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Wings Hope To Make A Zach Attack

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NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 17: Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Florida Panthers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on April 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. The Panthers won 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

NEWARK, NJ – APRIL 17: Zach Parise #9 of the New Jersey Devils skates against the Florida Panthers in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on April 17, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. The Panthers won 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

2005-0308-dt-wojnowski126 K) Bob Wojnowski
Bob "Wojo" Wojnowski has covered sports in Detroit since before the...
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By: Bob Wojnowski

The Red Wings were eliminated early again, and because I like to be helpful, I already laid out the ideal off-season plan for GM Ken Holland.

Here it is.

Plan A: Sign winger Zach Parise from New Jersey and defenseman Ryan Suter from Nashville.

Plan B: Sign Parise or Suter.

Plan C: See Plan A.

OK, it’s not that simple, because there will be lots of competition if those two become free-agents, as many expect. Both are 27 and in their primes. Holland will have more than $20 million in cap space, perhaps even more if Nicklas Lidstrom doesn’t return.

There are other possible acquisitions, such as Jarome Iginla or Rick Nash, but those would require trades, and the Wings don’t have as many young tradeable assets as other teams. Johan Franzen didn’t do much in the Nashville series, but he’s been a great playoff performer in the past, so I wouldn’t give up on him yet.

There will be other middlin’ free-agents available, and there’s no guarantee Parise and Suter will leave. In fact, if you’re a Wings fan, you should root hard for the Devils and Predators to lose in the playoffs as quickly as possible. No sense giving your prime targets any reason to feel comfortable staying where they are.

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