The next week or two in the NHL is going to be very busy with teams scrambling to get under next season's salary cap and make themselves better. One team that you can count on to be active is the Detroit Red Wings.
The Red Wings did turn it on in the postseason to take the Cup champion Blackhawks to a tough seven games. But before that, it was a bit of a disappointing season for the Wings, barely finishing seventh in the conference. Before the season, GM Ken Holland wondered if this was going to be the year that their incredible playoff streak ended. It didn't, but clearly he didn't love the roster that he had at the moment.
So when we say look for the Red Wings to be active, that's coming from what Holland said via the Detroit Free Press, not just speculation.
"I'm going to explore a trade or two," Holland said Monday. "Maybe a two-for-one deal, maybe a three-for-one, or three-for-two."
Holland has had talks with the camps for all three of the unrestricted free-agent forwards -- Valtteri Filppula, Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner -- but they're all part of the puzzle that'll fall into place over the coming week, vis-a-vis who fits where. It's almost certain the Wings will end up trading Filppula's rights, then set out to find a replacement second-line center.
You can add that to the possibility that the Red Wings will look at buying out the contracts of Carlo Colaiacovo and Mikael Samuelsson and, well, Holland is going to be busy in the coming weeks. Just like every other general manager out there.
What's interesting to me about the Red Wings looking to trade is that it's more about the hockey moves and less about salary management. They have plenty of room under the cap, and they have sent qualifying offers to the few RFAs they have. So, again, it's about improving the team, not getting under the cap.
If Holland wants a second-line center, that's not going to be easy. It seems teams always want second-line centers, but there might be a few options on the free-agent market such as Florida's Stephen Weiss, a player who has been mentioned with the Wings.