Red Wings look for best buys and guys available in free agency

Today marks hockey’s version of Black Friday, the day when everyone can look for a deal with an unrestricted free agent.

The Red Wings plan to go shopping come noon, for a top-four defenseman and a backup goaltender. If Jaromir Jagr doesn’t pick the Wings, they’ll consider adding a top-six forward. First and foremost, though, they’re looking for a fourth anchor to play with Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall and Brad Stuart.

“We need another defenseman, so we’ll explore the market,” general manager Ken Holland said. “If there’s a player there, at a number we feel good about, we’re going to try to jump in. If they’re only above-average players, in our mind, then we’ll look at going a different way.”

High-end defensemen often score big contracts during the opening days of free agency, and the market already has been boosted by signings this week. Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, one of the premier names eligible to become an unrestricted free agent, re-upped with a five-year deal worth $23 million. Carolina’s Joni Pitkanen re-signed for three years, $13.5 million.

http://www.freep.com/article/20110701/SPORTS05/107010406/Wings-look-best-buys-free-agency


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