FREE AGENT FOCUS
The Wings’ 23-man roster for the start of the 2010-11 season is set. They are not looking to sign any more free agents to NHL contracts and don’t expect to make a trade in the off-season.
–D Brendan Smith will get a good look in training camp and the preseason, but he is expected to start the season in Grand Rapids (AHL), unless the team suffers an injury or two. The Wings want Smith, their highly-skilled top prospect, to play more than 20 minutes a game in all situations in the minors rather than be a spare defenseman in Detroit. He will, however, get a chance to play in the NHL at some point this season.
–G Jordan Pearce signed a two-year deal on July 21. He will battle for playing time in Grand Rapids with veteran Joey MacDonald. Pearce took over the starting goaltender role with the Griffins midway through last season after MacDonald was recalled by Detroit and Thomas McCollum struggled. Pearce went 12-6-2 in 20 consecutive starts. He also played in each of the team’s final 26 games, and 33 of the final 34. He went 20-15-5 with a 2.89 goals-against average and .908 save percentage.
–C Francis Pare signed a two-year deal on July 21 and is slated to return to Grand Rapids, where he finished third last season with 54 points (24 goals, 30 assists). Pare originally was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008 after he was named the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s MVP. In 220 games in three seasons in Grand Rapids, he has 64 goals and 77 assists.
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