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Red Wings still negotiating with Hasek on eve of free agency

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Red Wings still negotiating with Hasek on eve of free agency

The Canadian Press
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"I don't think there's a significant divide, but there's no deal so we continue to go back and forth," Holland said Saturday night. "We've had a lot of conversations over the last few days and hopefully we'll talk again tonight or in the morning before free agency begins at noon."

Hasek informed the Red Wings a couple of weeks ago that he wanted to play for Detroit again.

The 42-year-old Hasek is a six-time Vezina Trophy winner and two-time NHL MVP. He signed a one-year contract worth US$750,000 last season and earned $900,000 in bonuses for helping the Red Wings advance past the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

"He'll have a greater salary this year, but we're still trying to figure out what's fair to both sides and how to structure the deal," Holland said. "I'm cautiously optimistic that we'll work it out."

The Red Wings are not quite as confident about their chances to re-sign standout defenceman Mathieu Schneider.

"We would love to have him back, but I expect him to hit the market and I don't blame him," Holland said. "He's 38 years old, so he doesn't have a lot of chances to really take advantage of free agency."

The Red Wings want to re-sign forward Todd Bertuzzi, but the two sides were still negotiating Saturday.

"I'd like a shorter-term deal and he'd like a longer-term contract," Holland said. "Hopefully, we'll find common ground."

Unlike a lot of teams, Detroit doesn't expect to be active Sunday.

"I don't see us being a part of the first waves of signings," Holland said. "I think it's going to be crazy from everybody I've talked to, but we're in a bit of a wait-and-see mode.

"We'll talk to all of our guys at least one more time before noon and if I get a sense that they want to test the market, we're going to be a little more aggressive than I planned to be. We're not desperate, though, because we have a good nucleus in place, but we definitely need to add a defenceman or two."

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Red Wings still negotiating with Hasek on eve of free agency