MLive’s Ansar Khan has filed a Friday mailbag article, and among the questions posited to Khan:
Q: What is the Wings’ defense going to look like next season? I think they shouldn’t bring back (Mike) Green, buy out (Jonathan Ericsson), let (Niklas) Kronwall retire, trade one of (Trevor) Daley or (Danny) DeKeyser and bring up (Joe) Hicketts and (Filip) Hronek. We need changes and it starts on D. — Sal
A: You might be batting 0 for 7. I think they will re-sign Green. I highly doubt they’ll buy out Ericsson (two years remaining at a $4.25 million cap hit), who’s had a decent season. Kronwall has played 60 of the 63 games, managing his chronically bad knee, so there’s no reason to believe he won’t return next season for the final year of his contract.
Daley has a good cap hit ($3.17 million) for a puck-moving defenseman who logs 20 minutes a game in your top four and plays against other teams’ top lines. DeKeyser has played better the second half of the season, and even if they wanted to move him, I think it would be difficult with four years remaining at a cap hit of $5 million. Plus, he has a no-trade clause, and there’s no reason to believe this Michigan native would waive it. I think the only way Hicketts or Hronek makes the season-opening roster is if they beat out Nick Jensen to play in the top six.
I think they’ll try to move Xavier Ouellet in the off-season. That might be the only change on the blue line. I agree some change is needed and that relying solely on internal improvement is not the way to go.