Red Wings general manager Ken Holland met with Kirk Maltby on Wednesday, and it appears that an offer is on the table. For now, though, Maltby is deciding on whether or not he should accept that offer, as it is presumed to be a two-day deal that would likely put him in Grand Rapids for most of the season.
“We’ve had an ongoing dialogue since early June,’’ Holland said Thursday. “I still think he’s got some hockey left in him, but obviously, we’ve got some good players here that are younger. And when you get to a different stage in your career, there’s different roles, different responsibilities. Things change.’’
If Maltby does decide to take the offer, the fact that it would be a two-way deal allows him to freely move back and forth from Grand Rapids and Detroit. That gives the Red Wings the flexibility to bring him up to the NHL club if there are injuries or an extra need for depth. More likely than not, Maltby would spend most of his season in Grand Rapids earning an AHL salary, but with injuries bound to happen, it's definitely possible he would be called up to Detroit every now and again.
Maltby’s agent, Anton Thun, said earlier this week that be believed the sides could come to a mutually agreeable contract. But it’s not an easy decision for Maltby because of all the factors involved.
What Maltby has to decide is if taking a deal that will keep him in Grand Rapids for most of the season is worth it. At this point in his career, it may be a better idea to just retire rather than spend a season in the minors. Then again, if he still has a desire to play hockey for another season, playing in Grand Rapids is better than nothing.