Thursday, April 26, 2012

Looking Forward to Free Agents

More of this, please

It's April, and I'm thinking about starting a countdown clock to July 1st. This is a sure sign that something has gone wrong in Hockeytown.

This may be the most important offseason of Ken Holland's career, and is certainly the most important offseason since 2001. An eerily similar pattern of early round exits was quelled when the additions of Dominik Hasek, Brett Hull, and Luc Robitaille helped bolster an already strong team and resulted in the 2002 Stanley Cup. Will Holland be able to make similarly impactful moves, and in what ways might he be able to do so?

One way that won't work? Trading. If this past season's trade deadline was any indication, then the irrationally high prices commanded in the trade market will deter Detroit from doing much via this avenue.

Free agency may be the best option for adding to the Red Wings roster, as the cap space Holland preserved from last summer will only increase with the possible departures of some players (i.e. Brad Stuart) and a likely raise of the salary cap. Holland may look to make a big splash in free agency this offseason, with Ryan Suter and Zach Parise as numbers 1a and 1b on the Wings' want list.

Though there will be a sizable amount of money to play with and two All Star caliber free agents available, that doesn't necessarily mean that Holland has to land the pair. Or does he? Over the next few months I'll be analyzing potential free agent targets in tremendously hockey-nerdy depth. The goal of this project is twofold; to see what certain players could add to the Wings statistically, and to see what that addition will cost financially.

Like it? Hate it? Have suggestions for who I should analyze? Let me know on Twitter @TOGBlog1 or by email at 

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