Among the Free Press’s Helene St. James’ mailbag questions and answers:
HSJ: When I spoke to him at locker clean out day (April 10), Niklas Kronwall sounded like a guy eager to return. He missed the first three games of 2017-18, but played every game after that. He’ll turn 38 midway through next season, and he’s got hard miles on his body, but he is still a smart player, and a team leader. So barring some offseason setback, I see him playing out the last year of his contract.
That said, I’d still expect there to be an opening — there are six regulars under contract for next season, but that includes Xavier Ouellet, who no longer seems to fit into the Wings’ plans. So I do think there there will be at least one fresh young face on the next season’s defense.