After re-signing coach Jeff Blashill, the Red Wings still have a few details to iron out this summer. Here are my predictions about how those issue will shake out:
1. Glendening’s new contract will be announced the day after the expansion draft
Guessing this would be done already if it not for the complications of the team’s protected list. The Red Wings value Luke Glendening’s leadership, compete level and faceoff skill. He’s 32, old to be part of a rebuild. However, he sets a good example for the younger players. GM Steve Yzerman appreciates Glendening’s value.
2. Gustav Lindstrom gets protected over Troy Stecher for expansion draft
Stecher is an entertaining player who makes things happen. But he was a scratch late in the season. Lindstrom is younger and looks like he will be a dependable bottom pairing guy. The Red Wings want to see how Lindstrom develops.
3. The Red Wings re-sign Chase Pearson
The former Maine college player had a good season in Grand Rapids with eight goals and 22 points. He’s 23, and he’s 6-2, 200. He could end up as a inexpensive, reliable fourth liner for the Red Wings
4. Marc Staal re-signs with Detroit
Both sides have interest. The Wings appreciate how hard Staal played last season. On one hand, the Red Wings don’t mind finishing near the bottom of the standings because they are stockpiling prospects. On the other hand, they don’t want to be uncompetitive to the point that young players are demoralized. Staal, 34, is 6-4, 210. The Red Wings don’t have an abundance of bigger players.
5. A quiet free agent signing period
That’s necessary because the Wings need room for Moritz Seider, Joe Veleno, Michael Rasmussen and maybe Lucas Raymond to play full-time in Detroit. If Dylan Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, Jakub Vrana, Robbie Fabbri, Filip Zadina, Adam Erne, Glendening, Rasmussen, Raymond and Veleno are on the team, that’s 10 forwards. Sending down Givani Smith without going through waivers isn’t an option. The Wings also have Namestikov, Frans Nielsen and Richard Panik under contract, although the latter two could be bought out. There’s also a crowd on defense, particularly if Staal does come back and the Kraken don’t select Stecher. The Red Wings may add one forward, one defenseman and a goalie if Jonathan Bernier doesn’t come back.