COMMENTARY | The Detroit Red Wings were considered one of the top teams who free agent Vincent Lecavlier would sign with in the offseason.
However, it appears Lecavlier was asking for too much. Lecavlier wanted a $5 million five-year deal, and the Red Wings weren't willing to risk it.
Lecavlier could have done some great things for the Red Wings, but to give a 33-year-old a five-year deal worth $5 million isn't something the Red Wings are interested in.
At this point in his career, Lecavlier is a rental. He has maybe another good year or two before his production starts to drop off considerably. He isn't the long-term answer for the Red Wings, and the asking price was too much.
Now that Lecavlier is out of the picture, it appears Florida's Stephen Weiss is the front-runner for the Red Wings.
Weiss has scored at least 20 goals in three of the past four years for the Panthers. He isn't an offensive juggernaut by any means, but he'll be a perfect replacement for Valtteri Filppula, who most likely will not be with the Red Wings next season.
Not to mention Weiss has been putting up those numbers in Florida, a team that has made the playoffs once in Weiss' career. The Panthers had a first-round exit against the New Jersey Devils in 2012.
Weiss has spent his entire 11-year career in Florida, and a change of pace to a more hockey-friendly city could be just what he needs.
If he had Johan Franzen or Gustav Nyquist on the wings, I think Weiss could do a lot of damage.
The other problem the Red Wings would like to address is on defense. The team is looking for a top-three defenseman, but it would have to come through a trade as the free agency market is thin on quality defenseman.
A top-three defenseman would solidify the blue line, but the cost of getting that blue liner might be a bit steep.
They would most likely have to give up something along the lines of Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist and probably a draft pick in order to get a worthy candidate.
The Red Wings have a lot of defensemen playing in juniors or college right now such as Xavier Ouellet and Nick Jensen. The problem is these guys won't be ready for another two to three years as we know how general manager Ken Holland likes to "over ripe" his prospects.
The Red Wings certainly got a big boost on the blue line by signing Danny DeKeyser, but another veteran presence in addition to Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson could be the difference between an early playoff exit and making a legitimate run at the Stanley Cup.
Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Red Wings for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can find Tom on Twitter @tom_mitsos.
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