Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland has had a busy schedule lately. He's inked his top off-season priorities, Tomas Holmstrom and Nicklas Lidstrom, to contract extensions, and is currently close to being extended long-term himself.
Holland found time in his busy schedule to appear on the radio program NHL Live, and talked draft possibilities for the Wings, who will have their highest pick (21st) since 2005:
"We've got some young
defensemencoming," Holland said. "Probably, ideally, you'd like to find some forwards with some scoring touch. Again, if there's a defenseman there that we feel has fallen, we'll take him."
The young defensemen Holland is referring to is likely Jakub Kindl, who is expected to challenge for a spot in the third defensive pairing. More Holland:
"We're going to take the best player available. You just try to get as much talent as you can as quickly as you can and go to work trying to develop it into a finished product."
Last season Detroit used its first pick (in the second round) to draft Landon Ferraro.
Holland also discussed how contract talks are going with free agent forward Todd Bertuzzi, who was offered a two-year deal earlier this week:
"Obviously, in a cap world, the situation we're in, we don't have a ton of money. Todd had a great year for us, and I'm sure he's gonna have some decisions to make come July 1. We'll continue to talk to him. We'd like to have him back, but obviously, there's gotta be a fit financially for the player and for us. Talks are ongoing. We'll see where they go."
Detroit currently has about $53 million committed to 17 players for next season, and will have about $5-6 million in cap space to sign the rest of their restricted free agents and Bertuzzi (possibly Andreas Lilja as well). The deal for Bertuzzi is likely a slight pay cut overall, but front-loaded like the Holmstrom deal was. I'm guessing that the first year is the same salary as he made last season---$1.5 million---and the second year is in the $1-$1.3 million range, which would lessen the cap hit over the next two seasons.