Wings Looking At Options?

For weeks now, Detroit GM Ken Holland has been publicly saying that his goaltending is good enough. Even if the public is telling him he’s wrong. Holland feels that the Wings do not need an upgrade on Chris Osgood & Ty Conklin. So the question is – Is he right? Are the Wings tenders okay?

Osgood has history with the organization, and they’ve probably been hoping that he could rebound. But does Holland look at his options. Has he been? Speculation abounds.

On HockeyCentral Monday night, Doug MacLean stated that the Wings may be looking at Minnesota G Niklas Backstrom. The Finnish goalie is a UFA at seasons end, and carries a cap hit of 3.1 this season. The Wild are already in a tough position with Marian Gaborik. He’s been injured all season and has little trade value. The Wild are looking at a minimal return for the Slovak forward, which has GM Doug Riseborough thinking Gaborik’s value might be more to his club down the stretch than it will be in a trade. Even if it means losing him for nothing this summer. With Minnesota still in position to make the playoffs, its hard to imagine they’ll move their starting goalie. Backstrom’s camp is reportedly looking for somewhere near the $6 Million/year range. The Wild have not been known to throw their money around, and they have a lot of belief in Josh Harding. If they’re already facing the possibility of losing Gaborik for nothing, is it possible the Wild and Wings could hook up on a deal? How deadly would Detroit be with Backstrom between the pipes? And what could the Wild expect in return? Valterri Filppula makes 3.0 and with Jiri Hudler becoming a RFA this summer, could either of them be moved? Wing fan, whaddya say?

Another name being tossed around for the Wings – Kari Lehtonen (3.0, RFA). Lehtonen could be an upgrade, but he isn’t proven and he’s been somewhat injury prone. So he’s probably not worth the risk. And your probably less likely to wanna move a guy like Filppula in that deal to clear cap space. Possible, but unlikely.

It has also been reported that Tampa G Mike Smith (0.95 cap hit this year, 2.2 for the next 2 yrs. after) has been on Ken Hollands radar for quite some time. The Lightning may have no interest in moving him, but he’d easily fit in with the Wings cap and style. They’ve always been about good goaltending, not great.

Here’s a couple other goalies the Red Wings may have their eye on:

Jonas Hiller (1.3, 1yr.) – little experience, but the Swiss tender is cheap and has upside; would Ducks move him?
Pascal LeClaire (3.8, 2 yrs.) – probably too unproven and too expensive for Wings.
Dwayne Roloson (3.666667, UFA) – the Oilers aren’t likely to move vet with playoffs on the line.
Craig Anderson (0.55, UFA) – Florida backup stole starting job for a while; inexpensive option with potential.
Scott Clemmensen (0.5, UFA) – stood tall while Brodeur was out; cost-effective possibility.
Vesa Toskala (4.0, 1 yr.) – off year, too expensive.

So what do the Wings do?
1. Stand pat with Conklin & Osgood
2. Subtle cheap addition
3. Backstrom blockbuster

2 Responses to Wings Looking At Options?

  1. wingnut03 says:

    too bad Backstrom just resigned for another 4 years w/ Minnesota…. and Vesa, Craig, Pascal, and Dwayne are not good goalies…We won't sign any of those guys….I only like Hiller and Clemmensen who are both still very unproven, and if you understand the wings they do not go w/ unproven goalies, ever. See Jimmy Howard.

  2. mojo19 says:

    Vesa Toskala is an amazing goalie. He's been struggling a bit this year, but lately he's picked it up. (Last regulation loss was January 19th).

    50 saves tonight in a 3-2 OT loss to New Jersey. With a team like the Red Wings, Toskala would win the cup.

    How about this:

    Toskala and Mayers to Detroit for Osgood, Helm, 1st and 3rd round picks

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