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Regner: Red Wings will announce Ty Conklin signing on Wednesday

Updated 3x at 1:43 AM: The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness makes it 3 sources, and 3 sources = confirmation: According to Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner and via RedWingsFeed, the Red Wings have already signed the man who will back up Jimmy Howard this season:

The Detroit Red Wings have signed goalie Ty Conklin to a one-year contract worth under $1 million, a source close to the team said Tuesday night. The Wings are expected to officially announce the signing sometime Wednesday morning.

This will be Conklin’s second stint in Detroit. He was Chris Osgood’s backup during the 2008-09 season, appearing in a career-high 40 games and winning 25 of them.

Conklin, 35, spent the last two seasons as a backup for the St. Louis Blues, playing in a total of 51 games. The backup position to Jimmy Howard became available when Osgood announced his retirement Tuesday afternoon.

Update: MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms:

It hasn’t taken the Detroit Red Wings long to find a replacement for Chris Osgood.

The team has agreed to a one-year contract with veteran goaltender Ty Conklin. The deal, worth less than $1 million, could be announced as early as Wednesday.

Conklin, 35, will serve as Jimmy Howard’s backup. Conklin flourished in the same capacity with the Red Wings in 2008-09, going 25-11-2 with a 2.51 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.

Conklin played more than expected while backing up Osgood, who battled through consistency issues much of the regular season before excelling in the playoffs. He is not expected to play that much behind Howard, who is a workhorse.

Update #3: The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness also confirms:

Less than a day after goaltender Chris Osgood announced his retirement from the National Hockey League, the Wings have found their backup for starter Jimmy Howard. Detroit has agreed to a one-year deal with former Wing Ty Conklin. The one-year deal could be announced as early as Wednesday and believed to be worth less than a $1 million for the season.

“We’ll have an announcement on another goaltender probably at the end of the week,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during Osgood’s announcement of his retirement.

Conklin, 35, played one season with Detroit (2008-09) and recorded a career-high 25 wins, going 25-11-2 with a 2.51 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage. Coincidently, Conklin filled in for Osgood during his season with the Wings when he struggled. Osgood found his game and wound up leading the Wings to the Stanley Cup.

Conklin played the last two seasons with the Blues in a backup role, struggling last year with a record of 8-8-4 and a 3.22 goals-against average and .881 save percentage. Conklin, who was not claimed when the Blues placed him on waivers last February, made $1.4 million last season.

Last week, Holland said he had been offered a goalie through a trade. Last Monday, the Wings re-signed Joey MacDonald to a two-year deal. The first year of the contract is a two-way deal. MacDonald will be the third goalie going into the season.

“When we signed Joey MacDonald he understands he’s going to be the third goalie in the organization this year,” Holland said. “It’s the same role he had a year ago.”

The Wings pursued a number of different backup options for starter Jimmy Howard when free agency started, including Tomas Vokoun, Jose Theodore and Mike Smith. All three however were looking to battle for a starting job and not be the No. 2 goalie.

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Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

Fook Mi, that was fast.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 07/20/11 at 01:20 AM ET


This means Ken Holland checked into last year’s subpar play and figures Conklin can bounce back. Let’s hope he’s right. Of course, we do have salary cap room in case for later.

Posted by Bugsy on 07/20/11 at 01:20 AM ET

CaptNorris5's avatar

Bah. Ah well, in Kenny we trust. And I suppose it’s not that big of a risk, considering at worst we can just waive him and either bring in Joey Mac or make a trade. Hope this works out.

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 07/20/11 at 01:50 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

So Babbles can whip out his Jimmah or his Conk.

Is this a family site?

Posted by mrfluffy from the phone, calling Detroit, telling them it's on 07/20/11 at 01:56 AM ET

rrasco's avatar

Most of us already knew this would happen, just like this…right?  I like Conks, so I’m game.

Posted by rrasco from TEXAS on 07/20/11 at 01:58 AM ET

El Gato Pollo Loco!!!'s avatar

This means Ken Holland checked into last year’s subpar play and figures Conklin can bounce back.

Well, he was on the Blues, so you got to figure that he’d have to….

Truthfully I’m not surprised. Conklin was the best goalie left on the market and is more than capable to spot a few games for Jimmy. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that a deal was set on the condition that Ozzie couldn’t come back.

Posted by El Gato Pollo Loco!!! on 07/20/11 at 02:08 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

He was the best goalie on the market who was willing to be a back-up. I’ll take him and believe that between Conklin and MacDonald, the Wings have two relatively capable back-ups that add up to someone who can replace Osgood by committee.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/20/11 at 03:06 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Great, one more year of riding Jimmy hard.  The organization is one heck of a taskmaster.  I suppose they’re considering it “conditioning.”

Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 07/20/11 at 03:17 AM ET

Number9Loyalist's avatar

What George said…

Posted by Number9Loyalist on 07/20/11 at 03:18 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Here’s the bottom line, for both Conklin and Ian White’s signings:

The Wings will have somewhere between $5-6 million in cap space to do whatever they need to to plug holes should anyone falter.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/20/11 at 03:25 AM ET


Thanks George, for quantifying the cap space number—even if they don’t use it, certainly couldn’t hurt having the space to sign/re-sign defensemen next year. Good night, y’all.

Posted by Bugsy on 07/20/11 at 03:34 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

If you check Capgeek.com, it’s gonna be somewhere around five-and-a-half million bucks, which, when you crank it up to half-a-season’s aggregate salaries or trade deadline space, could mean lots and lots more (i.e. if half the season is over, you can still add up to $5.5 million in remaining salaries, and at the trade deadline, when the season is 70% over, you can still add up to about $5.5 million in aggregate remaining salaries).

That’s when it’s going to matter more and more, and Holland sounds like a man who wants to use it, one way or another.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/20/11 at 03:41 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.