MLive’s Ansar Khan penned a set of updates on Friday afternoon, discussing Jimmy Howard’s status (staying around), Martin Frk’s status (may or may not be re-signed), the statuses of the team’s other restricted free agents (Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha = 3 “bridge deals,” if not 4 if Larkin is not interested in a long-term contract), coaching staff (Dan Bylsma remains a possibility as an assistant coach) and outlining the Wings’ free agency plans:
Left wing Ilya Kovalchuk is at the top of their wish list. They’d be willing to give him a two-year contract at a high salary, a source said. They believe he’s capable of scoring 25 to 30 goals.
Kovalchuk, 35, is returning to the NHL after playing in Russia for five years. He has stated a desire to play for a Stanley Cup-contending team, so it’s unlikely he’d be interested in Detroit.
The Red Wings are interested in bringing back Thomas Vanek, 34, on a one-year deal. They would trade him at the deadline for a draft pick if they’re out of the playoff race. Vanek was a good fit in Detroit in 2016-17 (15 goals, 38 points in 48 games), before being dealt to Florida at the deadline for a third-round pick.
He had 24 goals and 56 points in 80 games last season between Vancouver and Columbus.
The Red Wings want to re-sign defenseman Mike Green, offering him a one-year deal at $6 million, his salary the past three seasons, or two years at $5 million per year.
Green turns 33 in October but was the team’s lone consistent offensive threat on the blue line. It’s a particularly weak free-agent market for defensemen.
The Red Wings are eying two 32-year-old goalies – Carter Hutton of St. Louis and Anton Khudobin of Boston. Hutton, their first choice, went 17-7-3 with a 2.09 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. Khudobin went 16-6-7, with a 2.56 GAA and .913 save percentage.