Red Wings having productive off-season
While teams such as the Pittsburgh Penguins are having difficulties re-signing their own pending free agents, the Detroit Red Wings have had a very productive off-season.
The Red Wings took care of their top priority, re-signing defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom to a one year deal worth $6.2 million. GM Ken Holland then locked up wingers Todd Bertuzzi and Tomas Holmstrom to two year deals with both players having cap hits under $2 million per season.
Detroit has also boasted their winger situation going into next season with the return of 26 year old winger Jiri Hudler.
Most importantly Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch gave five year extensions to Holland and assistant GM Jim Nill this week. The Red Wings have approximately $53 million committed to 16 players. The salary cap is expected to be in the $58-$59 million range.
Free agency is less than two weeks away and San Jose Sharks winger Patrick Marleau will be one of the most highly sought out wingers on the market.
The Sharks remain in the mix for Marleau but the Kings, Rangers and Leafs are expected to make a big run at Marleau. Those three along with the Sharks are widely considered the favorites for Marleau.
Two sleeper teams include the New Jersey Devils and Montreal Canadiens. If the Devils are unable to re-sign Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey has the cap space ($19 million) to make a serious run at Marleau and are looking to bolster their center situation.
Marleau, 30, made $6.3 million in 2009-2010.
Panthers listening to offers for Horton
Panthers GM Dale Tallon is expected to be one of the most aggressive GM’s leading up to the NHL draft. Tallon is listening to offers for a number of players including Nathan Horton.
Horton’s agent Paul Krepelka told the Sun Sentinel this week that there’s a “very good chance” his client will be dealt at or before the draft next weekend.
Horton, 25, has three years remaining on his deal and has a no trade clause that goes in effect on July 1, 2010.
5-to-6 teams are believed to be in the mix including the New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Penguins have held preliminary discussions with……..
a few teams on the trade front but there has been no confirmation that the team is actively involved in talks with Tallon regarding Horton.
The Penguins top trade assets are not available for trade which will make it difficult for the Penguins to make a run at Horton.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal and Kris Letang are regarded as untouchables and some even believe that Alex Goligoski and Chris Kunitz are not available for trade.
Prospects in the Penguins system that are untouchables include Eric Tangradi, Robert Bortuzzo and Simon Despres.