As this year's free agent class thins out, I put together a list of the top five players by position that would be of help to the Red Wings with a brief explanation and a basic contract offer.
1. Erik Cole, RW. Good power forward with grit and Stanley Cup Finals experience. 3 years, $10.5 million ($3.5mil/yr)
2. Radim Vrbata, RW. Can score a lot of PPGs with Datsyuk, had 10 with offensively-challenged Phoenix. 2 years, $7 million ($3.5mil/yr)
3. Jaromir Jagr, RW. Can he keep up with the 82 game schedule? We shall see. 1 year, $1.5 million (with incentives).
4. Brad Richards, C. It is possible (and rumored) that he would take less to compete for another cup. 1 year, $6.7 million.
5. Tim Connolly, C. I would only sign Connolly if the Wings traded Filppula for a defenseman (Green, Bogosian, etc). Put him on the third line where can he be hidden (from injuries hopefully). 2 years, $5 million ($2.5mil/yr).
1. James Wisniewski. Right-handed shot on the PP, plays with grit. 4 years, $18 million ($4.5mil/yr).
2. Ed Jovanovski. Can kill penalties and the Windsor-native may want to return home. 2 years, $6.5 million ($3.25mil/yr).
3. Shane O'Brien. Fights, kills penalties, brings grit: the Wings' top priorities. 1 year, $2 million.
(Back up) Goalie:
1. Chris Osgood. He claims he is in the best shape of his life and is ready for what the Wings throw at him. I'll buy it (for now). 1 year, $900,000.
2. J.S. Giguere. Remember rumors years ago of the Wings trying to land Giguere after he demolished them in the '04 playoffs and again in '07? Now is the time. 2 years, $4 million ($2mil/yr).
3. Ray Emery. I have never been a fan of his goaltending, but he wins and that's the bottom line. Give him a chance to compete for the starting job. 1 year, $2 million.
4. Mathieu Garon. Good career back up goalie. 1 year, $1.5 million
5. Marty Turco. As an Ann Arbor native, I have to give Turco the benefit of the doubt that he will rebound from last year's awful season. 1 year, $1.75 million