The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/01/12 at 08:57 PM ET
Updated 5x at 9:31 PM: My best guess at this point is pretty simple: the Red Wings have an overabundance of forwards now, should Zach Parise go elsewhere, and perhaps they are crossing their fingers that either Nick Kypreos wasn’t blowing smoke or that, should Ryan Suter choose to go elsewhere, they’ve got back-up plans in place. One way or another, I do believe that Ken Holland knows something we don’t, has a trade in the works (no, not for Nash, dear God, Scott Howson wants both arms, both legs, the liver, spleen and heart from teams that are in different conferences, never mind the same division) or is simply overbuilding like nobody’s frickin’ business, knowing that he can exceed the salary cap by 10% during the summer…
After adding Jonas Gustavsson, as expected, Damien Brunner, and throwing two bizarre curveballs our way in Mikael Samuelsson (hey, with Hudler gone and Tomas Holmstrom likely to retire, the Wings had a 35-goal hole, and Samuelsson knocks into that significantly at what is an affordable price by a $70 million cap’s standards) and Jordin Tootoo (for the love of Gordie, may we banish those whistles from the Joe forever).
Now? Given that we’ve been told that neither Parise nor Suter will make their decisions until Monday, despite the Wings’ best efforts to make their decisions “no-brainers” (thanks, Jonas Gustavsson), I’ll turn it over to the Free Press’s Helene St. James...
DET GM Ken Holland on signing of Jordin Tootoo: “We’re stepping out of our comfort zone.”
#RedWings done with free agency for today - now sitting back to wait to hear from Ryan Suter & Zach Parise.
FYI to those panicking: NHL Free Agency isn’t a one-day sale. All summer left for #RedWings to make more moves.
Continuing to track #RedWings GM Ken Holland’s moves today: He just went to dinner with fellow front office staff in downtown Detroit.
And the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness:
Just got off the phone with Wings GM Ken Holland and he says the team is basically in a holding pattern with the rest of their offseason moves until Ryan Suter and Zach Parise decide on where they are going.
With the signings of Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo, Jonas Gustavsson and Damien Brunner, the Wings still have roughly $17 million left to spend. That however doesn’t include the close to $5 million it’s going to cost to re-sign both Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Quincey.
My best guess is that the Wings know that, at best, one of Suter or Parise will sign with them. Then they’ll spend a good chunk of change on either a goal-scoring forward or a puck-moving defenseman, depending on whether they lose out on one or both (I would imagine that Alex Semin or Matt Carle would be plucked off the market fast once Suter and Parise decide), and if the Wings strike out entirely, they’ll use some of those extra line’s worth of forwards to make a trade.
I have no frickin’ clue, and while we knew that the Wings would have to wait to deal with their biggest problem, their defense, once Suter made it known that he wasn’t going to decide where he would head today, and we knew that the Wings wanted a back-up goalie and a fourth-line forward with some grit, too…
I’m pretty bloody confused, and I’m really hoping that Ken Holland and the Wings’ front office know what they are doing, and have multiple plans of action that will satisfy our sky-high expectations by this time tomorrow.
The offers were numerous for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter on Sunday, so it should surprise no one that they needed at least a day to collect their thoughts.
Parise got offers from the likes of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Carolina and Dallas among other teams, while keeping the dialogue open with New Jersey.
By the end of the day, the Stars and Hurricanes said they were out of the Parise mix, the Kings felt they were long shots, while the Red Wings weren’t very confident. It certainly felt like it was down to the Penguins, Devils, Wild and Flyers. Playing with Sidney Crosby is a big-time allure, but Minnesota also appeals a lot to the Minneapolis native, in my understanding. And you can’t count out New Jersey. The Devils captain told reporters outside Newport Sports’ offices in the Toronto area that he would make a decision Monday.
Suter received offers from the Red Wings, Wild, Flyers, Penguins and Blackhawks among other teams, while Nashville GM David Poile said he was also preparing an offer to try and retain him. Hard to bet against Detroit here, but I’d keep an eye on Minnesota and Nashville as well.
Know this: I doubt any team offered more money than Philadelphia for either player, we’re talking north of $100 million for each. But in the end, money won’t be the only criteria for both players.
Once Parise and Suter make up their mind, it should have the predictable domino effect on the rest of the marketplace. Once Parise goes, Columbus will ramp up trade talks on Rick Nash. The Rangers, Red Wings and Hurricanes are among the possibilities. Parise’s signing will also heat up trade talks for Bobby Ryan in Anaheim.
Once Suter goes, it should move things along on the Matt Carle front. He’s the best UFA blueliner available after Suter. I’m willing to bet Carle easily gets at least $5 million a year whenever he does sign.
Update #2: From Khan:
Wings done for the day. Holland said they’re still in the mix for Suter and Parise.
Update #3: From the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff:
#redwings Holland: “We thought we signed some depth today and we got some ingredients that we’re excited about adding.”
#redwings Holland: “We made presentations or pitches to the Parise and Suter camps.”
#redwings Holland on Tootoo: “He’s physical, he gets under your skin of our players. It’s an ingredient we’ve always talked about.”
#redwings Holland on Samuelsson: “We know him. We like him. He can skate. He can play the right point on the power play. He’s got a shot.”
#redwings Holland on Brunner: “He’s got speed, now we’ll see how he adjusts from the big rink to a small rink and with more physical play.”
#redwings Holland: “We’re hoping Gustavsson can take his career to another level here.”
Update #4: According to the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, Ken Holland says the Wings are waiting for answers from both Parise and Suter...
“Obviously we’re probably not going to do anything more until we know what’s going on with those two big guys,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a phone interview late Sunday. “We’re sort of sitting on a cap situation where if they want to come to us we can’t keep adding.”
“We thought we signed some depth and we got some ingredients that we’re excited about adding,” Holland said.
The deals leave the Wings with just over $17 million in cap space. However, close to $5 million is earmarked for restricted free agents Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Quincey. The Wings would like to get Abdelkader to sign a four-year deal at just under $2 million a season, but Quincey could be more difficult to sign at the number they want since he made $3.25 million a year ago. They’re hoping to give him at a modest raise.
“In order to have a possibility of being involved in deals for Suter or Parise if we lose some people we lose some people,” said Holland, who confirmed the team did make formal presentations to the representatives for Suter and Parise. “I’m told we’re a consideration for both of them.”
“We wanted to keep (Samuelsson) him three years ago but the salary was beyond where we wanted to go,” Holland said. “Samuelsson can replace Hudler.”
“We know him, we like him, he can skate and he’s got some range,” Holland said. “He can play the right point on the power play. He’s got a shot. We’ve had him and he played well for us.”
“We wanted to get some physical play into our game,” Holland said. “We think he’ll provide an element of an edge to our team on the bottom six. We played against Nashville, we know him, he’s physical, he gets under your skin of our players. It’s an ingredient we’ve always talked about.”
“We were involved in a lot of different things,” Holland said. “Some of the guys signed elsewhere and some of them are still sitting out there. All our people were here, which was good, and we made a decision that he would be a good fit.”
Update #5: I’ll quote more of Fox Sports Detroit’s Dana Wakiji’s July 1 wrap-up later, but for now…
The Red Wings jumped right into the mix Sunday, the first day NHL free agents could sign contracts. While they made offers to both Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter and New Jersey forward Zach Parise, they had plenty of company in that department.
“I’m told they’re not making any decisions today so we’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
The four signings wound down day one for the Wings in their free agent pursuits. What happens next will also determine what current Wings might not return.
“We’re going to talk to (Tomas Holmstrom) in a couple of weeks,” Holland said. “Obviously we’re probably not going to do anything more until we know what’s going on with those two big guys. We’re sort of sitting on a cap situation where if they want to come to us we can’t keep adding. In order to have a possibility of being involved in deals for Suter or Parise, if we lose some people we lose some people.”
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