first pick.

Detroit drafted Saginaw Spirit goalie Jake Paterson in the third round; London Knights forward Andreas Athanasiou in the fourth; Lincoln Stars defenceman Mike McKee in the fifth; Toronto Lakeshore Patriots defenceman James De Haas in the sixth; and Swedish forward Rasmus Bodin in the seventh and final round.

"You hope you wake up in five years and one or two of the guys are Red Wings," Holland said. "You're drafting on projected potential, and that's what makes it really tricky."

While the draft picks will have time to develop, Detroit will need some free agents to attempt to make up for the departures of defencemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart along with the potential loss of 50-point forward Jiri Hudler in free agency.

The Red Wings have about $20 million in cap space and might be willing to use most of that to sign New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise and Nashville Predators defenceman Ryan Suter if they aren't re-signed by their teams and are available on the market July 1.

Holland can't talk about players he's targeting, but knows the franchise will be in the spotlight when free agency begins.

"Everybody looks at the Red Wings and expects big splashes," he said. "We have a lot of pieces in place and I like our team, but we need to make two or three moves through free agency or trades."

Detroit didn't plan to have Stuart back on the blue line next season because he wanted to live closer to his family in California, leading to the Red Wings trading the potential free agent to San Jose earlier this month.

The franchise was hoping Lidstrom would return for a 21st season until the day he officially announced his retirement last month. The four-time Stanley Cup champion, seven-time Norris Trophy winner and captain simply can't be replaced.

Suter, though, would go a long way toward bolstering the team's depleted defence. The 26-year-old All-Star has spent his seven-season career with the Predators.

The 27-year-old Parise would provide a big boost up front, where Detroit might be without Hudler, who might want to see what he can get on the open market instead of settling for what the Red Wings are offering.

Parise would give Detroit a third star forward to go along with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. He has been with the Devils during each of his seven seasons in the league, helping them reach the Stanley Cup finals with 15 points in 24 post-season games after scoring 31 goals during the regular season.

Detroit decided to keep 25-year-old forward Darren Helm with an $8.5 million, four-year contract in the hopes that he will develop from a role player to a standout. The Red Wings are also counting on younger players such as defenceman Brendan Smith and forward Gustav Nyquist to play key roles this season.

"There's always talk about us being old, but we're getting younger," Holland said. "We've got a 27-year-old goalie in Jimmy Howard, entering his prime. Niklas Kronwall is 31 and the rest of our defencemen are in their 20s. And if we have a healthy Dan Cleary, I really like us up front with high-octane guys like Zetterberg and Datsyuk.

"We may not have the star power we've had the last 10 years, but I don't think the sky is falling for the Detroit Red Wings."




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


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
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and 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.
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