DETROIT – After losing out on the Ryan Suter and Zach Parise sweepstakes Wednesday, the Wings are left with few options for upgrading their defense corps and top-six forward group.
But they do have money to spend.
Detroit has 22 players signed for $53.3 million, with a salary cap of $70.2 million. The signed players include forward Gustav Nyquist and defenseman Brendan Smith, both on two-way deals.
The Wings have two restricted free agents they’ve made qualifying offers to: forward Justin Abdelkader and defenseman Kyle Quincey.
The Wings would like to get Abdelkader to sign a four-year deal at just under $2 million a season.
Quincey could be more difficult to sign at the number the Wings want since he made $3.25 million a year ago. They’re hoping to get him at a modest raise.
That leaves Detroit about $12 million under the salary cap and 24 players, one over the roster limit.
The Wings’ biggest needs come on defense after losing two, two-way defensemen, Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (trade).
Phoenix’s Keith Yandle and Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester have been rumored to be on the trading block, or the Wings could send restricted free agent Shea Weber (Nashville) an offer sheet.
There also are unrestricted free agents: Carlo Colaiacovo (St. Louis), Michal Rozsival (Phoenix), Kurtis Foster (Minnesota) and Cam Barker (Edmonton).
The top two unrestricted forwards left are Alexander Semin (Washington) and Phoenix’s Shane Doan.
Semin has been raked over the coals from experts for his lack of consistent play, but he averages close to a point a game. Pavel Datsyuk could be what Semin needs to prove those experts wrong.
Doan’s agent has called Detroit several times the last few days seeking an offer, which the Wings really couldn’t make until they knew if they were in or out of the Parise sweepstakes. Doan, however, won’t decide until Monday if he’ll leave Phoenix, where he has played since 1996.
Columbus’ Rick Nash and Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan both may be dealt for the right asking price.
The Wings have inquired what it would take to get Nash and it seems like it’ll be a lot. Plus, it’s hard seeing the Blue Jackets dealing him to a division rival.
Ryan, 25, makes far less than Nash ($5.1 million for each of the next three seasons), but just like Columbus’ top forward it’ll cost the Wings a lot.