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The great Joey MacDonald freak-out clarified: He’s not succeeding Osgood as the Red Wings’ back-up

Updated 3x with more from Holland and a bit from Joey MacDonald himself at 8:50 PM: This would usually into “unnecessary post” territory, but given that we’re talking about Red Wings free agent signings in July and Chris Osgood’s future, both KK’s comments and Twitter are blowing up like a hot air balloon fueled by a Brian Burke since the Red Wings signed Joey MacDonald to a two-year contract this morning.

Let’s clarify the situation: Yes, the Wings signed MacDonald to a 2-year contract worth $550,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 at the AHL level. He is not, however, going to succeed Chris Osgood as Jimmy Howard’s back-up. If you don’t believe me when I can tell you that Jim Nill informed me MacDonald’s, “Just a little insurance policy,” here’s what GM Ken Holland had to say to the Free Press’s Helene St. James about the team’s plans for MacDonald…

“He’s going to be our third guy,” general manager Ken Holland said. “He had some options in Europe, but he wanted to stay in North America. He did a nice job for us when called up. He understands that he’ll open the season at the American league level. He’s a good veteran.”

As well as what Holland told MLive’s Ansar Khan: about the goaltender, who Khan reports will earn a one-way contract for the 2012-2013 season:

“He had some opportunities to go to Russia, he prefers to be in the NHL,’’ Holland said. “We like him. He likes being in the organization. He understands he’s the third goalie coming in in ‘11-12. He’s a veteran guy, he’s going to bring experience to Grand Rapids. He’s a good leader. If we need help at the NHL level we know more now than we did a year ago.’‘

And here’s your Chris Osgood update:

Holland spoke to Osgood’s agent on Monday and said he’ll talk to Osgood this week. Osgood is scheduled to return to Detroit on Tuesday from his golfing trip to Ireland and Scotland.

“There’s a couple of guys we have an interest in in the open market and there’s Chris Osgood,’’ Holland said. “I want to talk to him before I make a decision.’‘

Holland is still talking to the agent for Ty Conklin and said he also had one team call him and offer a trade for a goalie.

So that will probably happen on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday on the goaltending front.

Update: And here’s the AP’s Larry Lage weighing in if you need a third source:

The Detroit Red Wings have agreed to a two-year contract with Joey MacDonald, bringing the 31-year-old veteran back as the team’s No. 3 goaltender. Detroit hasn’t settled who else will be around to back up starter Jimmy Howard, but the Red Wings felt MacDonald was worth keeping in the system. He went 5-5-3 with a 2.58 goals-against average in 15 games for Detroit last season. He also played in 20 games for Grand Rapids of the AHL.

“He gives us good depth, gives us good insurance,’’ general manager Ken Holland said Monday.

Detroit signed Howard to a two-year, $4.5 million deal in February, but the rest of its goalie situation has been somewhat muddled. Chris Osgood, the team’s No. 2 goalie last season, played in only 11 games - none after undergoing sports hernia surgery in January.

MacDonald stepped in to back up Howard. He posted a .917 save percentage, including his second career shutout on March 17 at Columbus. MacDonald has a 3.19 career goals-against average in 87 games with Detroit, Boston, the New York Islanders and Toronto. Holland said MacDonald’s contract is a two-way deal for the first year. Financial terms were not released.

Holland said MacDonald’s role in 2011-12 will likely be similar to what it was last season, when he split time between the minors and the Red Wings. Detroit is still in the market for a No. 2 goaltender, be it Osgood or somebody else. Holland said he planned to talk with the 38-year-old Osgood this week.

Osgood did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

And if you’re into speculation, WXYT’s Jeff Riger offers some thoughts about the situation.

Update: The Windsor Star’s Jim Parker also spoke to Holland about MacDonald and Osgood:

“He did a good job,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He understands he’s the third goalie in ’11-12.”
“He did a good job,” Holland said. “He had some opportunities to go to Russia. He prefers to be in the NHL. If we need help at the NHL level, we know more now than we did a year ago.”
“We like him,” Holland said ““He likes being in the organization. He’s a veteran guy, he’s going to bring experience to Grand Rapids (and) he’s a good leader.”

As for Osgood and Kris Draper?

“I want to talk to Chris Osgood,” Holland said. “There’s not a lot of options.”

Holland confirmed he’s had talks with former Red Wing Ty Conklin. The 35-year-old Conklin played 25 games for St. Louis last season. Holland said he has also been approached by one NHL team about a possible trade.

“There’s a couple of guys we have an interest in the open market and there’s Chris Osgood,” Holland said. “I want to talk to him before I make a decision.”

Holland, who said he also wants to talk to 40-year-old Kris Draper this week, expects to make a decision by the end of the week.

One more update: Ansar Khan spoke to MacDonald as well:

MacDonald said “four or five” Russian teams had interest, but it would have been difficult being away from his wife and two young kids for the whole season.

“I was really considering it at first, then I talked to Detroit and other (NHL) teams,” MacDonald said. “I hoped it didn’t have to come down to that (Russia). It would have been a tough situation keeping everybody back home. That factored into the decision. A couple of the offers were really good, a lot of money, but it’s not the NHL. Getting the one-way the second year (from Detroit) was what I really wanted.”

He said the Chicago Blackhawks offered basically the same deal as Detroit. He opted to remain with an organization he knows and a front office, coaching staff and players that know him.

“Grand Rapids is a great place to play, if it comes to that,” MacDonald said. “I’ll go into camp, fight for the No. 2 job; it’s been the same way all 10 years of my career. If not, I’ll go to Grand Rapids and work my way up. Whether you’re No. 2 or No. 3, you have to be ready for all cases. Things can change in a hurry.”

As for the Wings’ leanings, just as St. James believes Osgood’s a slam-dunk choice, Khan believes that the Wings will sign Conklin.

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MOWingsfan19's avatar

he also had one team call him and offer a trade for a goalie.

Inquiring minds wanna know more.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 07/11/11 at 05:26 PM ET

monkey's avatar

  he also had one team call him and offer a trade for a goalie.

Inquiring minds


Posted by monkey from Prague on 07/11/11 at 07:06 PM ET


Now just some reassurance that SOMEONE will be succeeding Osgood as back up.

This season.

Posted by Garth on 07/11/11 at 09:39 PM ET



from nyi: you take Rick DiPietro’s contract and the nyi take a low draft pick


from phi: Leighton and his 1.6M salary


from chi: Huet for future considerations

Posted by dca from Alexandria VA on 07/12/11 at 12:00 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

1. No. He’s signed for boku bucks till the tenth of never and is always hurt.

2. Maybe.

3. No, he’s got a huge cap hit.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/12/11 at 12:15 AM ET


nabokov from islanders for hudler and 4 hookers to be named later.

Posted by chad from albuquerque on 07/12/11 at 01:37 AM ET

Slumpy's avatar

Bobrovsky for some prospect and a pick. Flyers don’t have much cap space.

Glad to gear Joey Mac returning. He played well when called upon. Back for another season to help bring along McCollum progression with The Griffins.

Posted by Slumpy from Under My Wheels on 07/12/11 at 01:47 AM ET


Hey George, are people really freaking out? I mean on, on June 29th Kenny said If Chris can come back he will, and that Ken an Chris would make that decision when they could. Don’t get me wrong- I am the biggest Osgood cheerleader in the Universe, but if Chris says he can’t play, then as I see it that would be the only way Ozzie doesn’ come back to play.  I guess I just trust Wiley Kenotye and The Wiz.

Posted by Juice from LA on 07/12/11 at 10:58 AM ET


sorry you took my trades seriously they were meant as the weber for lebda variety…that some always talk about. I wouldn’t doubt they were offered but I’d be shocked if holland said we’ll consider it and get back to you. Those are the three worst contracts of backups I could find.

With Joey Mac I think it opens the door to bringing Osgood back and adjusting in Jan with a trade if necessary.

Posted by dca from Alexandria VA on 07/12/11 at 07:19 PM 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.