With the Detroit Red Wings facing playoff elimination, could this be the final games for some veteran players? Read on for the latest.

YAHOO! SPORTS/ESPN.COM/KUKLA’S KORNER: reports of the possibility veteran Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom, Mike Modano, Kris Draper and Chris Osgood could be making their final appearances in Game Four of their series against the San Jose Sharks. George Malik of Kukla’s Korner writes it could be up to Wings GM Ken Holland if Draper and Osgood return next season.

NHL.COM: Jeff Sanford reports Lidstrom is keeping mum as to his future plans, preferring to wait until the playoffs are over to make a decision on whether he’ll return or retire.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Red Wings forward Mike Modano has found it difficult being a healthy scratch, and wonders if he’s already played his final NHL game.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell reported Jonathan Ericsson and Ruslan Salei are unrestricted free agents, doubting Salei will be re-signed while suggesting management might be growing weary of Ericsson’s defensive mistakes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I recommend reading Malik’s post as he’s made a nice compilation and analysis of all the recent speculation on the Wings aging stars and their respective futures with the organization. As for my two cents worth, Modano, Draper and Osgood won’t be back. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Draper return as part of the coaching staff. Modano and Osgood are no longer capable of playing up to the high level expected of them. Lidstrom still has enough in the tank for another season, but the Wings have already taken to reducing his ice time, and he rarely plays on the penalty kill. If he decides to retire, don’t be surprised if the Wings go shopping for a replacement, though of course you really don’t replace a player of Lidstrom’s caliber. Ericsson could return if he’s willing to accept a reasonable salary, but Salei probably won’t be back.

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4 Responses to Last hurrah for some veteran Red Wings?

  1. DurtMCHurt says:

    I agree with Spector that modano, osgood and draper won’t be back and Lidstrom will stay one more season. They will replace a roster spot or two with savvy vets, I think giggy would be an excellent fit if he doesn’t resign in TO, maybe playing 20-30 games behind howard.

  2. MIKE ARKY says:

    I alos agree with Spector that Modano, Draper, Osgood will not be back. As for Lidstrom, he could return for one last hurrah, but I doubt he will as he has nothing to prove and could win one last Norris trophy. As for Ericsson he will probably be back at a reasonable price, the question is who replaces the spot if Lidstrom returns. Also could the Wings swing a trade and maybe free up more cap space. This playoff series has shown some weaknesses in the Wings lineup. The third line of Filipula, Hudler and Abdelkader has not produced. they will need to strength either the 1st or second line to free up one of those forwards to play a scoring role on the thrid line.

  3. tuxedoTshirt says:

    My 2 cents:
    Lidstrom’s gone, Draper coaches, Salei and Ericsson get re-signed
    Modano gets another trial after a spoiled season
    Hudler returns
    Osgood is gone
    Nabokov signed if Garth Snow allows it
    Eaves and Miller return
    Bertuzzi gets traded for prospects
    Leino gets signed for $2.25 per for 2 years
    Fill in the gaps with guys from Grand Rapids

  4. RHudgens says:

    Ericsson needs to be traded and Draper would be an excellent replacement for McCrimmon. We have never replaced Yzerman and Shanny with two gifted right-handed forwards. We have no right-handed face-off men. I can’t deal with a line-up full of lefties. Rafalski’s time has come as well. Seems to be worn down and is a target by big forwards.

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