The Malik Report
by Paul on 07/02/13 at 06:23 PM ET
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
As NHL free agency heats up Wednesday — any unrestricted free agent can talk to any team, though not sign until Friday — the Wings’ focus is shifting more to keeping two of their own guys than bringing in someone new.
That’s because of prohibitive prices: Lecavalier, 34, wants a five-year deal averaging around $5 million a season; the Wings are too concerned about his pace to commit that much. Clarkson, of New Jersey, is pushing for seven years at a $6 million average; this for a guy who has one 30-goal season to his credit. Boston’s Nathan Horton wants to play in a warm climate.
The Wings are looking for a second-line center, and would have liked to add Lecavalier if he was agreeable to a two-year deal. There’s a spot open in the top-six group because negotiations with Valtteri Filppula have revealed a wide chasm, one that won’t be closed by the end of the week....
The Wings also have to consider that in another year, they likely will be adding three talented forwards from their system in Tomas Jurco, Riley Sheahan and Landon Ferraro. If prices for this year’s scant crop of UFAs is as high as it appears, the Wings may well decide to go into the season with what they’ve got, and see what happens.
update 8:22pm, St, James updated the same link with this...
General manager Ken Holland is continuing talks with his other two unrestricted free-agent forwards, Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner, and the negotiations are close enough deals could happen. Cleary should come in around three years and $9 million, while Brunner is seeking in the $2.5 million range.
The Wings already have 12 forwards under contract for next season, a number that will grow by two when restricted free agents Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist get new contracts. Depending on what happens with Cleary and Brunner, the Wings may not buy out any forwards. Mikael Samuelsson, 36, and Todd Bertuzzi, 38, both were injured much of last season, but each has just one season left on his contract.
read more at the link above...
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