Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland announced on Friday that the team would not offer a contract to goaltender Manny Legace before July 1, making him a free agent when that date comes.
Legace, Detroit’s backup netminder from the 2000-2001 season and the starter for 2005-2006, will be able to sign with any team.
“We want to explore all of the options out there,” Holland said. “Be it the free-agent market or through trades, we want to see what is available.”
Legace followed up his first season in the starting role with a 2-4 record in the playoffs and a .884 save percentage. For the first time in his career, many fans and pundits called him out as a top reason for the Edmonton Oilers’ upset of Detroit in the first round.
“I can’t say I’m surprised, but I was hoping they would make an offer,” Legace said. “I wanted to come back here. I love the city and the organization. But this is a business.”
With the Wings looking for a new starting goaltender, Legace did not help his case to return to Detroit.
After being ousted from the playoffs, Legace was asked if he would consider returning to the backup role, replying, “No, not at all. I love playing. I don’t want to be back on the bench again, so… I want to start again.”
Chris Osgood, the former Detroit starter who returned to the Red Wings in a backup capacity this season, will likely reclaim that role next season. He is also an unrestricted free agent but has stated that he’s willing to sign with the team in any role. He made $900,000 last season and did not earn a raise over that amount.