Ken Holland once transitioned the Detroit Red Wings from Steve Yzerman Buffalo Sabres Hats Authentic , Sergei Fedorov and that generation of greats to the one that followed with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Now he’s trying to do it again.The veteran general manager knows it won’t be as easy this time, so he’s adding and keeping some older players to bridge the gap. On Sunday , the Red Wings signed 34-year-old winger Thomas Vanek and 29-year-old goaltender Jonathan Bernier and re-signed 32-year-old defenseman Mike Green.Vanek signed a $3 million, one-year deal, Bernier got $3 million per season on a three-year deal and Green will make $5.375 million annually over the next two years as part of a series of transitional deals for the rebuilding Red Wings.”It’s going to take a little bit of time, we have to have some patience,” Holland said. ”I believe we’re headed in the right direction. In the short term, trying to bring in some veteran players obviously to mentor, to role-model the young kids. We need to be competitive. It’s important to develop players if they’re in an environment that’s positive and we go into every game we have a chance to win and we’re trying to obviously juggle having veterans on the roster and moving young players into the roster.”Vanek enjoyed his 48 games with the Red Wings in 2016-17 so much he wanted to return last summer, but they didn’t have the salary-cap space. He’s not the prolific scorer he was a decade ago, but Vanek was in demand after putting up 15 points in 19 regular-season games with the Blue Jackets as a trade-deadline pickup.”We had a few options, but Detroit, ever since I’ve been there, I loved it,” Vanek said. ”I really liked the whole culture of the organization and the guys were great.”As a right-shot defender who can run a power play, Green would’ve drawn serious interest if he became an unrestricted free agent. He never seriously considered leaving.With the neck injury that cut his season short has healed, he wanted to remain with the Red Wings and help bring along the next generation.”There’s a lot that weighed on my decision to stay Custom Buffalo Sabres Jerseys ,” Green said. ”I think it’s easy sometimes just to go somewhere else, especially with the transition that’s going on there in Detroit, but I feel like I can be useful in the next couple years kind of helping the younger guys develop quicker and speed up that process.”Having better goaltending might not speed up the process, but it’ll make the Red Wings more competitive. They think they’ll get that from Bernier, who was the odd man out in Colorado and will split duties in net with Jimmy Howard.”We’re going to push each other to bring this team back to the playoffs,” Bernier said. ”I didn’t want to be in a position where I played 15, 20 games. I want to come in and have a chance to play as much as possible obviously depending on play. I just thought it was a great opportunity that me and Jimmy can battle for our games.”Holland isn’t worried about clogging the roster up for young players. Sixth overall pick Filip Zadina should be able to play right away up front, and the Red Wings have begun to rebuild their prospect pipeline.One immediate problem could be the health of captain Henrik Zetterberg, who has been hampered by back problems and is no sure bet to be able to play next season. Zetterberg, who turns 38 in October, cast doubts on his future after the season, and Holland can’t say with any certainty what will happen with the Swedish center.”Last I talked to him, I think he’s planning on playing,” Holland said. ”Obviously his back is going to determine whether he can or he can’t. … When you’re dealing with the back and you’re dealing with the health of a person, it’s hard to read the future when it comes to health. Obviously that’s a key piece for us. I’ll stay in touch with Henrik as we get into July to see how his health is.”—AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed.— RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Nino Niederreiter kept scoring goals for his new team. Curtis McElhinney kept up his mastery of the Edmonton Oilers.They pushed the Carolina Hurricanes closer to playoff position.Niederreiter scored two goals, McElhinney stopped the final 40 shots he faced www.officialflames.com , and the Hurricanes beat the Oilers 3-1 on Friday night.“Every single game matters a lot,” Niederreiter said, “so we’ve got to make sure we even win the close ones.”Lucas Wallmark also scored and Sebastian Aho had two assists for the Hurricanes, who have won 15 of 21 since Dec. 31 for the best record in the NHL in that span. Carolina, which has not made the postseason in a decade, moved a point behind idle Pittsburgh for the final wild-card playoff spot in the East.“I think we’re just getting critical plays at critical times right now,” McElhinney said. “We know what the situation is, and it’s going to take a lot for us to get into the playoffs, but the guys have been rolling since before the break, and we came out of it pretty hot. So it’s just a matter of gas pedal to the floor.”Leon Draisaitl scored his team-leading 34th goal on the Oilers’ first shot, and Mikko Koskinen made 24 saves while losing his sixth straight decision. Edmonton is 1-7-2 in its last 10 and was held to two or fewer goals in six of those games, all regulation losses.“We’re generating chances. We’re making plays,” captain Connor McDavid said. “We’re just not finding a way to score.”The well-traveled McElhinney improved to 7-0-0 against Edmonton — his best career record against any opponent.With the Hurricanes largely unable to dictate play — Edmonton was outshooting them 29-14 after two periods — he single-handedly kept them in this one, with his best saves coming on a point-blank attempt by Colby Cave with about 13 1/2 minutes left and a stop on McDavid with about 5 minutes remaining to keep it a one-goal game.Niederreiter then gave Carolina a two-goal lead with 3:37 left by taking a feed from Aho and slipping a knuckler past Koskinen. Since he was acquired from Minnesota on Jan. 17, he has eight goals in 12 games after scoring nine in 46 games with the Wild.“At the end of the day, you want to be the best player you can be, and sometimes a change helps Calgary Flames T-Shirts Authentic ,” Niederreiter said. “Sometimes it doesn’t, and in my case, it definitely helped a lot.”It was a successful start to what could be a pivotal stretch for the Hurricanes. They played themselves back into the playoff conversation while polishing off the club’s best five-game road trip since 1998, and of their next seven opponents, six began Friday night’s games behind them in the standings.Defense was optional early in this one, with the teams combining for three goals in the first 2 minutes, 16 seconds of the game. Goals from Niederreiter and Wallmark sandwiched Draisaitl’s slick goal on a give-and-go, before things tightened up the rest of the way.“They get the second one, and that’s the way the game goes the rest of the night,” McDavid said. “It’s funny how it works sometimes.”NOTES: Draisaitl and McDavid have combined to score 65 of the Oilers’ 158 goals. … Aho, who assisted on both of Neiderreiter’s goals, has a career-high 66 points…. Tempers flared late in the second when Niederreiter, after being hit by Kris Russell, took a run at Oscar Klefbom that sparked a brief melee. Niederreiter received a 2-minute boarding penalty.UP NEXTOilers: Complete a three-game road trip Saturday night by visiting the New York Islanders.Hurricanes: Wrap up a back-to-back set of home games Saturday night against Dallas.