June 9, 2019 | 8:00pm ET
WINGS GIVING KRONWALL ALL THE TIME HE NEEDS
Niklas Kronwall, GM
The Detroit Red Wings are allowing veteran defenceman Niklas Kronwall to have all the time he needs before notifying them as to whether or not he’ll hang up his skates after 15 NHL seasons.
Kronwall, 38, is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, but Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman told NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger he won’t rush him to make a decision.
“He’s going to take some time. We’ll get a decision from him one way or the other. I’m in no rush,” Yzerman said. “I’m not putting any pressure on him or feel the need to put undue pressure on him. Take all the time that you want and make a decision. We’re prepared.
“At this time, we can plan moving forward with him and without him. Free agency starts July 1, and I don’t know if free agency even has an impact on whether he stays or not. We still have got to do what we’ve got to do. Obviously, there’s cap space and a roster spot to consider, but we’ve got plenty of time to do that. We’ll just wait and when (Kronwall’s) comfortable announcing any decision, he’ll let us know. I thought he played well last year. On and off the ice he’d be a welcome addition back.”
In 953 career NHL regular-season games, all with the Wings, Kronwall has accumulated 83 goals and 359 assists for 434 points, along with 564 penalty minutes.
He tallied three goals and 24 assists for 27 points in 79 games this season. His seven-year, $33.25 million contract wraps up this month and if he re-signs, it’ll likely be a one-year deal worth around $2 million to $3 million.
Asked what his off-season plan is, outside of a Kronwall decision, in preparation for the 2019-20 season, Yzerman used one word: “Improvement.”