The Detroit Red Wings have four forwards scheduled to hit the unrestricted free agent market this summer. Damien Brunner, Daniel Cleary, Drew Miller and Valtteri Filppula will all be eligible to sign contracts with any team of their choosing come July 5.
Based upon the writings of Ansar Khan of Detroit's MLive.com, it appears as though the Red Wings are interested in keeping three of them. The odd man out is Filppula, who was reportedly seeking $5 million-plus per season. However, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2013, only tallying nine goals and eight assists for 17 points in 41 regular season games. Whether he is still seeking the same type of compensation after this year remains to be seen.
Regarding the other players, Khan writes that the Red Wings will look to retain the veteran presence of Cleary and Miller. Noting Cleary's versatility and Miller's defensive contributions, the two players are presented as individuals who help round out Detroit's roster. The Red Wings have reportedly already begun preliminary negotiations with each player.
Brunner's situation is the most complex. A first-year player in 2013 (at least, by NHL standards), the Red Wings and his representation have had a difficult time determining fair market value, especially considering the truncated 48-game season. Brunner previously stated that it took some time to adjust to the North American-style of play. He believes he will be better prepared for next season.
When asked about his potential interest in testing the market, Brunner indicated he will speak to his agent and Detroit general manager Ken Holland before making a decision.