It’s been reported that Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has told right wing Darren McCarty to seek out options from the other 29 NHL clubs.
With an abundance of talent and little cap room, the Leamington, Ontario-native’s only offer from Detroit is in the two-way variety.
If he accepts such a deal, there’s a very distinct possibility he’ll spend more time playing for the Wings' AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids than with the big club.
It might be hard for some Red Wings fans to accept, but the glory days of seeing No. 25 patrol the wing, standing up for teammates, and scoring opportune playoff goals are over.
If there needs to be any reminder of this, just look at the starting lineup for Game Six of the Stanley Cup finals. Darren Helm, a 20-year old NHL rookie, was skating on the fourth line while the three-time Cup winning McCarty was watching from a press box.
In fact, McCarty suited up for a mere two games in Detroit’s six-game Finals victory.
And finally, the fact that Holland committed to signing Aaron Downey to a contract earlier in the week indicates where McCarty fits on the team's overall depth chart.
Considering McCarty’s age and financial troubles, it would be in his best interest to seek employment with another team. General managers are always looking for experience, grit and heart—something Darren possesses in spades.
Regardless of what choice he ultimately makes, fans should remember McCarty for the integral role he played in Detroit’s 1997 Cup win over Philadelphia, which ended a 42-year championship drought. His highlight-reel, game-winning goal at Philly defender Janne Niinimaa's expense is something NHL fans will always remember.
Thank you, Darren—and good luck.