The Wings have to begin to make room for the young defensemen. Rather than make the mistake of "overbuilding" the roster again (like last season, then embarrasing players like Tootoo and Eaves by sending them to Grand Rapids), there should be a job or two available to be won at training camp by Ouellet (ready), Marchenko (ready), Jensen (maybe a year away), Sproul (at least a year away), and a possible veteran FA depth-type guy. There isn't room in GR for all of them again next year, and it'll get to a point where keeping them in the AHL will hinder their growth more than help it. With no expiring contracts other than Zidlicky (who they may even want to re-sign), one or two D will need to be moved. Obviously, Kronwall and DeKeyser aren't going anywhere, but they could trade any of the other 4.
Up front, Franzen's situation is a dilemma. His long-term health is in question, and his play when he is healthy leaves much to be desired. He could be bought out, retire, or put on LTIR permanently, a la Savard and Pronger. Pulkkinen is the only prospect really knocking on the door. The others, including Mantha, are maybe a year away. A couple forwards are candidates to be moved out as well.
Mrazek should be here full-time next year as the backup to Howard, but he will challenge for more playing time right away. He's the goalie of the future.
My roster next year:
Forwards (14)--Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Tatar, Nyquist, Helm, Abdelkader, Sheahan, Jurco, Pulkkinen, Glendening, Miller, Andersson, Cole re-signed, Callahan promoted. Weiss traded or bought out, Franzen no longer on (active) roster, Cleary not re-signed.
Defensemen (7)--Kronwall, DeKeyser, Ericsson, Quincey, Zidlicky re-signed, Ouellet promoted, Marchenko promoted. Kindl and Smith traded. (I would gladly trade Ericsson, but Smith would probably fetch more in return.)
Goalies (2)--Howard, Mrazek promoted. Gustavsson not re-signed.
Any traded players bring draft picks and prospects in return.
Quincey is the least of our worries, with how well he's played add to that he's only got the rest of this season and next season remaining on his contract, the gritty new player for the fourth line will most likely be Callahan.
And I don't See Ericsson being moved all the way down the third pair.
He has his gaffes but he is a top four defenseman, and this year he came in less than 100% with his finger still being messed up and not being able to train fully.
So I give him a mulligan for the beginning of this season.
Finger injuries don't affect your brain. Ericsson has been awful this year.