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.