May 10, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT
This promises to be an interesting summer for Ken Holland.
The Detroit GM would like to make a splash in free agency, but the talent pool is shallow. He’d like to add some youth to an aging roster, but that’s easier said than done. He’d like for captain Nicklas Lidstrom to play one more year, but there’s no guarantee it’ll happen.
In fact, Holland is waiting on Lidstrom right now.
“Yeah, yeah,” Holland told the Detroit Free Press. “I’m hoping Nick is going to do it one more year. But I’ve still got some time to go.”
It’s believed that Holland will meet with Lidstrom over the next few weeks to decide the 42-year-old’s future. It’s imperative a decision is reached prior to the start of free agency (Jul. 1), so the GM can figure out:
– How much of his cap room (currently at $20 million) will be allotted to Lidstrom, who made $6.2 million on each of his last two deals.
– How much he and head coach Mike Babcock are willing to rely on former 1st/2nd round picks making entry-level money (Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyqvist, Landon Ferraro, Tomas Tatar).
– If 2010 first-round pick Riley Sheahan is ready to make the NHL after a one-game trial in April.
So yeah, plenty of issues facing Holland.
Not that he thinks they’ll be too difficult to overcome.
“You wake up every day, and you’re nervous. It’s such a fine, fine line between finishing fifth and finishing ninth,” he explained. “[But] certainly with a tweak here or there, a couple of good things happen to us this summer, we make a couple of moves, there is no reason we can’t contend in the West.”
The big move, though, is getting Lidstrom back.
- Devils sign Greene to five-year, $25M extension 3
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million 37
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ 46
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 15
- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 19
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 31
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center 45
- Eric Staal has surgery to repair ‘core muscle injury’ 6
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 16
- Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year, $8.25M deal 12
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ (46)
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain (45)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (45)
- New Caps regime plans to keep Ovechkin at RW (for now) (42)