The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/24/12 at 01:33 AM ET
Via RedWingsFeed, it appears that Red Wings GM Ken Holland isn’t going to wait until the increasingly likely lockout ends to begin shoring up his roster. According to MLive’s Brendan Savage and the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, the Wings aren’t going to go into September without at least ensuring that the team’s made some sort of move to shore up their undermanned blueline:
The Detroit Red Wings could be close to signing free-agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo. A source told MLive.com that the Red Wings have made a two-year offer for about $2.5 million a season.
Colaiacovo, 29, is a good skater and puck-mover with some offensive ability, having averaged 27 points a season the past four years with the St. Louis Blues. He shoots left and can play the point on the power play.
His biggest issue has been his health. He hasn’t played more than 67 games in any season.
Colaiacovo (6-1, 200) isn’t the top-pair defenseman the Red Wings were seeking after losing Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (signed with San Jose), but he is one of the few viable options remaining in what was a weak free-agent market.
MLive.com first reported the Red Wings’ interest in Colaiacovo on July 3. Detroit initially offered a one-year deal, but Colaiacovo was seeking a three-year pact.
The sides might compromise on a two-year deal. Colaicovo earned $2.5 million last season. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has been in constant contact with Colaicovo’s agent, Pat Morris, this week.
If the Red Wings sign Colaiacovo, they would likely would be done on defense since they would have seven NHL defensemen.
The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness confirms, but offers a different cap figure:
The Wings have made an offer to Carlo Colaiacovo according to a someone within the organization. Detroit has offered him a two-year deal worth $2.7 million a season.
It’s just one more defenseman the Wings have tried to add this offseason.
Earlier this month, a source confirmed that Detroit has been in contact with the Calgary Flames about trading for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.
The Wings are in need of a top four defensemen, which there are none left on the open market and therefore a trade may need to be made in order to fill that void.
The Wings had a distinct game plan once free agency started after losing Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (trade). hey made pitches to the unrestricted free agent defenseman Ryan Suter. After losing out on him the Wings turned their attention to signing restricted free agent Shea Weber to an offer sheet. Weber however chose to sign an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers and it was matched by the Nashville Predators. The Flyers offered Weber $110 million over 14 years.
The Wings currently have six defensemen under contract — Niklas Kronwall, Ian White, Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl. The Wings are $13 million under the salary cap.
Colaiacovo, who was drafted 17th overall by Toronto in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, has been bothered by injuries that has hindered his career.
Despite his injury status, given the available crop of defensemen still out there—Pavel Kubina, Jaroslav Spacek, Michal Rozsival, Milan Jurcina, Cam Barker, Chris Campoli, Matt Gilroy, Brett Clark, Jim Vandermeer, Sean O’Donnell and Colin White are all “possibilities”—Colaiacovo is the most talented and the most likely to thrive in the Wings’ system. His injury history is a huge concern, but under the CBA we’re working with until September 15th, they’re enough of a concern to make him a sub-$3 million defenseman, and given the contracts handed out this summer, if the Wings can snag him for an Ian White-style discount, a left-handed Ian White ain’t bad.
The Sports Forecaster offers the following take on the 6’1,” 200-pound Toronto native:
Assets: Plays a sound positional game and rarely gets beaten one-on-one because of his good skating ability. Has plenty of offensive know-how and puck-moving skills. Can also be an asset on the power play.
Flaws: Has had a hard time avoiding the injury bug at the NHL level. Can make mistakes in his own end, and lacks the durability to play a consistently physical game.
Career Potential: Solid all-around defenseman, when healthy.
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