Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
The defense is in need of some changes. Lidstrom’s decision will obviously have a huge effect on the roster. Beyond that, the team will have other issues to face.
Brad Stuart has been a valuable asset during his years in Detroit. He will be a free agent this summer and is likely gone. While the team is interested in keeping him, his family has remained out west and his desire to be closer to them is well known. Assuming Stuart is gone, Holland will need to find a replacement for him.
On the back end of the defense the team has Jakub Kindl and Kyle Quincey. Neither of them played all that well down the stretch. Quincey will be a restricted free agent, so the team will need to make a decision on him. Kindl was expected to play a bigger role this year but he was not able to grab onto the roll the team hoped for.
Of course, if the team is able to sign Ryan Suter that will help immensely. The other big addition will be moving Brendon Smith up from Grand Rapids. He was able to play 14 games for the team this season as an injury replacement. In truth, he outplayed Kindl and Quincey and should have finished the season with the team. Instead, he was sent back to Grand Rapids once enough injured players returned.
Smith will be a given to join Ian White, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson next season. If Suter does not sign and Lidstrom decides to retire, then Holland will need to focus on the defense in the offseason.
If he is not able to land Suter, then Holland may want turn his focus toward Matt Carle, Dennis Wideman, Jason Garrison or Bryan Allen to help the defense.