The Detroit Red Wings announced Thursday they re-signed GM Ken Holland to a new four-year contract. With his future now settled, Holland can turn his focus toward his coach and two key roster players.
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports Holland remains hopeful of re-signing Mike Babcock, who's entering the final season of his contract. Holland told St. James he intends to meet with Babcock for face-to-face talks in September, before the start of training camp.
Holland is also working on a new contract for restricted free agent defenseman Danny DeKeyser, who told St. James he's not worried about still being unsigned a month before training camp. He said it would nice if they could work out a long-term deal.
Coming off an entry-level contract, some players get a two- or three-year bridge deal. Such a contract for the 24-year-old DeKeyser, however, could take him up to 27, when he would be eligible for unrestricted free agency. Holland's preference may be to re-sign DeKeyser beyond that point.
Holland will also await word from Daniel Alfredsson about his future plans. Though limited by back pain to 68 games last season, Alfredsson tied for the team scoring lead with 49 points. He's started skating in Sweden and will decide before training camp if he'll return to the Wings or retire. Holland told MLive.com's Ansar Khan he hopes the 41-year-old returns, though he doesn't expect him to play all 82 games this season. Holland also told Khan he's not looking to add another depth forward or defenseman via the free-agent market.
Earlier this summer Holland was believed to be in the market for a top-four defenseman with a right-handed shot. In mid-July Khan claimed trade talks had slowed down, though Holland will continue working the phones in search of that elusive blueliner.
Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green is frequently linked to the Wings in this summer's rumor mill. THN.com's Matt Larkin believes Green to Detroit “makes too much sense.” He points out Green, who would address the Wings' blueline needs, is being squeezed out by the Capitals’ recent signings of Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik. However, Larkin also notes the Capitals want to see how Green performs under new coach Barry Trotz.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
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