The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan provides a Red Wings free agency update this evening, confirming that the Wings are likely to sign Jonathan Bernier as Jimmy Howard’s back-up…
Bernier, 29, helped lead the Avalanche into the playoffs after Semyon Varlamov was injured and missed the remainder of the season. Bernier was 19-13-3 with a 2.85 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.
It was expected the Avalanche would keep Bernier, but they acquired Washington’s Philipp Grubauer, leaving Bernier free to explore the market.
And Kulfan also confirms the MLive’s Ansar Khan and The Athletic’s Craig Custance and Pierre LeBrun’s suggestion that Detroit may be bringing back some old friends at forward:
They’re rumored to be extremely interested in bringing back either of two forwards — Valtteri Filppula or Thomas Vanek.
Filppula, 34, appears to be the preferred choice. He had 11 goals and 22 assists in 81 games with Philadelphia, and his versatility would be beneficial, as the Wings continue to have doubts regarding Henrik Zetterberg’s aching back.
The Wings also hope to re-sign defenseman Mike Green, a prospective UFA, to a 2-year contract.
Update: Here’s more from Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff:
An NHL source told Mlive.com that defenseman Mike Green was close to signing a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings to stay with the team and was likely to do so before Sunday’s July 1 kickoff to the NHL’s free-agent frenzy.
The Wings tabled a two-year pact worth a reported $5 million a season to Green at the conclusion of the 2017-18 NHL season, but Green opted to wait until this week’s chance to speak to other teams leading up to the free-agent signing window opening. It would appear that he has decided there isn’t anything out there that trumps the Detroit offer.
Green made it abundantly clear during the season that he would prefer to remain a Red Wing.
“I love it in Detroit,” Green said. “It’s a great organization. I hope I stay.”