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Red Wings will be looking to spend big this summer

Apr 23, 2012, 9:14 AM EDT

Ken Holland AP

It’s rare to see the Detroit Red Wings season come to an end this early, but with an offseason ahead of them that sees a lot of questions and a ton of money coming off their salary cap, Detroit might be ready to make a big splash in free agency.

Red Wings GM Ken Holland tells Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press he’s looking forward to the summer and looks to make the Wings a deeper team once again.

“We have lots of cap space, and there’ll be players available July 1,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We’re going to look at free agency, but the NHL is so tight now. The days of us having way more depth than the opposition or one extra star, those are over for everybody. It’s a league that’s very, very close.”

Among those players potentially available are Devils captain Zach Parise and Predators stud defenseman Ryan Suter. With Detroit’s forwards getting up there in years and their defense looking at perhaps one more season with Nicklas Lidstrom and the departure of Brad Stuart, either player would provide a big lift.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock knows it’s a big time for the team and he hopes that with the extra $22 million in cap space his team will be big spenders.

“We have tons of money and if we can use our cap space to get high-end free agents, we have a shot to get right back on top,” Babcock said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press on Sunday, two days after Nashville eliminated Detroit. “If we’re fortunate in free agency, we won’t have to look at going in another direction.”

Getting into the trade market doesn’t sound like a good time especially with the amount of talent available right away.

  1. tmoore4075 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM

    I think Parise is very likely. With him on board they might try to convince Suter to come as well. All of that depends on Lidstrom though. If I had to chose one right now I’d take Parise. Makes their offense much more dangerous.

    • polegojim - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      If Nick gives it one more year, I bet there’s a way to have all three.

      We’ve just lost ‘the step’ previously enjoyed… not by much, but as Ken said, it doesn’t take much to be out early.

      Great parity this year

      • miketoasty - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM

        I may only be a lowly Pens fan, but Detroit with Parise and maybe also with Sutter, sounds like a Stanley Cup champion team to me. Especially if Nick decides to give it one more year (And with those added players, who wouldn’t).

      • polegojim - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        ; ) lowly Pens fan… that’s funny.

        I agree it would be very good.

  2. fusionix7 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Parise would be a great pickup. It would be great to have someone who actually shoots the puck. Outside of Zetterberg it seems everybody is afraid to do so. Considering Stuart is all but gone if they somehow manage to get Suter as well, the Wings are right back.

    • polegojim - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      Actually – they were putting 30-40 shots on Rinne, and not all Hank.

      There’s a difference between putting up 30-40 easily read shots and producing excellent ‘scoring chances’. The Wings failed to produce game winning scoring chances against the Preds .

      From what I saw, it revolved around a lack of individual and team quickness and speed. Slow set ups and slow development allowed the D to get back into position on most plays. It’s the equivalent to half-court basketball. You gotta have quickness with run and gun to keep the D off balance and win The Cup.

  3. martysbetter - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    As much as I hate to say it, I can easily see Parise in Detroit next year.

  4. somekat - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Parise would be a great pick up. The the Flyers wouldn’t have to play him so much

    Speaking of, watch out forthe Flyers when it comes to Suter. At this point, unless something changes, Pronger’s money will never count against the cap again. They’ll pay him, but I doubt he’ll play again, and they will get a cap waiver. They will be looking to add a stud defensema to replace him, and will have his salary to do it.

    • cmutimmah - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      You’re going to have to pay players too though… Pronger’s money doesn’t count against the cap with him on full season IR…

      • phillyphever - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:17 PM

        Sinder’s gonna pay Pronger his money. Heck, he might pay to help Pronger come back from his concussion (highly doubt he does come back, but Sinder’s one who wants to win at all costs).

    • miketoasty - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      Again, coming from a Pens fan, I could also see Philly picking up Sutter, which unlike him going to Detroit, scares the crap out of me. Pens couldn’t do anything to them with their “average” defense as it is right now.

  5. scoops1 - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Zach will look pretty good in red wings uniform next year

  6. dahutz - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    bitter beer face

    • bcjim - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      Lidstrom had too much lutefisk for lunch again I’ll bet.

  7. esracerx46 - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Where is this 22 million dollar figure coming from? According to cap geek they are a little more than 4 million under. The big numbers coming off the books are Quincey and Holmstrom. Babcock already said last week that he would be shocked if Lidstrom retires

    • cmutimmah - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      Stuart, Hudler, Cleary, Conklin, plus others coming off the books too…

    • michiganhockey11 - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      Cut out Hudler for sure, Conklin, Holmstrom. If Lidstrom doesn’t retire, it’s time that Holland tells him to take the “Steve Yzerman” hometown discount to make the team better. Both Suter and Parise have both expressed that they would love to play here. It can be done.

    • tmoore4075 - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      Think you are looking at THIS YEARS cap number. 2012-13 they have $43mil committed to 17 players.

  8. geo91 - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:23 AM


  9. 2dollarpbrs - Apr 23, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    I think G. Nyquist will have a bigger impact next year as well

  10. joebuckiscreepy - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    That picture looks like Garry Shandling.

  11. chiadam - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    If the Wings add Parise AND Suter, the league (and my Hawks) is ****ed. But I don’t see that happening. One or the other is likely, but not both. Also ask yourself if Suter will be quick to run off to the team that his current team just pounded. Maybe, but maybe not.

    • tmoore4075 - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      If Radulov and Gaustad both bolt which is very likely then why stay? Rinne is getting big money and it’ll be hard to sign everyone with their usual budget. Detroit can probably pay him about what Nashville could but Detroit will have the budget to add more pieces. Not saying he will just a few reasons of why he MIGHT chose Detroit. Plus a chance to play with your USA teammate Parise (assuming he signs there) might entice him to go to Detroit.

  12. hockeyknowledge - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    the 22 million dollars would come from all FA’s, assuming there are no resignings.

  13. bensawesomeness - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    I’d like to see Hudler stick around, maybe for less tho.
    I think we can land Parise, i honestly have a feeling Suter’s going to stay put, especially if nashville makes it to the western finals, Stanley Cup finals, or even wins it all

  14. creator69 - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    I’d love to see nick back but not at 6.5m in salary, Even though at 42 and at 80 % he is still better then most Defensemen in the league. But if he can play for say 2.5 or 3m It will free up a bit more for younger players and allow for more moves. Homer needs to go though.Stuart is all but gone to the west coast. As for Huds I am kind of torn. I think parise will happen, but I have a feeling if the preds win the cup suter may stay providing they can afford to keep him. Otherwise I think the wings will make both happen. I also could see a trade or two happening. 3 straight early exits 2,2,1 Something needs to happen.

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