Khan, St. James’ morning free agency updates: Bernier, Vanek and…Derek Ryan?

MLive’s Ansar Khan and the Free Press’s Helene St. James provide morning free agency updates.

Khan reports that the Wings are going to sign Jonathan Bernier soon, and the Wings may sign Derek Ryan as well…

The club on Saturday agreed to terms with defenseman Mike Green on a two-year deal with a average salary of $5.375 million.

The Red Wings are expected to sign goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a three-year contract in the range of $3 million per season.

Detroit also is trying to sign former Red Wings forward Thomas Vanek to a one-year contract and has shown interest in center Derek Ryan. The right-shooting Ryan, 31, had 15 goals and 23 assists in 80 games for Carolina last season, when he earned $1.425 million.

The Red Wings want aren’t sure if Henrik Zetterberg will play next season. He has a history of back issues but has appeared in all 82 games in each of the past three seasons. They would like some insurance at center. They were interested in signing Valtteri Filppula to a two-year deal, but the former Red Wing appears to be leaning toward signing with another team.

And St. James confirms the signing of Thomas Vanek:

Vanek, 34, had 23 goals and 32 assists for 56 points in 80 games with Vancouver and Columbus (the Canucks traded him at the deadline). He made a positive impression when the Wings signed him two summers ago, producing 15 goals and 23 assists for 38 points in 48 games before a trade-deadline trade to Florida. Vanek, who shoots right, was part of the Wings’ hottest line out of training camp, with Gustav Nyquist and Darren Helm. When Vanek suffered a hip injury seven games into the season, Nyquist and Helm grew quiet offensively. Later in the season Vanek showed great chemistry with Frans Nielsen and Athanasiou.

Bernier, 29, will share the net with Jimmy Howard. Bernier, a former starter in Toronto, spent 2017-18 with Colorado, where he went 21-7-4 with a 2.85 goals-against average and .913 save percentage in 37 appearances.

The addition of Vanek puts the Wings at nine forwards, and the three RFAs make it 12. That still leaves room for top prospects Filip Zadina and Michael Rasmussen to challenge for jobs.



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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.