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Wings Now Have Signing/Trade Options

from Bob Duff of the Windsor Star, Currently,

Detroit lists four defencemen from last year’s team under contract -Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart and Jakub Kindl. Unrestricted free agent Jonathan Ericsson is still talking to the Wings, but the salary numbers he most hopes to hear won’t be delivered via Holland’s lips.

“We’re going to make a decision on him in the next 10 days,” Holland said of Ericsson, who is free to shop his services to the highest bidder come July 1.

Holland talked excitedly of the potential of former first-round pick and AHL all-rookie team member Brendan Smith.

“We’re going to give him every opportunity to make the team in training camp,” he said of Smith….

With Rafalski’s $6 million off the books and a projected salary-cap increase of similar ilk, the Wings will have more than $10 million available to spend. “We’re going to explore ways either on the trade front or through July 1 free agency,” Holland said. “We want to be active, we want to make some additions to our team, and we’re open-minded going in.”...

The Wings’ brass aren’t fans of Joni Pitkanen, and at the risk of starting another car-burning riot in Vancouver, don’t view Kevin Bieksa or Christian Ehrhoff as $5 million men.

“We’re looking to be active, but at the same time, we’re not looking to spend a bunch of money and have press conferences,” Holland said.

“We want to find players that fit our team, fit our system and with salaries we think will help us continue to be competitive in a cap world.”

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...at the risk of starting another car-burning riot in Vancouver, don’t view Kevin Bieksa or Christian Ehrhoff as $5 million men.

The “car-burning” comment aside, I agree 100% with Duff. Neither Bieksa or Ehrhoff are in the $5M range. In fact, after their lackluster showing in the playoffs (particularly Ehrhooff who was a -13), I wouldn’t give them a penny more than Stuart makes ($3.75M).

The best fit for Detroit is likely Montreal’s James Wisniewski, a righthand shot with an edge to his game who also happens to be from Canton, Michigan.

Here’s what Forecaster.com says about Wisniewski…

ASSETS: Has plenty of offensive capability, including the skills to play the point on the power play. Is aggressive by nature. Skates very well and is at his best in an up-tempo system.
FLAWS: Lacks discipline as a defender, including his positioning, decision-making and being overly aggressive. Lacks ideal size and reach.
CAREER POTENTIAL: Aggressive defenseman with all-around ability.

Love that he’s a right-handed shot and can play the point on the PP. Love that he put up 51 points in 75 games last year. Love that he’s from Michigan and might take a slight pay cut to play for the Wings. Not so thrilled with the flaws listed above.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/21/11 at 12:51 PM ET

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That comment about Bieksa/Ehrhoff makes me happy. I realize the UFA d-man list is somewhat shallow this offseason, but I’d been thinking that neither of those two were worth a significant pay increase. Besides, Bieksa will be back in Van next season for sure….maybe.

@OlderThanChelios, I read read that assessment as well and basically echo your thoughts regarding it. If there’s one the Wings need when considering their big d-man pickup it’s somebody sound positionally who makes good decisions in their own end.

Posted by godblender on 06/21/11 at 01:13 PM ET

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The Wings’ brass aren’t fans of Joni Pitkanen

....classic underachiever.

Posted by godblender on 06/21/11 at 01:16 PM ET

DetCapC19's avatar

I`m a huge Pitkanen fan and I think he’d fit right in with our style and system.

-He’s young (will be 28 in Sept)
-He’s got good size - 6’3,  215lbs (not overly physical, mind you)
-Has good speed for a d-man, very mobile
-Good puck mover
-Can QB our PP (ideal for our 2nd unit)
-Can log big minutes (lead the NHL in ice time 2 years ago)
-Low maintenance
-Has twice put up 46 pts (career high)

I know he’s underachieved somewhat in his career, however he’s played a chunk of his career for Edmonton and Carolina.  Not saying it was impossible to have any success there, but his 46 pts 2 seasons ago would indicate that he did fare relatively well in Carolina despite a squad that wasn’t considered a contender.

In my opinion - I think he’s the best defender on the open market.  But if Duff is correct (and I don’t know where he gets his information from because nobody else has reported this), then it would appear as though Holland and Co. disagree with me.

Posted by DetCapC19 from Vancouver, BC on 06/21/11 at 01:50 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I know he’s underachieved somewhat in his career, however he’s played a chunk of his career for Edmonton and Carolina.  Not saying it was impossible to have any success there, but his 46 pts 2 seasons ago would indicate that he did fare relatively well in Carolina despite a squad that wasn’t considered a contender.

In my opinion - I think he’s the best defender on the open market.  But if Duff is correct (and I don’t know where he gets his information from because nobody else has reported this), then it would appear as though Holland and Co. disagree with me.

Posted by DetCapC19 from Vancouver, BC on 06/21/11 at 12:50 PM ET

Agree.  I don’t mind Wiz patrolling back there but since the Wings place a huge value on skill, I wouldn’t mind Pitkanen on the Wings’ blue.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 06/21/11 at 02:23 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

I think they make a trade.. this puts them in a position of leverage.  We can offer cap relief.. we could give someone a pick in the first round they may not have.. give them an affordable top six player..  on the free market the players have all the leverage at least the good ones do.  I expect to see them trade for a dean unless its wiz who remains realistic about what we expects to be paid

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/21/11 at 02:28 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Dman

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/21/11 at 02:31 PM ET

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I expect to see them trade for a dean unless its wiz who remains realistic about what we expects to be paid

If they can’t/won’t sign Ericsson I can see them trading for a d-man AND signing one.

Trading for one before July 1st can give them some leverage when it comes to UFAs because if someone wants to much they can simply walk away, or they can sign a younger fella with the promise that he won’t have as much pressure on him as someone else might, with the idea that he would get a bigger role next year.

Posted by Garth on 06/21/11 at 02:44 PM ET

detroitdan1982's avatar

One of the sites that was linked here this morning had the Flyers possibly shopping Matt Carle, would he fit the role of the puck moving defenseman they’re looking for?

Posted by detroitdan1982 from St. John's, NL on 06/21/11 at 04:34 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

40 point dman

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/22/11 at 12:22 AM ET

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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.

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