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June 11, 2012 | 11:23am ET
Wings will need to boost blueline
TheFourthPeriod.com

After losing captain Nicklas Lidstrom to retirement and trading the rights of defenseman Brad Stuart to the San Jose Sharks, the Red Wings will need to upgrade their blueline for next season, the Detroit News reports.

Although it was well-known that Stuart wanted to play out West to be closer to his family, his loss leaves a gap in the Wings' defense and in their locker room.

"He'll be a big loss," Wings GM Ken Holland told the News. "He played a lot of good hockey for us."

Holland will need to look for a quality defenseman in the off-season, perhaps via trade or most likely on the free-agent market.

The Wings are expected to inquire about the most coveted free agent blueliner Ryan Suter of the Nashville Predators, while Philadelphia's Matt Carle, St. Louis' Barret Jackman, Washington's Dennis Wideman and New Jersey's Bryce Salvador could also become interesting options.

Holland might attempt to acquire young top-prospect Justin Schultz of the Anaheim Ducks, who has yet to sign with the club. He is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and is likely to command a lot of interest on the market.

"We'll be active," Holland added. "We've lost two quality defensemen."

Meanwhile, veteran forward Tomas Holmstrom is expected to meet with management this week to discuss his future with the team.

The 39-year-old, whose close friend Lidstrom called it quits earlier this month, could also choose to retire.

At Lidstrom's media conference, Holmstrom had mentioned that he was getting closer to making a final decision.

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