With Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom already re-signed and set to return to the Red Wings for the 2010-11 season, GM Ken Holland's focus appears to be turning to Todd Bertuzzi, who is set to become a free agent.
Holland wants to bring back Bertuzzi, who stepped up in a big way when the Red Wings were suffering through injuries for a big chunk of this past season. If he is brought back or not will largely depend on what Bertuzzi wants to do contract-wise. Much like his last stint with the Wings, Bertuzzi could become a free agent and pursue a deal on the open market that is bigger than what he would get with Detroit. While Bertuzzi did play well last season, the Wings simply don't have enough cap space to give him too much money, not that they'd want to break the bank for him anyways.
Holland would like to re-sign forward Todd Bertuzzi. But Bertuzzi must decide whether to return to Detroit -- possibly at the same $1.5 million salary he earned last season or less -- or seek a better deal on the open market.
"I've had a couple of conversations with (Bertuzzi's agent) Pat Morris,'' Holland said. "I don't know where it's going to go.''
In addition to Bertuzzi, Ken Holland has to decide what to do with veterans Kirk Maltby and Andreas Lilja. All of the younger restricted free agents are expected back, but with cap space limited, it's certainly possible that players like Maltby or Lilja won't be offered a deal.