The Detroit Red Wings head into the offseason in what looks to be a busy couple of months for a franchise trying to get back into the habit of deep playoff runs. The areas in which they need to upgrade are no secret, and they have the money to make the necessary moves to bolster their club heading into 2013-14.
One area of need for Detroit heading into the summer is going to be right in the middle of that second line. The Red Wings are expected to say goodbye to Valtteri Filppula, who is set to become a free agent and could command in the upwards of $5 million a year, a price the Wings would prefer not to pay.
Luckily for them, an option for their second line may have just landed on the free agent market. With the Tampa Bay Lightning set to buyout the contract of franchise mainstay, and captain, Vincent Lecavalier, the Red Wings would be foolish not to at least kick some tires on the veteran forward.
Lecavalier may cost up in the neighborhood of what Filppula could cost, but the benefits of having a guy like that in the lineup are extensive. He’s a massive frame in the middle of the ice, standing 6’4″, something the Wings could definitely use in their lineup. He’s an offensive weapon, with 874 points in 1,037 career games.
The obvious benefit of signing a guy like Lecavalier? You get Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg up on the top line together, without making your lineup too top heavy. He’d be an offensive weapon that the Red Wings really lack outside of the guys on their top line.
We have no idea where Lecavalier could land at this point, with his buyout not having become official at this point. Smart money says somewhere up in Canada, but the Red Wings could be a fantastic fit for him. When free agency gets underway, this is an avenue that they absolutely should be pursuing.