Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Detroit Free Press via the Santa Barbara News,
On defense, the team will miss Schneider’s power-play acumen, but his replacement, Brian Rafalski, is four years younger and a better all-around player.
It may be tempting the fates to write this, but Niklas Kronwall, whose long history of fluky injuries hints at some sort of curse, is due to play a full season. There’s no question he has the skills of a top defenseman, and maybe this is the year we’ll see them displayed continually….
Once Dominik Hasek re-signs, the Wings will have an elite NHL goaltender, a five-time Norris Trophy winner, two superstar forwards and good surrounding players, many of whom are young. They’re no longer able to keep everyone every summer, but a look at their roster shows they’ll remain among the NHL’s contenders.
more on the Wings outlook for next season…
Holland made it sound that Rafalski’s signing signals the team won’t look to resign free agent Danny Markov, who earned $2.5 million last season.
“Another (defenceman) isn’t our priority,” Holland said. “We’re not looking for anybody significant. If we’re going to do something on D, maybe it’s a month from now.”
Holland does hope to have goalie Dominik Hasek signed before the end of this week. Both sides seem to agree that Detroit is where the 42-year-old goaltender wants to be.
“(Agent) Ritch Winter told me Dom wants to be here,” Holland said. “We’re close in a lot of area. I’m hoping to finish this off in a day or two.”
more on the Wings… inlcuding no more “big” signings…
In response to your emails, Hasek is not going to LA and Raycroft is not coming to Detroit.
Wings fans are always looking for players with “size”. We need to get bigger, tougher, stronger. Ever since Probert and Kocur departed, the Wings have always needed to “get bigger”!
Well, if your team needs to get bigger too, KK member Jdunc lists the UFA players that are “bigger”.
You can find them in this post at Abel to Yzerman (in the comments, 25 down).
Just remember, bigger doesn’t always equal grit or tough…
from the Detroit Free Press,
The Wings had offered Bertuzzi, acquired at the trade deadline in February to boost their playoff hopes, a one-year deal in the low $3-million range and worth nearly $4 million with bonuses.
“I would have loved to have Bert stay here,” general manger Ken Holland said, “but it’s the cap world. We weren’t prepared to offer a two-year deal.”
Holland said the team has to keep an eye on retaining its own elite players. That list starts with re-signing five-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom, who has one year left on his deal.
Henrik Zetterberg’s contract is up at the end of the 2008-09 season, but the Wings can start negotiating with him next summer. He’ll most assuredly cost at least the annual $6.7 million Pavel Datsyuk is making.
On top of that, Dan Cleary and Kris Draper will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer, and Valtteri Filppula will be restricted in a year.
more on the Wings including Hasek deal close…
from Red Wings Corner,
Holland said that Red Wings’ other three unrestricted free agents—Dominik Hasek, Danny Markov and Todd Bertuzzi—are still possible signees.
The Red Wings and Hasek talked several times Saturday. That the netminder hasn’t come to terms yet is somewhat perplexing to Holland.
“I’m cautiously optimistic ... I think he wants to see what we’ll do and how much cap space we’ll have,” said Holland. “At least that’s the way it appears.”
more on Rafalski…
Rafalski comes home, now a Wing, per TSN but their site is down…
Update 4:06pm ET:
Free agent defenceman Brian Rafalski has agreed to a five-year, $30 million contract with the Detroit Red Wings.
Rafalski is regarded as one of the top defenceman on this year’s free agent market.
from Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press,
If given the chance, Sergei Fedorov should tell Wings fans to “Shove it!”
There’s discussion that Columbus might buy out the remainder of Fedorov’s contract, making him an unrestricted free agent. The Wings could be interested: They could get him reasonably cheap and he remains one of the NHL’s best two-way players.
continued... Geez Drew, one of the best two-way players?
from the Detroit Free Press,
“We want Dom in our net. That’s our priority in goal. If it doesn’t happen, we have to look at options, but I am cautiously optimistic we’re going to get him signed.”
As for Schneider: “He is going to hit the market,” Holland said.
Bertuzzi is headed in the same direction. Holland has spoken numerous times with Bertuzzi’s agent, but “we’re not any closer today than five days ago,” Holland said.
The Wings will have to get more aggressive if they lose both Bertuzzi (who may be eyeing a return to Vancouver considering the Canucks need scoring) and Schneider (who could end up in Anaheim if Scott Niedermayer retires).
more on the Wings options…
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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