In a situation that's so frustratingly ambiguous, one becomes almost starved for anything resembling clarity.
No one really knows what Mike Modano will decide to do this summer.
He may retire, he may play on. If the latter, he may play for Detroit, or he may not. He may play for San Jose or Minnesota, or, another team may persuade him to sign on with them (Los Angeles hasn't been mentioned, but, they may be the best option when all is said and done).
Though Modano's future is a mystery, even to himself, one thing is absolutely certain: the Detroit Red Wings want him, and are willing to wait for him.
Modano says he'll begin skating sometime around August 5 and, sometime after that (just how long after is, of course, unknown) he'll make a decision regarding his future.
This time frame, nebulous as it is, is just fine for the Red Wings. They've said they're willing to give the 40-year-old legend the time he needs to decide on his future, even if that means it doesn't include playing in a red and white jersey.
This is a risky move as it could (negatively) impact the team's efforts to either land another free-agent player or re-sign their two remaining restricted free-agents, Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader.
Still, the Wings feel Modano is worth the risk.
Whether he is or not doesn't change the fact that the Red Wings still have some holes to fill in their roster and should be looking at a few options that could be used to fill them.
Ironically, the one place the Wings are stacked is down the middle. So, their insistence on waiting for Modano, a center, to decide on his future is a bit odd, but understandable given Modano's status and the Wings' history of winning with "over-the-hill" veterans.
Modano could definitely help Detroit, but, he's not the only player that can.
What follows is a list of five other free-agents that, in different ways, could contribute effectively as Detroit Red Wings.
Given Detroit's stated offer to Modano of a one-year deal worth $1.25-1.5 million, the players selected here should also be able to be had at the same price.
As always, please feel free to vent your derision or add your applause, just make sure to post it!