Wings have interest in upgrading blue line with the likes of Ference or Zidlicky

DETROIT – The Wings are also possibly looking into bolstering up the blue line.

Two names they appear to have interest in are Andrew Ference and Marek Zidlicky.

Ference, 34, would slot right in and would provide a veteran presence along the Wings’ youthful blue line.

He made $2.25 million last season and may cost the Wings a year-deal at $3.5 million to obtain his services.

Zidlicky, 36, may bit a bit costlier since he’s coming off a deal that paid him $4 million last season in New Jersey. He could be looking for a two- or three-year deal at $4 to $4.5 million to sign.

His point-per-game average has been on a decline and his play in the defensive zone has made him a liability.

On Wednesday, Detroit placed defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo on unconditional waivers with the intention to buy out the final year of his contract.

Colaiacovo, who was drafted 17th overall by Toronto in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, has one year left on a two-year deal he signed last offseason.

If he clears at noon Thursday, the Wings will use one of their two amnesty buyouts to shed his $2.5 million salary-cap hit next season.

Teams are permitted two amnesty buyouts that can be used this summer or next summer.

They would be able to buy out a player at two-thirds of the remaining value of the contract and not have any of the salary count against the salary cap.

Colaiacovo’s actual salary is $2.85 million next season, which means the Wings will pay him roughly $1.9 million over the next two seasons.

Detroit currently has six defensemen under contract for next season – Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, Jakub Kindl, Danny DeKeyser and Brian Lashoff.

Brendan Smith is a restricted free agent and will get a deal done bringing the total to seven on the blue line heading to training camp.

Detroit just re-signed Kindl, who was a restricted free agent, to a four-year extension worth $9.6 million.

The Wings also have a number of defensemen coming up through the ranks, including Ryan Sproul, Xavier Oullette and Mattias Backman.


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