General manager Ken Holland spent the first half of his post-playoffs week juggling an early batch of player exit interviews. Such meetings basically fall into two camps: For young players, it’s “get stronger,” and for older players, it’s “get healed.” Then there are the guys eligible to become unrestricted free agents in a month; conversations with them can be a little trickier. The Wings have four forwards in that group: Damien Brunner, Daniel Cleary, Valtteri Filppula and Drew Miller. There are 11 forwards (including Tomas Tatar) already under contract for next season, and at some point, deals will be worked out with restricted free agents Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson. That brings the number to 13, one below the 14 the Wings plan to carry. Teams don’t have to worry about roster limits in the off-season, and the Wings do want to keep several of their UFAs. Brunner and Cleary are the top priorities. Miller is versatile and has done a very good job for the Wings, but given the scarcity of jobs, Miller may well want to test the market himself. Filppula certainly is headed in the same direction, unless he wants to take less to stay in Detroit. This is his first time as an unrestricted, and despite subpar numbers this season — or numbers that mirror all but his 2011-12 season, when he reached 66 points — some team will offer him financial largesse and long term. The Wings might go as high as $4.25 million a season, but Filppula and his camp knows he’ll get $5 million on the market.
Four forwards among the Red Wings' unrestricted free agents
Detroit Free Press | Jun 6