It has been a tough offseason for the Detroit Red Wings blue line. They lost a legend in Nicklas Lidstrom to retirement and veteran Brad Stuart to the San Jose Sharks. They also came up short in the Ryan Suter sweepstakes.
It's clear the Red Wings have some holes to fill on defense and obviously adding a player like Keith Yandle or Shea Weber would be the best option. However, the Red Wings may have to consider signing a free agent or two in the meantime.
It has been just over a week since the NHL free-agency market opened on July 1, but there are still a number of defensemen available that the Red Wings could sign. They may not possess the skill level of Lidstrom or Suter, but they could be worth a short-term deal and a small cap hit.
Here are five defensemen the Red Wings should consider signing for the 2012-13 season.
Rozsival's offensive production may have slowed down, but he is still a solid player in his own zone.
Rozsival has since spent time with the New York Rangers and Phoenix Coyotes and has proven to be a smart, dependable defensive player. With 62 hits and 91 blocked shots in 54 games last season, Roszival would be a physical force on Detroit’s blue line.
Like Rozsival, Pavel Kubina is a native of the Czech Republic and was also drafted in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.
Since 2009, Kubina has suited up for four different teams including the Maple Leafs, Thrashers, Lightning and Flyers. He has also represented the Czech Republic at the Olympics and IIHF World Championship, winning gold at the 1999, 2001 and 2005 World Championships.
At 6'4" and 258 pounds, the 35-year-old defenseman would add size and toughness to the Red Wings blue line. In 69 games last season, Kubina registered 130 hits, 119 blocked shots and averaged 19 minutes in ice time per game.
The often injured Carlo Colaiacovo has managed to play in at least 63 games in each of his last four seasons with the St. Louis Blues. Not bad considering the amount of time he missed in previous years as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
In 64 games last season, Colaiacovo had 73 hits, 81 blocked shots and only 14 giveaways with the defensively sound St. Louis Blues.
With 139 career points in 370 games, Colaiacovo could be a decent pick up for the Red Wings should they fail to sign or trade for other defensemen.
Hannan’s best years were with the San Jose Sharks, the team that drafted him 23rd overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.
The 33-year-old hasn’t played less than 75 games since the 2000-01 season, but he hasn’t hit the 20-point mark since the 2007-08 season. Perhaps playing for a contender in the west would serve as motivation for the veteran blueliner.
Although his production has dropped in the last couple seasons, Spacek would bring experience to the Red Wings blue line, likely as their fifth or sixth defenseman.