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April 24, 2016 | 8:30pm ET
Howard could be dangled as trade bait

The Detroit Red Wings enter the off-season with a few questions hanging over them, and their picture could become much clearer once they know for certainty if star center Pavel Datsyuk plans on retiring.

If Datsyuk retires, his $7.5 million salary cap hit will remain on the books, and it's believed the Red Wings will attempt to trade his contract to free up the cap space.

With Datsyuk likely packing up for Russia, a few other members of the Red Wings aren't expected to be back next season.

According to the Detroit News, defenseman Kyle Quincey "isn't likely to return," and also mentioned the unlikelihood of forwards Joakim Andersson and Brad Richards returning.

Goaltender Jimmy Howard's future with the Red Wings is also up in the air.

Howard, 32, has three-years left on his contract after this season, but owns a limited no-trade clause where he can list up to 10 teams he will not accept a trade to.

As Petr Mrazek gets older, the belief is he will be the team's No.1 goaltender next season, making Howard up for grabs.

The Detroit Free Press suggests the Calgary Flames could be a possible suitor for Howard, while the News also lists the Flames, as well as the Toronto Maple Leafs as options.

Red Wings GM Ken Holland is expected to explore the trade market on Howard in the coming weeks and could try to complete a deal by the NHL Draft in late-June.


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