Editor’s note: Stephen Whyno of the AP reported early Saturday that the Red Wings have agreed with defenseman Mike Green on a two-year extension.
The Red Wings are expected to get busy when free agency opens up Sunday at noon, Darren Dreger reports:
It’s believed Thomas Vanek is considering a return to Detroit. Mike Green is staying put and the Wings likely to add Bernier Sunday as well.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 30, 2018
All three players have been connected to the Red Wings since free agent rumblings began. We all expected them to bring back Green, and we know that they needed to add a stopgap veteran goalie. The Vanek signing, however, would be a bit of a question mark.
It’s not that Thomas Vanek is a bad player — he had great success in Detroit, and would be a serviceable addition. The question is how that would affect the plan to inject young talent like Filip Zadina into the lineup. For me, I’m not concerned about it. I recall asking how the team planned to get Dylan Larkin in the lineup before his rookie season, and it just worked out. As for players like Michael Rasmussen, since the start of the summer, I’ve believed that they would option him for his final season of eligibility in the CHL.
Craig Custance offered some more insight on what the terms could look like for the trio of veterans:
Expect 3-years around $3 million AAV on Bernier; 2-years in the $5.25-5.5 million AAV range on Green; Vanek talks continue. https://t.co/vvTSXRl6iF— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) June 30, 2018
From the beginning, we all knew a backup goalie, whether it be Bernier, Lehner, or Hutton, would come at a three-year term. This comes as the team has been told that Jared Coreau will be moving on to another opportunity. The Red Wings have been negotiating with Green, and they’ve stayed firm at not dishing out a long-term deal. Bob McKenzie reports that his AAV will be $5.375 million. It’s hard for me to get upset at a two-year extension. As for Vanek, the book’s still out on him, but I think we’re looking at a one or two-year deal. Again, difficult to get upset with, it adds a productive winger, and an asset you can deal with at the trade deadline. Custance also says he doesn’t think the Wings sign Valtteri Filppula.
Back to jamming the already log-jammy lineup — I have a hard time seeing the Red Wings brass feeling comfortable throwing three or four rookies into the lineup. My guess is that you’ll see one, maybe two if they can pull off some trade magic.
And let’s not forget, the team still needs to re-sign RFAs like Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, and Andreas Athanasiou. Mantha and Larkin would presumably get some sort of bridge deals, while Athanasiou should probably get a one or two-year term.