The Red Wings Cap Conundrum

nhl rumors detroit red wings

Most people know by now that Pavel Datsyuk is soon to be making a decision on whether or not he will return to Detroit for one more season or decide to go back to Russia and sign with the KHL to be close to his daughter, leaving the Wings with his $7.5 million cap hit for one season because of the 35 and over clause. What do the Wings do if he decides to bolt for Russia?

In either case, Detroit has $7.5 million to deal with, and if it comes to trading Pavel's contract, along with another asset to a team looking to maintain the cap floor, is it really worth it? With Johan Franzen on the LTIR, there are two contracts in particular, that really need to get looked at. Jonathan Ericcson and Jimmy Howard. Both have unfavorable contracts and may prove to be difficult to move, especially Howard's because of the glutton in the goalie market. Ansar Khan of MLive believes Howard will be back with the Wings next season because of that reason, which could prove to be problematic. Here are some suggestions to pull off saving over 10 million in salary:

Let Quincey and Richards walk. Same goes for Helm and Miller. Use players like Nosek, Mantha, Ouellet, Sproul, Jensen, etc. to fill out rosters spots vacant from veterans.

Trade Jonathan Ericsson, along with salary and maybe a pick or prospect, to any team desperate for defense, even if it means the return is little. His absence will do more good than keeping him for his liabilities.

Similar to Ericsson, trade Howard, retain salary, and a pick or prospect, to a team like Dallas or Calgary for a mediocre return.

Freeing up this money will allow the Wings to pursue bigger name players in free agency and allow them to focus on their youth.

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