The Detroit Red Wings are making a number of phone calls trying to solve their No. 2 center situation, contacting three key free agents on Wednesday — Stephen Weiss, Mike Ribeiro and Matt Cullen.
According to MLive.com, Detroit contacted the trio on the assumption Valtteri Filppula won’t be back for 2013-14. The Finnish center hasn’t budged off his contractual demands (five to seven years, $5 million or more per season) and he’s fully expected to hit the open market on Friday.
As for the replacements Detroit has targeted…
— Ribeiro is the most productive of the three, scoring 49 points in 48 games last year, 11th-most in the NHL. Thing is, he’s 33 and looking for a five-year deal worth $5 million per, according to MLive.
— Weiss is younger (30) and a superior two-way player, but has health concerns. He missed 31 games last year with a wrist issue, and is looking for a deal similar to Ribeiro’s ask.
— Cullen is the oldest of the lot (36) but still had an effective 2013 campaign with Minnesota, scoring 27 points in 42 games. He has a ton of playoff experience and won a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006.
As for Filppula, MLive suggests potential landing spots of Tampa Bay (where former teammate Steve Yzerman is now the GM) or Columbus (where fellow Finn Jarmo Kekalainen is the new GM).