MLive’s Ansar Khan answers questions from readers this morning, and Khan duly notes that the Red Wings’ defense is stacked against the possibility of adding prospects to the mix.
With Trevor Daley, Danny DeKeyser, Jonathan Ericsson, Nick Jensen, Niklas Kronwall and Xavier Ouellet under contract for the upcoming season, and Mike Green a decent bet to return as an unrestricted free agent, it’s hard to figure out how any of Dennis Cholowski, Joe Hicketts, Filip Hronek, Libor Sulak or any other of the Wings’ prospects will fit into the blueline:
Q:How does (general manager) Ken Holland plan to address the logjam on defense which is affecting the prospect pipeline’s ability to develop? I cringe when I keep reading they want to bring back Mike Green, because I fear it is going to hinder development of guys like Hicketts, Hronek, (Vili) Saarijarvi, Cholowski, Sulak, etc., when they already have six guys on NHL contracts for next season and other vets in Grand Rapids taking playing time. Will bringing back Green be contingent on moving out a couple of players from last season’s defense corps? – Eric
A: Green’s status is not linked to anything that happens with anyone else. If Green accepts a two-year deal, I think they’ll bring him back because he’s the only consistent offensive threat on a blue line that doesn’t provide much offense. He shoots right, which they lack, and his absence would create a big void on a power play that has struggled.
But if he is seeking three years, they’re not likely to re-sign him. Either way, the logjam on D isn’t going to be alleviated much this off-season.