The Detroit Red Wings are getting set to formulate their plans for the upcoming offseason. On June 14 and 15, the front office and scouting staff will meet to decide which free agents the Red Wings should re-sign, and they will also look ahead to the NHL Draft and NHL free agency. At that time decisions will be made about guys like Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller, Chris Osgood and Kris Draper.
It is very likely that Eaves, who has been solid for the Red Wings the last two seasons, will be offered a deal to return to Detroit. If an offer does come his way, he will likely accept it.
"I really like it here," said Eaves, 27. "I’ve enjoyed playing with all of the guys here, so now comes the not-fun part."
The chances of Miller being offered a deal seem pretty good, but things are much less certain for Osgood and Draper. The long-time Red Wings are getting older, and their roles on the team are diminishing. Taking emotion out of the equation, the front office will have to decide if it would be worthwhile to bring the two back. Of course, Osgood hasn't decided on playing another season just yet, but it sounds like Draper wants to return.
One player the Red Wings have already made clear they want back is Jonathan Ericsson. The problem is it's not clear if Ericsson and Detroit will be able to agree on a new deal. Ansar Khan reports that Ericsson turned down a deal worth $2 million a year during last season, and it's tough to believe the Red Wings will offer anything significantly more than that for a third-pairing defenseman.
Ken Holland met with Ericsson's agent last week at the NHL Combine in an attempt to bring the two sides closer together. Although Holland said the meeting went well, I get the feeling that Ericsson will test free agency. After all, if Brett Lebda can get a deal for $2.9 million, there's probably a team out there willing to overpay Ericsson as well. That could make it difficult for Detroit to bring him back considering they will not overpay him.