The Red Wings will look to capitalize on a relatively successful run through the playoffs by adding a couple of key pieces this offseason. It’s no secret that some of the focus by GM Ken Holland will more than likely revolve around finding a top six forward specifically to pair with Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg as well as a top four defenseman to help offset last offseason’s loss of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart.
The big question though at this point for Red Wings fans is who? Who could Holland target this offseason after holding his cards close to chest prior to the trade deadline.
According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, the Wings could have their eye on a couple of Blackhawk forwards in Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg.
Here’s what St. James has to say on the two:
Bickell, 27, is 6-feet-4 and 220-plus pounds, the size that could make him a valuable net-front presence. He could be all the more important to the Wings if they don’t get Daniel Cleary re-signed; those talks will heat up next week. Bickell, meanwhile, will be seeking a significantly larger deal than the three-year, $1.625-million contract he just played through.
One of Bickell’s teammates also is en route to UFA status: Viktor Stalberg, another 27-year-old who’s big (6-3, 210). He’s a much faster skater than Bickell, but Stalberg has just three assists in 15 playoff games. He was benched the first two games of the Detroit series, supposedly for complaining about not getting more power-play time. The Wings don’t like me-first types, but maybe Stalberg could fit in a locker room full of fellow Swedes.
Both are interesting names, especially Bickell who’s been having a tremendous postseason for Chicago scoring 8 goals with 5 assists for 13 points. This almost mimics his regular season numbers of 9 goals, 14 assists and 23 points. This is also not mentioning he’s not one of those true snipers the Wings are in greater need for but a power forward that has a bigger motor than Franzen but scores less goals.
The Wings could also be interested in Boston’s Nathan Horton who St. James mentions has good size at 6-2, 230 pounds but a scary concussion history that could drive teams away.
It also might in the interest of Red Wings fans to keep an eye on potential trade candidates in Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle, Buffalo Sabres sniper Thomas Vanek, and Florida Panthers winger Kris Versteeg. Maybe more so Yandle given the Wings are out of the West and less on Vanek and Versteeg since Detroit will be joining both Florida and Buffalo in the same division next year.