By Nick Villano @nick_villano on April 29, 2014
The Detroit Red Wings were taken out of the playoffs by the mighty Boston Bruins on Saturday. Now they must focus on the offseason. With the salary cap figure going up, the Red Wings will have about million to spend on the open market. They have a lot of hard decisions to make, as they have seven unrestricted free agents and three restricted. The front office will have some hard decisions to make as to who will not be back next season.
To call a spade a spade, Dan Cleary was just not very good this season. He scored four goals in 52 games and has not played in a game since Jan. 28. He will likely sign a team-friendly contract with someone else, but the Red Wings have much bigger needs. Cleary will have to try to resurrect his career in another uniform.
David Legwand was brought over at the trade deadline from the Nashville Predators to pick up an injury-depleted team. He ended up posting a minus-9 in 21 games, and the Red Wings will not try to bring him back. He was only playing 14 minutes per game in the playoffs. It was obvious that his play was not up to what coach Mike Babcock expected, so he will find work somewhere else.
I am honestly surprised that Todd Bertuzzi has made it this long with the Red Wings. The crazy amount of injuries this team saw actually made him a necessity to their playoff push. He was often a healthy scratch and still posted a team worst minus-17 plus/minus. It is time for Bertuzzi to hang up the skates. He just doesn't have it anymore.
Kyle Quincey is the only Red Wings defenseman who is an unrestricted free agent. He is going to look for a contract that is at least similar to his current one, which is close to million per season. The Red Wings will feel like they can get a better value out of that million in free agency. He isn't a must have when it comes to the blue line. He is good, but this team needs an offensive defenseman.
Jonas Gustavsson was one of the best backup goalies in the league this year. He went 16-5-4 with a 2.63 goals against average. He ended up in net at the end of the Bruins series, posting a .917 save percentage. I think he will end up going somewhere that he can compete for more time on the ice. Jimmy Howard is still the guy in Detroit, and Gustavsson wants to play more than just when Howard gets injured.
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