July 1, 2014 at 7:44 pm

Red Wings coming up empty on free-agent targets to bolster defense

Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff signed a one-year deal Tuesday with the Penguins. (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

Detroit — The Red Wings still are looking for a right-handed shooting defenseman.

But on Tuesday, the first day of NHL unrestricted free agency, they came up short.

“We went in looking to add a right-hand defenseman and we felt we made very competitive offers,” said Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, who had between $8 million-$10 million to spend. “For various reasons, they chose to go elsewhere.”

Holland said earlier in the day he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of turning back to left-handed shooting defenseman Kyle Quincey, a unrestricted free agent who did not sign with any team. That’s just what Detroit did, announcing Tuesday evening it had reached a two-year deal, believed to be worth $8.5 million.

Among the targets the Red Wings missed on:

■Matt Niskanen signed a seven-year, $40.25 million contract with the Capitals.

The Red Wings offered Niskanen similar terms and slightly less money (believed to be $40 million), but found out early Tuesday they weren’t on Niskanen’s preferred list.

■Danny Boyle signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Rangers.

The Red Wings were willing to go over $10 million, but Boyle likely felt the Rangers, coming off a Stanley Cup appearance, were a more desirable option.

■Anton Stralman signed a five-year, $22.5 million deal with the Lightning.

■Stephane Robidas signed a three-year, $9 million deal with the Maple Leafs.

■Christian Ehrhoff, bought out by the Sabres last weekend, signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Penguins.

Despite missing out of some top targets, Holland still believes the Red Wings are an attractive option.

“Daniel Alfredsson could be going to the Hall of Fame; he chose to come to Detroit (last season),” Holland said. “Stephen Weiss had a choice of teams, and he chose to Detroit.

“There is a salary cap. Players have a lot of options.”

With no big acquisition, the trade route is again a possibility.

Defensemen such as Tyler Myers (Sabres), Dustin Byfuglien (Jets) and Jeff Petry (Oilers) — all right-handers — could be available.

“We need another defenseman, maybe two,” Holland said. “We’ll see what the rest of the summer holds.”

But any package for any of those defensemen likely would have to include a young forward such as Gustav Nyquist, Anthony Mantha, Tomas Tatar or Tomas Jurco, along with a draft pick.

The Red Wings have been unwilling to part with any of their young prospects.