Rumor has it that Brad Stuart wants to go west to be closer to his family. As a result, the Detroit Red Wings will have to find someone to fill his spot. Detroit had a hard time trying to replace Brian Rafalski.
Ian White was a major sign for Detroit. Trading for Kyle Quincey looked nice on paper, but Quincey has not produced much for Detroit. In the 18 games he played he has a total of three points, and in the playoffs he did not produce a single point.
Detroit has two players who showed promise this season, and should be ready next season like Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith. A first season is a difficult one, but if Nicklas Lidstrom returns they will have a great mentor.
The Wings need one more major defenceman. These are the top five possible defenceman that Detroit should pursue.
Mark Flood is not a familiar name in the NHL, but he has potential.
In his second season in the OHL he had 29 points. Things just improved from there. The following two seasons he had over 40 points. His talents went noticed and he played nine games in the 2005-06 AHL season.
After his brief stint in the AHL he played in the ECHL from 2006-07. While in the ECHL he racked up 25 points in 50 games.
From 2007 to '11 he played in the AHL and in a few NHL games. He finally got his start in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets. He did not put up big numbers in his 33 games, but seven points is not too bad. Flood will be cheap and a good investment.
Shane O'Brien is an enforcer who gets things done. He had mild success in the AHL, but has not yet made his mark in the NHL.
His game has improved this season. He is not afraid to fight, but more importantly he has youth. He is 28 years old. This season he had 20 points in 76 games. The Colorado Avalanche have not made the playoffs in years. O'Brien will more than likely hit free agency unless Colorado offers him something worthwhile, but Detroit can offer him a Stanley Cup run.
When Shea Weber head slammed Henrik Zetterberg's into the boards, Detroit fans were outraged. They wanted justice, and Todd Bertuzzi delivered. Bertuzzi is 37 years old. He does not hit like he used to. The best checker Detroit has is Niklas Kronwall. Detroit does need some grinders.
O'Brien is just that, and he will not cost the Wings too much.
For the past three seasons, Joe Corvo has played for three different teams. It seems like he is trying to search for a home, and Detroit may be able to help.
His age is a factor. At 34 years old he not at his peak, but Detroit has always used experienced players. Boston has eight players who are unrestricted free agents.
Corvo is proving that he still has some years left, and is has put up identical number to Stuart. Stuart had 21 points in 81 games. Corvo had 25 points in 75 games.
When the Nashville Predators beat Detroit in the first round, things were looking good. Some people even thought that Nashville would go to the Stanley Cup, but that prediction was cut short.
Now Nashville must decide on who to keep. Is it Ryan Suter or Shea Weber? The Predators will do everything they can to keep both, but more than likely they will lose one.
Suter has been learning from his mistakes in years past, and his penalty minutes show it. In his early years he lacked discipline. This year he only has 30 penalty minutes. In years past he had 70 minutes.
He is posting career-high numbers this season. He has seven goals and 39 assist, making for a grand total of 46 points. He is playing smart and is a great setup man.
Matt Carle is a solid defenceman. The Philadelphia Flyers have been lucky enough to have him for only $3.8 million. He deserves a bigger contract, and the Flyers may not be able to give that to him. Ilya Bryzgalov's contract has a major impact on Philadelphia's cap space.
The team might also lose Jaromir Jagr. Jagr had 54 points this season. In addition, Scott Hartnell's contract expires the following season.
Detroit has over $20 million to throw around in free agency, and can easily afford Carle.