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Red Wings Free Agents - Patrick Eaves: Pro/No

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Today, our joint series on Red Wings pending unrestricted free agents heads back to The Production Line.  We've made it through an aging star, a young D-Man and both goalies in our quest to find out what you, the fans think about whether the Wings should bring these guys back to the fold to re-gear in hopes of getting back to the Stanley Cup Finals next season.  The TPL boys move back to the forward lines to take a look at what many people consider Dan Cleary 2.0, Patrick Eaves.

As a reminder on the cap situation, this was written up before Rafalski's retirement and before news that the cap could actually go as high as $63.5M:

We’ll compile all of the data over 48 hours and report back about where the community sits on each of the potential departures.

But first, a little background information about the Red Wings’ salary cap situation heading into 2011-12. With 11 forwards (including Jan Mursak, but excluding Cory Emmerton), the Wings have committed just under $31.5M on the front end. With Jimmy Howard and four three defenders, there’s just under $16M  $10M committed to the rear. That’s a total of $47.5M $41.5M of the projected $62M salary cap.

The Red Wings will have about $14M $20M to play with — and that’s to fill the holes on the forward units, sign (or promote) another three four defenseman, and find a backup goaltender. If Nicklas Lidstrom returns, he’ll command the lion’s share of that pool, so big name free agents like Brad Richards are absolutely out. However, the Wings have proven time and time again that they can work magic without much cap space, and we should all have faith that GM Ken Holland and braintrust will deliver another stellar roster by the time camp rolls around.

Head on over to The Production Line for the case for/against Patrick Eaves and to place your vote.