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Unrestricted free agents who might tempt Red Wings

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Mike Green

Detroit — Unrestricted free agency isn't what it used to be in the NHL — but it's still interesting.

Teams don't find superstars on the market anymore on July 1, but there are complementary pieces that can help.

The Red Wings have additional money to spend after buying out the contract of Stephen Weiss — a free-agent flop whowas signed on July 1, 2013.

The Red Wings do have money some money to spend, with roughly $56 million committed to 18 players — but with restricted free agent forwards Tomas Jurco, Gustav Nyquist, Landon Ferraro and Teemu Pulkkinen to sign.

The NHL salary cap for the 2015-16 season will be $71.4 million.

The organization must keep an eye toward the future, too.

Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm are both unrestricted free agents next summer, while Danny DeKeyser, Petr Mrazek and Riley Sheahan are restricted free agents.

Here are a list of potential unrestricted free agents who could be of interest to the Red Wings and many other teams beginning Wednesday.

Mike Green, Washington

Position: Defense

Age on July 1: 29

Position: Defense

Statistics: 72 games, 10 goals, 35 assists, 45 points

2014-15 cap hit: $6.08 million

Analysis: Had a lesser role for the Capitals this season and it worked to his benefit. The big decision for Green is whether he can get more money elsewhere. He'd be the right-hand shot the Red Wings are desperate for, but has he played his best hockey?

Andrej Sekera, Los Angeles

Position: Defense

Age on July 1: 29

Position: Defense

Statistics: 73 games, 3 goals, 20 assists, 23 points

2014-15 cap hit: $1.75 million

Analysis: The Kings gave up a first-round draft pick for Sekera at the trade deadline, who didn't make much of an impact. Sekera could be returning to Carolina, although the Red Wings have had interest in the past.

Cody Franson, Nashville

Age on July 1: 27

Position: Defense

Statistics: 78 games, 7 goals, 29 assists, 36 points

2014-15 cap hit: $3.3 million

Analysis: A much-talked about trade deadline acquisition, Franson never quite fit with the Predators. Franson is a right-hand shot, which will attract some interest from teams.

Antoine Vermette, Chicago

Age on July 1: 32

Position: Center

Statistics: 82 games, 13 goals, 25 assists

2014-15 cap hit: $3.75 million

Analysis: Acquired at the trade deadline, Vermette wound up being a healthy scratch in the first-round of the playoffs. But he played well in the later rounds, and could help a team — maybe Arizona?

Martin St. Louis

Martin St. Louis, New York Rangers

Age on July 1: 40

Position: Right wing

Statistics: 74 games, 21 goals, 31 assists, 52 points

2014-15 cap hit: $5.625 million.

Analysis: St. Louis isn't returning to the Rangers and there's doubt how much he has left in the tank. Pittsburgh has been mentioned as a possible destination.

Justin Williams, Los Angeles

Age on July 1: 33

Position: Right wing

Statistics: 81 games, 18 goals, 23 assists, 41 points

2014-15 cap hit: $3.65 million

Analysis: If this were only for playoff production, Williams would be a $7 million per season player. But the Kings never made it to the playoffs, and there's still the regular season, where Williams has largely been an average player.

Joel Ward

Joel Ward, Washington

Age on July 1: 34

Position: Right wing.

Statistics: 82 games, 19 goals, 15 assists, 34 points

2014-15 cap hit: $3 million

Analysis: Give Ward credit for developing into a productive scoring-line forward. He's earned it through hard work. He'd look good in a Red Wings' uniform.

Matt Beleskey, Anaheim

Age on July l: 27

Position: Left wing

Statistics: 65 games, 22 goals, 10 assists, 32 points

2014-15 cap hit: $1.35 million

Analysis: Good time to score a career-high in goals, although it helps playing on this roster. Beleskey is due a nice raise, and may not get it in Anaheim.

Christian Ehrhoff, Pittsburgh

Age on July 1: 32

Position: Defense

Statistics: 49 games, 3 goals, 11 assists, 14 points.

2014-15 cap hit: $4 million

Analysis: Concussion issues plagued Ehrhoff, who missed the majority of the season. Ehrhoff and the Penguins were to believed to have had a handshake agreement beyond this season, but you wonder whether the Penguins might be scared away.

Johnny Oduya, Chicago

Age on July 1: 33

Position: Defense

Statistics: 76 games, 2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points

2014-15 cap hit: $2.85 million

Analysis: The Blackhawks are plagued by salary cap problems and keeping Oduya looks like a pipedream.