The early playoff exits of the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks has given rise to speculation over potential changes in the off-season.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland intends to explore every avenue, including trades and free agency, to improve his team, though the club will retool, rather than rebuild. The Wings also have the cap space to bid competitively for top UFAs like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter if they hit the market this summer.
As for the Sharks, their situation is a little more complicated, as GM Doug Wilson faces a shake-up of his roster. LeBrun said if it were up to him, he’d be ready to trade almost everyone but Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Dan Boyle and Ryane Clowe. He also wondered if Wilson might revisit his interest in Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash.
USATODAY.COM: Kevin Allen weighed in with his take on potential moves for the Red Wings, Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
MERCURYNEWS.COM/CSNBAYAREA.COM: David Pollak believes a roster makeover is likely for the Sharks, noting Patrick Marleau, Martin Havlat, Dan Boyle and Brent Burns were disappointments, though the four also have expensive contracts with movement/trade clauses. He also suggested Daniel Winnik could be the only notable UFA to be re-signed, while all their RFAs are likely to be re-signed.
Kevin Kurz focused upon the Sharks free agents, which include “Unrestricted free agents: Torrey Mitchell, Dominic Moore, Jim Vandermeer, Daniel Winnik, Colin White, Brad Winchester. Restricted free agents: Justin Braun, Andrew Desjardins, Benn Ferriero, TJ Galiardi, Tommy Wingels.” Kurz also believes Winnik could be re-signed, but also feel Winchester could be back, and suggested it’s possible Ferriero might not receive a qualifying offer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given their contracts, it’s doubtful Marleau, Havlat, Boyle and Burns will be moved. Don’t expect Thornton to be dealt, or Logan Couture. I doubt Wilson wants to trade Clowe, but he could be among the few quality players that might be of interest to rival clubs which he could move. One also has to wonder about Joe Pavelski, who lacks a trade clause, as there could be serious interest in him. The problem for Wilson is the players he might wish to move could prove untradeable because of their salaries and/or movement clauses, while those he’d prefer to retain (Pavelski, Couture) are those who would attract the most interest from other clubs.
DETROIT NEWS/DETROIT FREE PRESS: More anticipation the Red Wings will be busy shopping in this summer’s UFA market, while Fabian Brunnstrom could get a second chance to crack the Wings lineup next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve noted over the weekend, the Red Wings will be among the favourites to land Parise and Suter if they hit the UFA market. Trades are also possible, but at this point, it appears they’ll make their biggest moves via free agency.