This yearâ€™s free agency period has been both a boom and bust for the Red Wings. The pro roster suffered several loses as Joe Nieuwendyk, Martin Lapointe, and Manny Legace all left as UFAâ€™s and GM Niece found himself shutout in any attempt to sign replacement players. This year, more than most, surprised as to the value of the contracts being offered. Although there were few off the chart offers (RFA Kovalchuk being the notable exception) the average salaries offered for the middle of the pack players was much higher than anticipated. Most surprising were the offers from a conference rival, who shall remain nameless, that every year feigns outrage at the contracts but this year is amongst the leading bidders on several players. If you canâ€™t beat them, join them, I guess. Having failed to sign any pro players, Detroit was unable to fill its one key need, the addition of a gritty winger capable of playing regular minutes. Detroit will not complain too loudly as it has a starting roster more than ready to compete in the regular season but it will have to address some niche roles if it intends to compete strongly in the playoffs. Although the lack of current pro player signings was a bust, Detroit got a boom in signing what it hopes will be future pro players. Leading the list is Hobey Baker winner Junior Lessard. Lessard will have a tough time making the team in the short term as RW is the most crowded position in Detroitâ€™s depth chart but the team is confident that Lessard has what it takes to compete at the highest levels. Critics in the Detroit media however caution fans not to get too excited about Lessard just yet pointing to the teamâ€™s mixed success with College stars. Horcoff, Walker, and Kunitz are all success stories with Walker and Kunnitz still developing. John Pohl (Hobey Baker winner), Cory Larose, and Scott Meyer lead a long list of college stars whoâ€™s skills have not translated well to the pro game to date. Also joining the Wings are 3 other RWâ€™s, Aaron Voros, David Jones, and Colton Orr. Voros appears to have best future of the 3. At 6â€™4â€ and nearly 200lbs Voros plays a strong gritty game and has sufficient offence to someday be a 2nd line power forward. David Jones is a bit of a project but he has HFNHL size and has shown some offensive flair in the BCHL including 93pts in 53games this past season. Rounding out the RWâ€™s is Colton Orr. There is no secret what Orrâ€™s role will be. Often referred to as the Coltrain he is a wrecking machine who not only loves to throw big hits but is always willing to drove the gloves. He will give Daryl Bootland a push as the teamâ€™s future enforcer. The final signing to date is LW Ryan Clowe. Detroit has been scouting Clowe for three years now and finally opted to sign the gritty winger. GM Niece is somewhat puzzled by those who have discounted his skill over the years but after watching Clowe have a very strong rookie year in HFAHL last season he knew he had to sign Clowe. The only other player left that may be joining the Wings is Ben Ondrus. Like Clowe, management has been watching him for 3 consecutive years. He always made the signing short list but not the final one until this summer. The team has only offered an entry level contract but another team has entered the bidding and so there is a decision to be made as to whether the team will increase itâ€™s offer. The decision will not be a light one as the farm team is beginning to get rather crowded and the team has already landed more prospects than anticipated.