Holland wants deals on table soon for three possible free agents
The Red Wings would like to see Jimmy Howard, left, Gustav Nyquist and Nick Jensen remain in Detroit.
The Red Wings want to sign three of their potential seven unrestricted free agents, but there is a deadline.
Detroit is interested in retaining the services of goaltender Jimmy Howard, forward Gustav Nyquist and defenseman Nick Jensen.
But general manager Ken Holland says that he wants to have at least the parameters in place for a deal with each of the three by the Feb. 25 trade deadline. If that doesn’t happen, Holland might be more likely to move them rather than risk losing them without getting anything back in return.
They would become unrestricted free agents on July 1.
All three have spent their entire careers with the Red Wings and have all said they want to stay. But business is business.
“We’ve had exploratory talks,” Holland told www.mlive.com. “I’ve got to, here in the next few days, crank it up to another level.”
He did not identify which players he has begun dialogues with.
“I’d like to think before the deadline that we’re either signing them or close, where we sort of have the makings of a deal and you’re hanging onto the player,” Holland continued. “It would be the very worst-case scenario if I don’t trade somebody and then that player we have interest in re-signing leaves on July 1.”
Detroit decided early in the season that it wanted to bring Howard back. He is in the last season of a contract with a $5.3 million per season salary cap hit. Nyquist has 14 goals and 47 points and is on pace to smash his career high of 54 points. He’s in the last year of a deal with a $4.75 million cap hit.
The Wings want to re-sign Jensen because he’s a good penalty killer, a right-handed shooting defensemen a good skater and will not be expensive to retain. Jensen is third on the team in minutes among defensemen.
Their other unrestricted free agents are Niklas Kronwall, who is expected to retire after the season, Thomas Vanek, Martin Frk and Luke Witkowski.
There is a possibility that none of seven will be moved at the trade deadline.
Kronwall is expected to retire at the end of this season and, in all probability, won’t be part of any deal and there may not be a market for the other three.
“There’s not going to be a marketplace for all seven,” Holland said. “There’s only so many buyers, and we’re not going to re-sign all seven because we got some kids that we got to make room for in ’19-20. Those are all the things that as we make the decisions leading up to Feb. 25. that affect the decision-making. Certainly, I don’t want to get to Feb. 25 and don’t trade a player that’s got value on the marketplace and then we don’t get him signed. That would be a very bad job by me.”
Babcock shopping for Glendening again
It’s no secret that Toronto Maple Leafs coach and former Red Wings coach Mike Babcock covets Luke Glendening.
Babcock thinks that Detroit’s gritty forward – who he praised continually when he coached Glendening with the Wings – would be a perfect fit with the offensively talented but defensively-lacking Maple Leafs as a fourth-line center.
The Red Wings price of a second-round pick at last season’s trade deadline was too steep for then Toronto general manager Lou Lamoriello. But, according to www.tsn.ca, Babcock wants first-year general manager Kyle Dubas to take a shot at getting Glendening this season.
Detroit views Glendening as a big part of the team’s culture, so don’t expect the price to go down this season.