The Free Press’s Helene St. James, Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan and The Athletic’s Max Bultman have all weighed in on the Red Wings’ potential free agency options. This afternoon, MLive’s Ansar Khan rounds out the chorus with an assessment of his own as to what the Wings should do, as well as a long list of players that the Wings might want to target come July 1st at 12 PM EDT.
What should the Wings do with their $12 million in cap space? Khan believes that signing players to short-term deals is the answer:
The Red Wings won’t be in the hunt for the elite players and probably not the next level of talent either, given their reluctance to dole out longer-term deals and their rebuilding status.
There are many lower-cost alternatives. It might take a few days after free agency opens to get those players, after they’ve explored options and concluded they won’t get the term they were seeking.
General manager Steve Yzerman will look to plug some holes.
Veteran winger Thomas Vanek has been informed he won’t be re-signed. Defenseman/winger Luke Witkowski could still be a low-cost option on a one-year deal for later in the summer. Yzerman has said he’d welcome back defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who is contemplating one more season or retirement.
The Red Wings also are in the market for an experienced goaltender to split the net with prospect Filip Larsson in Grand Rapids. They made a qualifying offer to Patrik Rybar but don’t expect him to return.
The Red Wings will have more money to spend next summer when several contracts are off the books (Mike Green, Jonathan Ericsson, Trevor Daley and possibly Jimmy Howard). But some of their young restricted free agents will be due for new deals (Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou and Tyler Bertuzzi) as well.
Khan continues at length, and his list of players that could be possible targets is interesting, but I would barf in my mouth and barf in the toilet of the Wings ever signed someone like Corey Perry to a contract.