Detroit GM: “I’d rather go with our kids”

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Yesterday, we asked what the Detroit Red Wings could do to address their defense after failing to land Ryan Suter. Our conclusion? The options are limited.

On top of that, one of those options was Matt Carle, who’s since signed with Tampa Bay. The two others we mentioned were Jay Bouwmeester and Shea Weber, both of whom would take considerable assets to pry them away from their respective teams. Particularly the latter.

A disappointed Wings GM Ken Holland addressed his team’s conundrum.

“Our focus going back to last year was to be positioned for this summer,” he said, as per the Detroit Free Press. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to add a high-profile player or two. But I think we have a lot of good pieces in place, and we have some players ready to take bigger roles. We’ll explore the marketplace. We’ll explore trading. We’ll move on.”

On his reluctance to pay a guy like Carle $33 million over six years: “I’d rather go with our kids. I think we can compete. Are we going to win the Presidents’ Trophy? No, but you don’t have to anymore.”

True, but you still have to have good players to win the Stanley Cup, and on paper the Wings don’t have enough of them on the back end.

Holland knows that, which is why he went hard after Suter with a reported $90 million offer. Would Wings fans feel better if the GM had signed Carle to a contract with a $5.5 million cap hit? Maybe some, but certainly not all.

“This is the NHL of today,” Holland said. “I keep telling people and they don’t want to believe it: It’s a level playing field.”

Related: Columnist claims Red Wings are “no longer the chosen ones” in NHL