The Malik Report
Sorry to be late with this, but George is sick and I have been trying to conserve some energy, anticipating a big day tomorrow when UFA Day starts...
from Ansar Khan of Mlive,
The Red Wings continue talking to Filppula's agent, but it doesn't appear as if he's lowered his asking price of 5-7 years at $5 million or more a season.
Tampa Bay and Columbus might have interest. Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman knows Filppula well from his days in Detroit. Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen also has ties with Filppula, his fellow Finnish native.
If the Red Wings lose Filppula and are unable to land Weiss or Ribeiro, they might offer Cullen a short-term deal (two years). He is 36, but is a decent skater and playmaker and can play all forward positions. But, he has limited offensive ability.
The Red Wings have some interest in right wing Jarome Iginla, who brings many desirable qualities (offense, toughness, leadership), but also raises some concerns (he's 36 and has a lot of mileage). Detroit wasn't on his list of four teams he agreed to waive his no-trade clause to join when Calgary dealt him to Pittsburgh late in the season.
Detroit is not prepared to make huge offers to top free agents David Clarkson (New Jersey) or Nathan Horton (Boston). Clarkson could command a seven-year deal worth more than $5 million per season. Horton reportedly is seeking $6 million or more a season.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Why aren’t the Wings getting any of the bigger names out there? Because they all want too much. Vincent Lecavalier wanted a five-year contract. There were almost a dozen teams interested in him, and all but the Philadelphia Flyers balked at giving a slow-paced 33-year-old that much term. The Wings would have given Lecavalier $4.5 million per if he’d taken a two-year deal. Boston’s Nathan Horton is hotly pursued, but he wants to play someplace warm. New Jersey’s David Clarkson is pushing for a seven-year deal in the $6 million per season range.
Have the Wings lost their appeal as a go-to destination? The Wings are willing to pay when the player is worth it — they just extended Datsyuk for $22.5 million and three years, for example. They didn’t lose out on Ryan Suter or Zach Parise because of money. They would have matched what the Wild gave each player last summer (13 years, $98 million). They lost out on those two because Parise is from Minneapolis and Suter is from Madison, Wisc., and his wife is from Bloomington, Minn. They both opted to play at or near what is home for them. Just like Danny DeKeyser did when he picked the Wings out of all the suitors he had in March. Can’t control geography.
from Bill Roose of the Wings website,
As a newlywed, the last thing Carlo Colaiacovo thought he’d have to do this summer was shop for a new job.
“I got married over the weekend, so it was something that wasn’t even on my mind,” he said. “I’ve been hearing a lot of rumors over the last couple of weeks, but I really didn’t know what to believe because I haven’t heard from anybody of importance.”...
“I came into Detroit last summer because I knew I was a top-four guy that could play in a situation there,” said Colaiacovo, who collected one assist in six regular-season games. “I went through some difficulties last year that I would rather not talk about, but I still believe that I’m a guy who can play top-four on any team. I believe that I’ve proved that through my play, but they have some young guys who they relied upon real hard and some guys that they’re going to lean towards next year. So who knows where I would have fit in there?”
from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
Detroit changed its mind at seemingly the last minute and made a qualifying offer to soon-to-be restricted free agent goalie Tom McCollum.
“We think he can play in the minor leagues,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
The team instead released Jordan Pearce.
On Tuesday the team appeared to be heading to cutting ties with their former first round pick.
“(McCollum) was the backup in Grand Rapids,” Holland said. “He’s a first round pick. We won the Calder Cup championship down there and he helped that team get in the playoffs. You need five goalies in the system, everybody has five. We have five.”
Describing what winning the Olympic hockey gold medal means to Russia, Datsyuk said: “It’s the biggest thing for any country. It’s hard to explain, it’s just a feeling you have.”
Winning an Olympic gold medal is just about the only accomplishment not credited to Datsyuk. He’s already won the Stanley Cup, the World Championship and a Russian championship, so the Olympic crown is vital to him now.
“I think winning the Olympic gold is the biggest thing for any hockey player. You want to win for your country.”
When asked about his summer plans and attending Russia’s pre-Olympic camp, Datsyuk deadpanned the following.
“I’m just waiting to make sure I make the team.”
There’s another humorous moment from one of the world’s most seriously talented hockey prodigies.
more inlcuding Datsyuk stating he still wants to finish his career in Russia.
Red Wings overnight report: Fil gone, Colaiacovo bought out, DET unlikely to pursue big-ticket UFA’s
Okay, let's get down to brass tacks here.
1. The Red Wings swung and missed on Vincent Lecavalier. Why? He wanted five years and a no-trade clause, and he apparently has little concern for the concept that a team that has a shaky defense and no starting goaltender also has no cap space, barring trading Braydon Coburn and putting Chris Pronger on the LTIR, anyway, so what the hell, chase the money and play for a team with some superb offensive talent even though you're going to need a name tag to know who your teammates are in six months, never mind a year.
The Wings had the money, but they didn't want to do anything stupider than already having to deal with the players we're going to talk about next, and as the Free Press's Helene St. James has been telling us from the start, the Wings think Lecavalier's too slow to keep up already, at 33, never mind at 38.
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
As NHL free agency heats up Wednesday — any unrestricted free agent can talk to any team, though not sign until Friday — the Wings’ focus is shifting more to keeping two of their own guys than bringing in someone new.
That’s because of prohibitive prices: Lecavalier, 34, wants a five-year deal averaging around $5 million a season; the Wings are too concerned about his pace to commit that much. Clarkson, of New Jersey, is pushing for seven years at a $6 million average; this for a guy who has one 30-goal season to his credit. Boston’s Nathan Horton wants to play in a warm climate.
The Wings are looking for a second-line center, and would have liked to add Lecavalier if he was agreeable to a two-year deal. There’s a spot open in the top-six group because negotiations with Valtteri Filppula have revealed a wide chasm, one that won’t be closed by the end of the week....
The Wings also have to consider that in another year, they likely will be adding three talented forwards from their system in Tomas Jurco, Riley Sheahan and Landon Ferraro. If prices for this year’s scant crop of UFAs is as high as it appears, the Wings may well decide to go into the season with what they’ve got, and see what happens.
update 8:22pm, St, James updated the same link with this...
General manager Ken Holland is continuing talks with his other two unrestricted free-agent forwards, Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner, and the negotiations are close enough deals could happen. Cleary should come in around three years and $9 million, while Brunner is seeking in the $2.5 million range.
The Wings already have 12 forwards under contract for next season, a number that will grow by two when restricted free agents Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist get new contracts. Depending on what happens with Cleary and Brunner, the Wings may not buy out any forwards. Mikael Samuelsson, 36, and Todd Bertuzzi, 38, both were injured much of last season, but each has just one season left on his contract.
read more at the link above...
It turns out that MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James were on to something:
Updated 2x with super conflicting reports at 3:07 PM:
Because the comments sections in my previous two blog entries are currently blowing up with suggestions that Ken Holland has failed as a GM because MLive's Ansar Khan and the Free Press's Helene St. James have suggested that Vincent Lecavalier is headed to Dallas, let's hear what ESPN's Pierre LeBrun has to say about Lecavalier's decision, or the lack thereof:
It is very possible, although not quite a guarantee, that Vincent Lecavalier will choose his next team by the end of the day Wednesday. The UFA center, who is allowed to speak with teams earlier than other UFAs because his contract was bought out, has been deliberating with family where the best fit might be for him to continue this career.
Updated 2x at 2:38 PM: As noted in the mid-day entry, the NHL's "wining and dining" period for free agents-to-be gets underway tomorrow at 12 PM and lasts until Friday, and while nobody's sure how it will play out, Wings GM Ken Holland told MLive's Ansar Khan that he will take part in the process:
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he plans to reach out to about a half-dozen forwards.
“I'll express interest, see what they're thinking,'' Holland said.
Khan lists a slate of forwards who the Wings might target but he's reporting that today's scuttlebutt suggests that David Clarkson's somehow going to get more than $5 million per season on the open market, and nathan Horton wants $6 million, which takes any sane team out of the running for either. The news isn't good regarding Lecavalier, either:
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