Red Wings expect to sign or acquire a backup goaltender soon

Associated Press
7/4/2011 1:40:12 PM
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DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings are searching for a backup goaltender, and their options are limited.

"The market for goalies is pretty picked over," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "We're comfortable with Chris Osgood if we have to do it."

Osgood has won three Stanley Cups, two as a No. 1 goalie, and 401 games, mostly with Detroit. But he played in only 11 games last season, recovering from sports hernia surgery in January.

Holland might re-sign Osgood, bring back Ty Conklin, who won a career-high 25 games for the Red Wings during the 2008-09 season, or trade for someone to spell Jimmy Howard.

"I have gotten calls from teams, looking to trade a goaltender," Holland said. "I need to do something and I probably will this week."

The 38-year-old Osgood has hinted that he would retire to spend time with his three children rather than find a new NHL home if he's not welcomed back by the Red Wings.

"They play 20 soccer games, I see maybe two or three of them," Osgood said in May after Detroit's season ended in the second round for the second straight year. "You don't get a chance to see them and all of a sudden they're 10 and seven."

Holland also has a decision to make about 40-year-old Kris Draper, another veteran Red Wing, after retaining depth up front by re-signing Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller.

Draper could be left with a tough decision, signing a two-way contract that might leave him playing for Grand Rapids in the AHL at times, retiring or trying to land with another NHL team.

Like Osgood, Draper didn't sound as if he were willing to uproot or settle his family if the Red Wings didn't want him to return.

"This is home," Draper, a Red Wing since 1993, said a couple months ago. "That's what make it that much tougher. That's all my kids know."

The Red Wings pretty much know what their team will look like next season with or without Osgood and Draper.

They agreed to terms with defenceman Ian White on a US$5.75-million, two-year contract Saturday, a day after opening NHL free agency by adding defenceman Mike Commodore.

Detroit kept defenceman Jonathan Ericsson along with Eaves and Miller off the market by re-signing them last week and got great news in June when Nicklas Lidstrom decided to play for another season just before winning his seventh Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenceman.

"We like our team, but we're ready to make another move or two -- whether it's a signing or a trade -- to make our team better this summer," Holland said.

Ken Holland (Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)


(Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
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