Updates on the status of the Red Wings free agents, and the likelihood (or not) of Jaromir Jagr returning to the Penguins.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports no one is questioning the heart of the Detroit Red Wings but observed they have few core players under thirty and the sheer volume of playoff battles are catching up to them. He points out they need a top-four defenseman 25-or-under, but if they were to take a run at Atlanta’s Zach Bogosian they might have to give up a player like 27-year-old Valtteri Filppula, rather than the under-achieving Jiri Hudler.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Kris Draper and Chris Osgood would love to continue playing but they also have family considerations. Mike Modano said there’s a 75% chance he’ll retire, and Jonathan Ericsson admitted he’d like to remain but his future with the Wings is uncertain. Ericsson had previously spurned a multi-year deal worth $2 million per season. UFAs Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves also said they’d like to return, although Khan suggested they could get more money and bigger roles with other teams.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Red Wings fans probably didn’t like reading what Matheson wrote but I believe he’s made a valid point. The Wings core isn’t getting any younger and while they do have some good young players only two- Jimmy Howard and perhaps Filppula – could be considered indispensable right now.If they’re to acquire quality young talent it might have to be via trade, but there’s no guarantee they’ll land someone like Bogosian. Still, GM Ken Holland has been able to keep this club perpetually stocked with quality talent for years and will undoubtedly continue to do so.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Dejan Kovacevic suggested it might be worthwhile for the Penguins to consider bringing back Jaromir Jagr, but Shelly Anderson reports a couple of sources with knowledge of Jagr’s status claim he’s spoken with several Russian teams, including SKA St. Petersburg, and isn’t seriously considering an NHL comeback.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Jagr were really keen to return to the NHL he would’ve done it long ago.