Red Wings getting down to business over future

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — The offseason work begins in earnest for the Red Wings.

They begin organizational meetings Thursday, a major step toward formulating a plan. The meetings are expected to wrap up Saturday.

During the meetings, the Red Wings will evaluate every player in the organization, assess players on other teams, prepare for the June 24-25 draft, and identify potential unrestricted free agents and trade targets.

And then there’s the Pavel Datsyuk decision.

Datsyuk arrived in town this week — he hosts a hockey camp at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s — and general manager Ken Holland said the two will speak “by Friday” to determine Datsyuk’s future.

Datsyuk is leaning toward returning to Russia to be close to his teenage daughter and to play in the Kontinental Hockey League.

If he leaves, the Red Wings will be forced to account for the final year of Datsyuk’s contract — a $7.5 million salary cap hit.

The Red Wings could trade Datsyuk’s cap spot to a team in need of reaching the salary cap minimum.

But the asking price for such a deal appears to be steep — Chicago traded prospect Teuvo Teravainen to Carolina, which also took on Bryan Bickell’s $4 million salary cap.

Sheahan signs two-year, $4.15-million deal

Chicago received second- and third-round picks.

Personnel dept.

Forward Riley Sheahan, a potential restricted free agent, agreed on a two-year, $4.15 million contract Wednesday.

He had a career-high 14 goals and 11 assists (25 points) in 81 games last season. In five playoff games, he had one assist.

Defensemen Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko, goaltender Petr Mrazek, and forward Teemu Pulkinnen are potential restricted free agents who remain unsigned.

Forwards Drew Miller and Darren Helm are potential unrestricted free agents who could be re-signed before July 1.

... The NHL buyout period began Wednesday and ends June 30, but Holland said the organization doesn’t plan on any such moves.

... The NHL released the draft order, and the Red Wings have picks 16, 46, 107, 137, 167 and 197.

They have no third-round pick — they traded it to the Devils for Marek Zidlicky.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

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