While the Red Wings wait for Mike Modano to decide if he is going to sign with Detroit or not, they are staying in contact with free agents Kirk Maltby and Andreas Lilja.
Maltby's situation appears to be directly related to what Modano does. If the Wings end up signing the former Dallas Star, then there will be even less roster space than before, likely leaving Maltby without a spot to even compete to make the team, let alone end up on the final roster.
The other issue with Maltby is whether or not he would receive a one- or two-way contract. Maltby obviously would prefer a one-way deal, but the Wings want the flexibility a two-way contract would offer. The problem is that Maltby likely won't want to end up in the minors, so if he can't get an offer elsewhere or a guarantee to be part of the Red Wings' roster, retirement may be his only option.
"We've discussed a one-way contract and a two-way contract and there's advantages and disadvantages to both," Holland said. "He's also exploring the open market and I believe there is some interest. But Kirk has been a great role player for us, he's done a lot of winning here and we think he's got some hockey left in him."
As for Lilja, the Wings are staying in contact with him in case he doesn't get an offer to his liking from another team. Ansar Khan reports that Lilja wants a deal worth $1.5 million per year, but the Wings do not have the room for a contract that large, nor would they likely be willing to pay him that much even if they did.
Detroit does want to add another defenseman to compete for the sixth D-man spot in the lineup, but they aren't going to break the bank to do that. Basically, if Lilja can't find a deal that he likes and is still a free agent in the summer, the Red Wings will try to re-sign him for something more in their price range. Lilja may not want to consider that option right now, but if the free agent market isn't all that receptive to him, then returning to Detroit could end up being the best option.