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NHL Rumors: Red Wings Like James Wisniewski

This offseason the Detroit Red Wings' top priority is to acquire a top-four defenseman by way of a trade or simply by signing someone once free agency opens. Brian Rafalski's retirement created a void in the top two defensive lines for the Red Wings, and Ken Holland is intent on filling the vacancy.

Many names have already been thrown around as players that could possibly sign with the Red Wings, including James Wisniewski. Wisniewski is from Canton, Michigan, and is hitting the open market after spending last season with the Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports that Wisniewski is a player the Red Wings "like."

One of the guys the Wings like is Canton's James Wisniewski, best known to Detroit fans for accusing Tomas Holmstrom of throwing a "gutless" elbow during the 2009 playoffs, when Wisniewski was with Anaheim. Wisniewski split last season between the Islanders and Canadiens. He's only 27, and while at 5-feet-11 he doesn't tower, he's what coach Mike Babcock would call a "thick body," a 200-plus pounder who is tough to move. And he shoots right, something the Wings lack with Rafalski gone and Patrick Eaves only a maybe to return.

If the Red Wings were to sign Wisniewski, he would take care of their need for a top-four defenseman. The Wings would still need to sign another defenseman or two for the third line/depth, but at least their major need would be taken care of.