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All-in on Niskanen? Red Wings out of Ehrhoff hunt

Jul 1, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

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The Detroit Red Wings are going to be hot after a defenseman when free agency opens at noon ET, but one they won’t be after is Christian Ehrhoff.

Ansar Khan of MLive reports the Red Wings are still in on Matt Niskanen and Dan Boyle — two right-shooting d-men — but out on Ehrhoff, a lefty, as the former Buffalo Sabres blue-liner is seeking a five-year deal. Detroit was apparently only willing to go three years for the 31-year-old German.

Detroit is looking to add a top-four defenseman as they’re letting Kyle Quincey go to market. With a top pairing consisting of Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson, the Wings need help as they have Jakub Kindl, Brendan Smith, and Brian Lashoff under contract for next season. Danny DeKeyser is a restricted free agent.

One way or another the Wings will be adding to the blue line, but chasing after 27-year-old Niskanen means they’ll have to cough up big money and term to land him in what’s going to be a very competitive market. Boyle makes for a good option, but at almost 38 years old there are questions about how much he’s got left in the tank.

The fun subplot here? Detroit’s stiffest competition for both players comes from the Tampa  Bay Lightning and GM Steve Yzerman.

  1. buffbry - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Hope wings get both. That would make my day

  2. hockeydon10 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Sign two out of three, preferably in this order.
    1. Niskanen
    2. Stralman
    3. Gilbert

    Forget Boyle.

    • mshantz22 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      I’d put Gilbert above Stralman, but yes. Don’t want a small 38 year old defensman.

    • buffbry - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      how about
      1.Niskanen
      2. Boyle
      3.Erhoff
      4.Gilbert
      5.TRADE cause Stralman is a waste of cap space much like Weiss

  3. lbeezyse - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    Wild are out on Nisky. I see DET landing him.

    • elrock7 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      Niskanen is an over rated, soon to be over paid waste of 7 years of cap space. Whoever gives him that mega deal will soon regret it.

  4. phtjoey - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    Can’t think of a better team for Niskanen. He will benefit greatly from Babcock’s teaching. What he’s going to learn there will help him not only in the short term, but long term as well for his post playing days.

    My friend valoisvipers’ favorite team will be a better team with this d man.

    • valoisvipers - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      Hi Joey, My only worry is that Pittsburgh has a way of making D-men look very good but seem to be a bit of a bust with the new team. Two names come to mind Ryan Whitney and Alex Gogoliski. Nis-cannon was a toss in with Neal for Gogoliski.
      You are spot on about Babs coaching and if anyone can get more out of Nis it is Babs and the rest of the Wings Family.
      The Stars did great in picking up Speeza. A happy Speeza facing second pairing D-men could , make him be really dangerous this year after a year of being mistreated by the Sens management. They made Ryan their top gun and now have to sleep in the bed they made.

  5. pjblake2redwings - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    I would love Niskanen but 7 yrs!!! at 6 mill!! that could back fire big time since Niskanens numbers are not consistant. he had a good year last yr so hopefully he can keep that up

    • buffbry - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      i am hearing 7 years at 6.5 and 2 years at 11 for Boyle and wings are going to offer both. Would really help us.

      The funny thing our competition for both is Stevie Y in TB

  6. jaybaileys - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Niskanen is a really solid d man. I think he’s gonna get way overpaid but he was a beast for the Pens this past year. Can fill in on the power play, play limited top pairing minutes, and is great +/-. To top it off seemed to really embrace a leadership role in the locker room this year. Really like him and wish him well, whoever signs him will be bringing in a very focused guy entering his prime.

    • hockeydon10 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      Who was he paired with? That may have an effect on his numbers.

  7. partsman193509 - Jul 1, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    I think Holland better get off the pot and do something before all the defensemen are gone. He hasn’t done anything yet, let’s get on the ball.

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