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Abel to Yzerman

Is 101 Too Many?

That’s the question Wing fans are asking themselves today.

Did the 101 games Ruslan Salei played in Denver taint him to the point that he’s a bad signing for Detroit?  I have no doubt Tick Tock is confident the back problems won’t be an issue.  Now he needs to reassure us all that three years in that steaming pile of a wannabe hockey city didn’t mar this once-talented redolent Russian beyond repair.

 

Aside from that disturbing consideration, there are a few other elements of interest here.

Salei (6-foot-1, 212) brings a rugged, physical element to the defense. He was suspended for 10 games in October 1999 for checking Mike Modano, then with Dallas, from behind into the boards face-first. Modano sustained a concussion, strained ligaments in his neck and a broken nose.

What?  He attacked a frigging model. What kind of pansy-ass motherfu…

Salei previously played for Red Wings coach Mike Babcock in Anaheim for two seasons, 2002-03, ‘03-04.

Ahhh. Got it.  I’m all in.  I’m trusting me some Tick Tock and I’m trusting me some Uncle Mike.

Is it June yet?

 

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Comments

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perfection's avatar

so… for 1.2 or 1.3 mil, this is a risky move. 

for $750k it’s a typical red wings steal. we now will have the funds to bring up an emergency AHL player all season and even make a small prorated move at the deadline.

and this dude’s exactly what the Wings needed. no offense to all of those here who have been stroking themselves over the idea of having the longest stick in the league on the Wings. But Willie Mitchell is NOT twice as good as Salei and is NOT worth twice the money. Lilja? also not worth twice the money.

We get a guy who made over $3mil for $750. Primis, you say he “sucks”, but I would argue that ALL 6th defensemen pretty much suck… that’s sort of their role. The fact is this a stay at home vet who can get a little nasty. That’s all Big Rig needs. Remember, this signing isn’t so much about getting a “good” 6th dman as much as it is getting Big Rig back on track to becoming the dominant top 4 dman he’s projected to be. Look at last year - when Lilja came back, it wasn’t so much that Lilja did anything all that noticeable, but overnight Ericcson’s game returned to the form it was in the previous playoffs. His mistakes aren’t nearly as glaring because there’s a guy picking up the slack rather than a Lebda doing speed skating laps dreaming of his next opportunity for a fluttering wrist shot into the goalie’s chest.

Lebda makes TWICE as much as we just signed this guy for. That is friggin hilarious! I’d take Salei right now at this price over Lebda AT THIS PRICE!! This will be a great fit.

And Primis, I’m eager to see at what point this season you suddenly stop “hating” (our 3rd line Hall of Famer) Mike Modano. We’ll get the bandwagon all ready for you.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 08/09/10 at 04:39 PM ET

Amerinadian's avatar

Meech or Kindl… Who do we get rid of to make room for Abdelkader?

Meech, but only because Kindl’s got some untapped potential. We know what Meech brings to the team, which is the same as the guy who brings cups and plates to a work potluck lunch: a half-assed attempt at contributing. Kindl could still be a quality addition to the team in a couple of years, and from what I’ve heard, he actually hits guys every now and then.

Posted by Amerinadian from Chicago via Toronto on 08/09/10 at 04:41 PM ET

perfection's avatar

also… since i just caught up with the posts written while I gradually wrote that last post, getting rid of Kindl is a horrible horrible idea. Red Wings don’t finish “developing” until they roast on the spit for a few in the NHL. that’s when they get to practice with Lidstrom every day. That’s when they learn what it REALLY means to put that logo on. that’s when they realize that Datsyuk isn’t just “that good”, but works as hard as anyone in the league. Kindl has a bigger upside than Miller and Meech combined. Of course he might not pan out, but it’d be HUGE mistake to not wait and see. I actually don’t even think that is on the table at this point. As long as they’ve committed to developing him, he will get his opportunity… and how he did in the AHL is really not a perfect measure. Just ask Jimmy Howard what big league coaching, teammates, facilities, and confidence will do for an underperforming first round draft pick that we think may have not developed the way we thought he should have.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 08/09/10 at 04:47 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Challenge over,

NoHS sent me a nice pic with the hair, but @Lolabythebay wins the internets.

http://twitpic.com/2d6gie

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/09/10 at 04:49 PM ET

CaptNorris5's avatar

Color me worried about his injury issues and PIM totals.

Mostly the PIMS. If he’s injured, there are others to step in.

But, dude’s rocking a 1.2 PIM per game record for his career. From what I can tell from Hockeyfights.com most of those don’t come from fighting majors. I’m just concerned what could happen with both he and Bert lace them up in the same game. We could be shorthanded far too often for my liking.

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 08/09/10 at 04:50 PM ET

Avatar

So at least two guys are on their way out.

Why at least two?  If we lose Ritola or Miller that gives us enough room to sign Abedelkader.

And yeah, it would be nice to have enough room to call someone up, but if you’ve got a 23-man roster then you don’t HAVE to call anyone up as soon.

At first I was thinking Kindl, but we don’t really know what he is capable of.

Wow, why?  He’s got loads of potential and while we don’t know what he’s capable of, do we know what Meech is capable of.

I’m all for keeping Miller of Ritola because Miller’s earned a spot while Ritola is still just “potential”, but in the Meech vs Kindl argument Meech hasn’t really set himself apart from anyone or shown that he’s earned that spot.  To me, potential versus what Meech has shown is pretty much a wash.  I’d rather go with potential.

Plus, I just think a change of scenario would be good for Meech.  I think he’s probably capable of more than what he’s done in Detroit (even if it’s just to solidify that he’s a day-to-day third-pairing defenseman), but he’ll never get that chance in Detroit.

Posted by Garth on 08/09/10 at 04:54 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Not sure I understand your guys cap math.

CapGeek (http://www.capgeek.com/charts.php?Team=15) shows that WITH the up-to-date numbers from the Salei signing, that the Wings have over $800k of cap space.

Additionally, the signing of Salei means that Meech has no place—he’ll be traded, waived and picked up, or end up in GR… whatever, what’s for sure is his $500k won’t be against our cap.

Furthermore, one of Miller/Ritola won’t be counting against our cap (whether it’s Miller via trade or waivers, or Ritola via trade, waivers, or making it through to GR). Worst case, that will add another $500k+ in space.

So effectively, that’s $1.8 million in cap space to sign one player, Abdelkader.

Given what Helm got, I have to think the ceiling for Abdelkader’s deal is a cool million. That leaves $800k in case a player needs to be called up due to a short-term injury, or to try and fit something in at the deadline if there’s some pressing need. Not a lot of wiggle room, and I’m not counting on the deadline being eventful for us, but at least we have wiggle room for short-term injuries, unlike last year… then again, last year all the injuries were long-term so LTIR did the trick. wink

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 08/09/10 at 04:58 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Also, right now the Wings have 24 players that would count against the cap once the season starts, and Abby will be signed, so that’s 25. So yes, two have to go somewhere. One of these is almost definitely Meech, and there’s always a chance Ritola makes it through to GR, but I doubt it.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 08/09/10 at 05:01 PM ET

Animal Drew's avatar

Challenge over,
NoHS sent me a nice pic with the hair, but @Lolabythebay wins the internets.
http://twitpic.com/2d6gie

I protest.  Anyone could just chop his damn head and paste in on there.

Posted by Animal Drew from A Nightmare on Helm Street on 08/09/10 at 05:02 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Fact is he sucks, has worse puck skills than Lilja, and the same propensity for making really dumb plays at really bad times.

Ditto.  The guy’s not much better than Tollefsen, whom we had in the fold and is younger and more durable, but has less NHL experience.  My big concern, however, is durability.  101 games for the Dive, 84 of them in the past two seasons.  If Kindl & Ericsson gel and don’t stink up the third pairing, then Salei can take some games off.  But if they gel and don’t stink it up, why do we need Salei again?  He’s not exactly the steady defensive presence that bottom pairing needs.  And if he’s injured, most likely will be, we’re back to where we were a day ago.

I will give him one thing—when he’s on his game and not trying too hard, he’s a good shot-blocker.  But he’s on his game less of the time than Lilja.

One disclaimer—he IS Belarussian, so I may be speaking with my “I don’t like Minsk or Lukashenko or their laborious and asinine visa-application process” hat on.

AND he once scored 50 goals in juniors.

I’m already drinking over this signing, one more won’t hurt.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 08/09/10 at 05:05 PM ET

Lola's avatar

I protest.  Anyone could just chop his damn head and paste in on there.

Posted by Animal Drew from A Nightmare on Helm Street on 08/09/10 at 03:02 PM ET

Hey, the request emphasized speed. A more elegant ‘shop requires time.

Posted by Lola from down by the bay on 08/09/10 at 05:05 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I protest.  Anyone could just chop his damn head and paste in on there.

Posted by Animal Drew from A Nightmare on Helm Street on 08/09/10 at 03:02 PM ET

It was an executive decision made with the idea of Carrie Fisher’s body in mind.  I’ll still take alternate submissions. 

Although I am still saving the pic you sent me as possible future avatar fodder.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/09/10 at 05:07 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 08/09/10 at 03:05 PM ET

Nobody is saying he’s that good… like I said in another post, this is about expectations. Your post makes it sound as if you value Lilja and OKT higher than what they really are.

We’re talking about bottom-pairing D-men that will play 15 minutes per game. If you want to argue about a little nuance in Lilja’s game that makes him “better” than Salei, fine, but when you get to the bottom of the barrel, it’s all so close to being the same you might as well just get the one with the best price.

Also, let’s give Ericsson a little credit… his play improved dramatically the last 4-6 weeks of the season last year. Remember that he was in his first full NHL regular season. Now that he’s gotten that under his belt, and has experienced the rigors and intense competitiveness of a complete season, I certainly expect him to play far better than he did for the bulk of the ‘09-‘10 season.

I’m looking at this like a guy that can stay at home and take a few minutes off the top two pairings. Not a guy that needs to hold up Ericsson like last year.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 08/09/10 at 05:12 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Here’s what I’ve adapted from CapGeek.com’s numbers.

FORWARDS: 14
Pavel Datsyuk: 6,700,000
Henrik Zetterberg: 6,083,333
Johan Franzen: 3,954,545
Valtteri Filppula: 3,000,000
Jiri Hudler: 2,875,000
Daniel Cleary: 2,800,000
Todd Bertuzzi: 1,937,500
Tomas Holmstrom: 1,875,000
Kris Draper: 1,583,333
Mike Modano: 1,250,000
Darren Helm: 912,500
Patrick Eaves: 750,000
Drew Miller: 650,000
Mattias Ritola: 516,667

DEFENSEMEN: 8
Nicklas Lidstrom: 6,200,000
Brian Rafalski: 6,000,000
Brad Stuart: 3,750,000
Niklas Kronwall: 3,000,000
Jonathan Ericsson: 900,000
Jakub Kindl: 883,333
RuslanSalei: 750,000
Derek Meech: 500,000

GOALTENDERS
Chris Osgood: 1,416,666
Jimmy Howard: 716,666

CARRYOVER BONUS PENALTY: $50,000

ROSTER SIZE: 24
SALARY CAP: $59,400,000
PAYROLL: $59,054,545
CAP SPACE: $295,455

Take Meech and Ritola out and you have about $1.312M in cap space. At those figures, Abi would have to sign for a cap hit of $760k or less in order to have enough cap space to bring up MacDonald (at $550k) if there’s a minor injury to either Howard or Ozzie. That’s not going to happen, so unfortunately I have a feeling it may be Miller who leaves with Meech.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/09/10 at 05:13 PM ET

Avatar

That’s not going to happen, so unfortunately I have a feeling it may be Miller who leaves with Meech.

How is that not going to happen?  Helm signed for $910K, why would Abdelkader get near that much, having scored a quarter of the points that Helm scored?  $750K is just about perfect for Abdelkader, especially if it’s a 2-3 year deal.

Posted by Garth on 08/09/10 at 05:16 PM ET

mormerod19's avatar

He’s averaged over 20 points since the lockout, and even topped 30 once. I’d say he has better puck skills that Lilja, maybe not as sound in his own end, but has better wheels (not saying much) to make up for it.

Posted by mormerod19 on 08/09/10 at 05:17 PM ET

Avatar

And more than that, does he deserve to sign for more than Miller or Eaves signed for?

Posted by Garth on 08/09/10 at 05:17 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Good Stuff OTC

Meech is a given, somewhere on the internets, I am almost certain Holland said he would carry only 7 “D”.

And I don’t think it will be Miller - - why sign the guy this season just to trade him away?

Logically, it must be RICOLA.

That would get the Wings to about 1.35 - - should be enough for Abby.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 08/09/10 at 05:20 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Voox, thanks for the kind words.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 08/09/10 at 05:20 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

^^ damn editing ^^  “more than enough”

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 08/09/10 at 05:22 PM ET

Avatar

there is only one thing worse than listening to Red Wings fans discuss the Red Wings ... actually spending time in Detroit.

Go Kings.

Posted by scooter on 08/09/10 at 05:23 PM ET

D4LRob's avatar

How is that not going to happen?  Helm signed for $910K, why would Abdelkader get near that much, having scored a quarter of the points that Helm scored?  $750K is just about perfect for Abdelkader, especially if it’s a 2-3 year deal.

Abdelkader made $850K last season. There’s no way he takes a pay cut.

Posted by D4LRob on 08/09/10 at 05:24 PM ET

Primis's avatar

That you guys are all talking yourselves into Ruslan f*cking Salei makes me want to completely lose faith in Wings fans…

I realize he’s cheaper.  I realize the Wings don’t have much cap space.  I don’t care.  He sucks.  Toughness and “sandpaper” does you a whole lot of good when guys are skating around you in your own end and scoring goals…

I don’t want a cement-handed, penalty-taking, poor-skating, irresponsible jack-wagon on the third pairing to “help the kid(s)”.  We had that, his name was Lilja, and most everyone has hated him so far.  He’s lost of very important games, remember?  Rememebr the giveaways?  Remember?

That’s just a stupid, stupid thing to do.  How exactly is Salei supposed to help Ericsson’s game when Ericsson already posses more game than Salei?  That’d be like Modano trying to teach Helm how to kill penalties or something…  oh wait…  Sh*t.

If you’re going to do some dumb gambler’s move like this, why not just roll two kids on the third pairing?  I thought the whole point was to shore up the 3rd pairing, not make us hate it even more.

Posted by Primis on 08/09/10 at 05:24 PM ET

Avatar

Meech is a given, somewhere on the internets, I am almost certain Holland said he would carry only 7 “D”.

Yeah, and over at mlive (too lazy to dig up the link) there was a quote from Meech after he signed in which he said that Holland discussed the possibility of moving him.

Posted by Garth on 08/09/10 at 05:25 PM ET

calquake's avatar

“He probably learned that dick move in Colorado”.

And from Darren Garcia no less.

Posted by calquake on 08/09/10 at 05:27 PM ET

Avatar

Abdelkader made $850K last season. There’s no way he takes a pay cut.

No he didn’t.  He was only up with the Wings for 50 games, he made about $500K.

Posted by Garth on 08/09/10 at 05:29 PM ET

D4LRob's avatar

No he didn’t.  He was only up with the Wings for 50 games, he made about $500K.

What I should have said is that his NHL salary was $850K. I don’t see why they would decrease that number, or why Gator would let it happen.

Posted by D4LRob on 08/09/10 at 05:31 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

I’ll just go back to what I said two friggin’ months ago: we should have signed Mitchell, but were instead too busy courting Modano.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 08/09/10 at 05:31 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Modano had better be worth it, is all I’m sayin’.

F*ck it, done talking, let’s just see how the season shakes out.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 08/09/10 at 05:32 PM ET

Avatar

just a little reminder for my hockey brethren in Detroit ..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7_wTGCtG3s

what a beautiful sight!

Go Kings.

Posted by scooter on 08/09/10 at 05:33 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

there is only one thing worse than listening to Red Wings fans discuss the Red Wings ... actually spending time in Detroit.

Go Kings.

Posted by scooter on 08/09/10 at 03:23 PM ET

I’m wondering if you’re blind and have a computer program reading what you’re saying to us or if you’re illiterate and need what we’re saying spoken to you, but reading and listening are two different things, especially considering that the one is significantly more voluntary than the other.

That you guys are all talking yourselves into Ruslan f*cking Salei makes me want to completely lose faith in Wings fans…

Welcome to November.  Wait, what?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/09/10 at 05:34 PM ET

Avatar

Oh yeah this was a good one too!

enjoy!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RNP1ZIDqAo&NR=1

Posted by scooter on 08/09/10 at 05:35 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Apologies, didn’t do the math myself, just took for granted that CapGeek was adding it correctly. But I see it is not…

If we assume the numbers on CapGeek for the cap hit per player are correct, then the cap space is $345,456, unless I typo’d something. Which is very possible. smile

That you guys are all talking yourselves into Ruslan f*cking Salei makes me want to completely lose faith in Wings fans…

You shitting all over both deals that Holland has made makes me want to lose faith in you as a Wings fan. How can you criticize Holland this severely for two relatively minor moves with relatively little risk? If both players don’t work out, we’re right back with Abdelkader centering the third line, which so many people wanted to see, and Ericsson/Kindl playing on the bottom pairing (which I was happy with, frankly).

Obviously we all have the right to question him, but man, I can’t believe you are so up in arms over two crummy little deals that are almost zero risk. It’s not like he signed Derrian Hatcher for a billion dollars again. wink

I realize he’s cheaper.  I realize the Wings don’t have much cap space.  I don’t care.  He sucks.

If you realize that, then what do you want? Do you want Kindl? Because I actually agree with that to a degree… I wanted them to start the season with Kindl and save money for a D-man at the deadline if Kindl wasn’t playing well. But if you wanted someone else, like most Wings fans wanted, Salei is about as good as you’re going to get given the cap constraints. I think that comparing Lilja to Salei is a pa-tay-toe, pa-tah-toe situation.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 08/09/10 at 05:36 PM ET

Avatar

What I should have said is that his NHL salary was $850K. I don’t see why they would decrease that number, or why Gator would let it happen.

Who cares what his NHL salary was?  He was paid $520K by the Wings (and maybe  $35K by the AHL) so anything more than that is a raise.

This happens regularly.

Hell, last year Leino signed a one-way deal that was worth less than his NHL cap hit the year before.

And why wouldn’t Gator let it happen?  He got 6 points in 50 games last year, why should he expect to get a raise over his “NHL salary” because of that?  Again, anything over about $550K is a raise.

Posted by Garth on 08/09/10 at 05:40 PM ET

Avatar

what a beautiful sight!
Go Kings.

Oof, I didn’t even click that because I feel sick to my stomach every time I have to watch the damn LA Kings celebrating their Stanley Cup win.

Posted by Garth on 08/09/10 at 05:43 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Of all the players likely to take a hometown discount, Abdelkader has to be near the top of the list.  I wouldn’t discount him re-signing for a lower cap hit, multiple years.

And Nathan, I’ll give you this—if Modano and Salei work out like people think they will, or if Modano works out and a bottom pairing of Ericsson-Kindl/Janik/Whatever is stable and steady, then I will be happy to admit at that time that right now I’m dead wrong.  But…the way this has played out fills me with more than a little dread.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 08/09/10 at 05:46 PM ET

D4LRob's avatar

Who cares what his NHL salary was?  He was paid $520K by the Wings (and maybe $35K by the AHL) so anything more than that is a raise.

Just because it happens regularly doesn’t mean it will happen in this case. I’m not saying Gator will hold out for millions of dollars. When the deal gets done, I see it being around a $900K cap hit for 2-3 years, similar to Helm.

Posted by D4LRob on 08/09/10 at 05:49 PM ET

Avatar

When the deal gets done, I see it being around a $900K cap hit for 2-3 years, similar to Helm.

Based on what?

Posted by Garth on 08/09/10 at 05:51 PM ET

D4LRob's avatar

Based on what?

A combination of gut feeling, Ken Holland’s penchant for lumping Helm and Gator together when discussing contract extensions this offseason, and a tip from one of Happy’s hookers last night.

Posted by D4LRob on 08/09/10 at 05:54 PM ET

Avatar

that was good, Garth! Yes, we are cup-less ... but its still sweet to beat the Wings. Even if that is not a common occurrence. For now, at least.

Posted by scooter on 08/09/10 at 05:54 PM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com