The Malik Report
MLive's Ansar Khan penned a column discussing the Wings' free agency moves as a "commitment to winning now, while the Cup window is still open," and here are his takes on the Green and Richards signings:
Green, 29, was the key. He's been one of the league's premier offensive defensemen for a decade with the Washington Capitals. Other than Kronwall, the Red Wings don't generate much offense form the back end. Green also will boost an already strong power play (ranked second in the NHL last season).
Green has defensive deficiencies, but he'll be protected to some extent on the second pairing with Danny DeKeyser, who Babcock often referred to as "The Human Eraser" for his ability to clean up others' mistakes.
Richards might start the season as the No. 1 center, depending on Datsyuk's recovery. That's not ideal, but options are limited. He'll eventually settle into the second-line spot, where the Red Wings hope he'll mesh with either Gustav Nyquist or Tomas Tatar.
New coach Jeff Blashill has options, and depth. The Red Wings have 15 forwards, including Johan Franzen, whose status is uncertain due to a concussion, and nine defensemen.
Updated 9x at 11:42 AM: I wasn't invited to this one (and am a little aggravated about that), but the Red Wings held a press conference in which Ken Holland, Jeff Blashill and several Wings prospects spoke with the media ahead of tomorrow's development camp in Traverse City. Holland and Blashill have already spoken to the media, and here's the Twitter play-by-play of their comments:
Update: Here's more from the Free Press's Helene St. James:
So, general manager Ken Holland said today, he will bring up the matter with owners Mike and Marian Ilitch and longtime executive vice president Jimmy Devellano.
"At the appropriate time, I'll weigh in, we'll talk about whether his number should go in the rafters or not," Holland said. "But certainly, being selected to go in the Hall of Fame is an incredible accomplishment. He was a great player and a great Red Wing. Certainly worth serious consideration."
Updated 4x at 1:11 AM: The Detroit Red Wings aren't necessarily "sitting pretty" after signing Mike Green and Brad Richards to three and one-year contracts, respectively: according to General Fanager, Hockey's Cap and Cap Friendly, the Wings have somewhere between $4.8 and $6.8 million in salary cap space remaining (it's closer to $6 million), with restricted free agents Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Jurco, Landon Ferraro and Teemu Pulkkinen to re-sign (all assuming that Johan Franzen is healthy and that Pavel Datsyuk doesn't begin the year on the LTIR).
Those players are likely to take at least $6-8 million to re-sign, so the Wings have to make some room to ink them all to contracts. Wings GM Ken Holland readily admitted that the Red Wings have to make some moves to clear both roster and salary cap space after today's moves, but Holland made a telling comment to MLive's Brendan Savage about his roster-and-or-cap conundrum:
"We're going to have to make some moves, which is a good thing," he said. "I'd rather deal from a position of strength than a position of weakness. We feel real good about our depth on defense. It's a great day for the Red Wings today. We went into free agency looking to make some moves that would make a big impact on our team and I think we added two players today that provide some real important ingredients that we're looking for."
"It's early yet" as far as free agency goes--and earlier in terms of teams navigating their cap ceilings (which the Wings can exceed by 10% of the $71.4 million "upper limit") through the re-signings of restricted free agents and/or arbitration hearings, but if we are to believe what we read, the Wings are "big winners" in terms of their free agent machinations, according to USA Today's Kevin Allen...
Ken Holland spoke with the Wings' media corps regarding the moves the Wings made today, and after the jump, here's the Twitter play-by-play of the conference call that Holland, Mike Green and Brad Richards held a little after 6:15 PM:
Updated 5x at 6:01 PM:
Okey dokey, here it is:
Updated 15x at 6:04 PM:
Update: the Sporting News's Sean Gentille says it's a good deal:
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