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And now we wait? And hope that the Red Wings’ front office knows what it’s doing

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.

Otherwise?

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.

 

Update: here’s some extra perspective from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, via RedWingsFeed:

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.”
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#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.”
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#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.”
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#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.”

Regarding Samuelsson…

“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.”

And Tootoo:

“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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Comments

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WingedRider's avatar

FYI to those panicking: NHL Free Agency isn’t a one-day sale. All summer left for #RedWings to make more moves.

Great news!!!  We can return Tootoo Monday or later without contract!!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 07/01/12 at 11:34 PM ET

Denver Wings's avatar

Interesting Khan(!) notes Tootoo is “close friends” with Helm.  That explains it a little, at least.  Could still be a complete fuching disaster, obviously, but that explains it a little.  And I kind of like the idea of Helm-Miller-Tootoo.  At least in theory.

Posted by Denver Wings on 07/01/12 at 11:42 PM ET

topshelf14's avatar

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 09:29 PM ET

Bertuzzi was on Datsyuk’s line paired with Franzen for most of last year and the Red Wings were 7th in goal scoring last year.  I understand wanting to acquire a top 6 forward to score more, but realistically I don’t think thats something to worry about when there are far more glaring needs to address. 

I mean the LA Kings were 29th in goal scoring and they won the Cup because of stellar goaltending, a solid 4 lines to be able to run at every team, and excellent defense.  That’s what we need to worry about more than a top six forward.

Posted by topshelf14 from Detroit, MI on 07/01/12 at 11:45 PM ET

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Dont forget about the salary FLOOR. Some teams will be pAying top dollar for second tier talent in a week, or, they will be trading to take on big contracts to get to the cap floor. Ugh….gin? Yes please.

Posted by ElCapitan on 07/01/12 at 11:48 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Now that the Beyond Godly RW’s signed TooToo will you STFU about Matt Cooke ?

Posted by Evilpens on 07/01/12 at 11:55 PM ET

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Ok so Samuelson equals Huds, too too equals, what malts?  I like the toto deal and while Samuelson can be the king of shots he isn’t to bad but I was really expecting something very different!!! Don’t mind Jonas either.  Flip isn’t going anywhere so who is

Posted by Wbclimb from Az on 07/01/12 at 11:55 PM ET

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If Detroit was really out of the running for Parise or Suter, they would’ve already signed Semin or Carle.

Posted by Alex from San Francisco on 07/01/12 at 11:57 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

At least Tootoo should play for cheap.  What is the cap hit on a fridge full of Molson’s anyway?

Posted by Hootinani on 07/01/12 at 11:57 PM ET

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“Tootoo? Really? I love, love, love grit. Tootoo is a feckin AHL grit guy. Ugghhhh….”

I thought that, too. Then I looked at his numbers. 30 points? We only had seven forwards with more than 30 points. He won’t get 30 in Detroit, but good to know he’s got some touch if needed.

I like Helm-Tootoo-Miller myself. But the Wings want Fil on the wing. He plays faster and more aggressively there. And Babs has already proclaimed Helm the best third-line center in the league. So unless Z moves to the outside, it’s Pav-Z-Helm down the middle. Which means Tootoo would be playing with Miller and Abby on the fourth line.

Helm would be centering Sammy, Cleary and/or Bert.

Of course, bodies will be moved before opening night. So this is all very theoretical.

Posted by Scott on 07/01/12 at 11:57 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Now that the Beyond Godly RW’s signed TooToo will you STFU about Matt Cooke ?

As big a d-bag as Tootoo is, I don’t remember him purposely ending anyone’s career and getting away scott free.  SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO nice try, but no.  Cooke can eat a bag o’ dicks in hell.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/02/12 at 12:01 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Back in 2008 our 3rd/4th liners were Drake, Maltby, Downey, McCarty, Samuelsson, Kopecky, and Draper to grind. In 2012 they were Emmerton, Nyqvist, Mursak, Miller, Conner, Abdelkader, Helm. Biggest difference come playoff time? Size, toughness, grit.

Posted by topshelf14 from Hockeytown, USA on 07/01/12 at 09:21 PM ET

Why people don’t realize this is HUGE I have no feckin idea. We didn’t become a powerhouse by being a fancie boy cute team. If Wings fans think ‘12 Wings shoulda rocked the playoffs THEY. ARE. ON. DRUGS.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/02/12 at 12:02 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

So Wings pick Tootoo over Perros?  *#$%@& you Holland! I’ve been an optimist for this team since ‘85 but I’m really *#$%@& getting sick of a goaler running this team. I have to step outside and collect myself right now

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/02/12 at 12:09 AM ET

Crow's avatar

Yea I agree with Vlad, Perros would have been a better choice for grit, hell Laraque would have been a better choice than that little flea tootoo.  Armstrong is healthy and signed a 1 mill deal with the habs..why not him Kenny?  *sighs*

Posted by Crow on 07/02/12 at 12:15 AM ET

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I understand wanting to acquire a top 6 forward to score more, but realistically I don’t think thats something to worry about when there are far more glaring needs to address.

There’s only one more glaring need.

Other than a top-pairing defenseman THE glaring need is to have at least as many actual top-six forwards as bottom-six.  The Wings have had 3-4 top-six forwards and 9-10 bottom-six forwards for long enough.

And let’s not pretend that 7th in scoring is great for a team like Detroit.

And Babs has already proclaimed Helm the best third-line center in the league.

Even better if our lineup is good enough that the best third-line center in the league ends up playing on the fourth line.

So Wings pick Tootoo over Perros?

Yes.  I hate Tootoo but he knows how to play hockey.  Parros barely knows how to skate.

Posted by Garth on 07/02/12 at 12:17 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Dis feckin gusted!
I have never said this but… Time for a shakeup, Mr. I. Unless, of course, they sign The Two

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/02/12 at 12:17 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Yes. I hate Tootoo but he knows how to play hockey. Parros barely knows how to skate.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 10:17 PM ET

WRONG!

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/02/12 at 12:19 AM ET

Avatar

Armstrong is healthy and signed a 1 mill deal with the habs..why not him Kenny?

Because he signed with the Habs.  Pretty sure you can’t play for two teams at the same time.

Posted by Garth on 07/02/12 at 12:21 AM ET

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WRONG!

Scathing comeback.

Maybe Holland signed Tootoo over Parros because Tootoo had almost eight times as many points as Parros.

Posted by Garth on 07/02/12 at 12:23 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Maybe Holland signed Tootoo over Parros because Tootoo had almost eight times as many points as Parros.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 10:23 PM ET

1. The Wings are THE team in the central. Not Nashville. The only players you “steal” from them are their blue chippers. That is not Tootoo, you *#$%@& twat.

2. Parros is a character guy. Tootoo? Not so much.

3. You annoy the pies outa me.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/02/12 at 12:48 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

2. Parros is a character guy. Tootoo? Not so much.

3. You annoy the pies outa me.

Posted by Vladimir16 on 07/01/12 at 10:48 PM ET

Garth is right. If you have actual reasons why Parros is better than Tootoo, now’s the time to pass them on.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 07/02/12 at 12:55 AM ET

Nate A's avatar

you *#$%@& twat.

Ya know why KK is great? Cause its not Mlive or any other site where most of the post are pure vitriol. Howabout we try to maintain that huh?

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 07/02/12 at 01:00 AM ET

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Posted by Vladimir16 on 07/01/12 at 10:48 PM ET

1) What are you talking about?  Stealing?  How much “on crack” are you?
2) Tootoo knows how to play hockey.  Tootoo is a *#$%@& who can play a regular shift.  He played 13 minutes a night in Nashville.  Parros doesn’t know which end of the stick to put on the ice and played the lowest average minutes per game on the Ducks.
3) Grrrrr, you’re angry and scary!!!!

Posted by Garth on 07/02/12 at 01:01 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

What Nate A said. Don’t *#$%@& around too much. Try and keep it at least somewhat polite.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/02/12 at 01:01 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Oh dude that’s awful.  I declined that treatment after I had it once.  It was only marginally successful, with the potential for leaving big enough pieces to cause multiple ureter blockage episodes.

Posted by RWBill from hiding indoors from Virginia heat. on 07/01/12 at 08:26 PM ET

6 years ago I had the laser lithoscopy (?). This time around the ‘stones’ were actually growths lodged in…folds…in the lower kidney so the regular lithoscopy was very likely to work. I’m passing gravel like the dam broke…but the Vicodin is making my drawings look kinda weird. My boss the architect is amused…but tomorrow morning I’m sure I’ll be tasked redo some of what I did today.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 07/02/12 at 01:05 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Sorry fellas. Too many IPAs and not enough sleep. I do apologize.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/02/12 at 01:15 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I hope you feel better mrfluffy…I know that’s painful as all hell get out.

My take on Tootoo vs. Parros? He may be smaller, but he skates much better and his offensive skills are much more deft.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/02/12 at 01:15 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

The only really redeeming part of this day with regards to the Wings has been reading the Garth and Vlad debate over Parros and Tootoo over the last hour.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/02/12 at 01:18 AM ET

DocF's avatar

As a hockey player George Parros is the owner of an impressive mustache.  He cannot skate as good as me (I fall over if I try to move away from the boards). His shot, well, does he ever shoot?  He cannot defend.  He cannot pass.  He cannot stick handle.  He is not even a very good fighter.  He is just a dirty cheap shot thug.

Tootoo can play and he is dried out.  He should do well with a real team.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 07/02/12 at 01:35 AM ET

Avatar

Toto actually plays an irritating game but he puts up points, distract and draws and can get a crowd going ith his antics (both good and bad). All while getting points. He does move his game on tougher comp and with age has actually played smarter. . Parrots plays a bruiser game, is getting older, slower and doesn’t put up points. He can motivate team mates and can kick ass sometimes but he doesn’t put up points

Posted by Wbclimb from Az on 07/02/12 at 02:11 AM ET

John's avatar

I do not for the life of me understand why Wings fans are upset about these signings today. Bruner is going to score 20 goals next year. The Monster is the kind of goalie who can play marvelously for stretches, but can’t carry a team for a whole season… In other words a perfect backup.  Sammy was missed when he left because he went to the net, constantly. He’s big and he created traffic deep in the zone, which is something the wings have been missing. And Tootoo is a player other teams love to hate.. we haven’t had a player like that since McCarty was in his prime. He’s going to add a whole new angle to the Wings that we’ve been missing.

Now Tick Tock is in the mix for Parise and Suter.  I bet we get one of them, likely Suter, and then Ken has trade options to add either a Dman or a scoring Winger. I am very happy with what happened today. I think the Wings front office did a great job and I’m looking forward to seeing how this plays out tomorrow.

Posted by John from Pittsburgh, PA (Wings fan for life!) on 07/02/12 at 02:32 AM ET

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Holland said. “Samuelsson can replace Hudler.”

every Wings fan now get to be “happy”

If the Flyers are offering 100M to Suter (for ? years) and the Wings are offering 90M over 12 years…I really don’t like our chances for either guy at this point. Hopefully the Wings are offering a higher percentage upfront…

and how do the Flyers have the cap room for this (taking into account they need to be able to replace Jagr at forward plus re-sign Wayne Simmonds and Hartnell next year—Pronger?)

Posted by dca from in Mich on 07/02/12 at 04:28 AM ET

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Last thought of the night. You don’t suppose Suter and Parise have communicated with each other this weekend, do you? I’m inclined to think no, but,....

Posted by Bugsy on 07/02/12 at 04:33 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Wings can exceed the salary cap by up to 10% during the offseason and don’t need to be in compliance with that—so that’s a $77 million cap—until the last day of the exhibition season. At least under the current CBA.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/02/12 at 04:59 AM ET

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Well, I guess I was naive to think the Wings could sign 2 of these 3: Semin-Suter-Parise.  I was really hoping for a “Fab 5” type of recruitment and signing.  Out of the top 9 UFA’s, I thought 2 or 3 of these guys would get together, talk and agree that going with the Wings and being instant Cup contenders. For me, Red Wing UFA signings would determine if the Wings would return to glory.  Sadly, I believe now that Hockeytown is just another name on the ice. The golden era gives way to Red Wings dark ages.  Finally, I gotta watch TEAM USA best player share a bed, with the player that ripped gold directly from Rafalski’s hand. Parise to Pens will hurt more than 2009 game 7.

Posted by beelza on 07/02/12 at 05:05 AM ET

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Posted by beelza on 07/02/12 at 03:05 AM ET

I love these people who whine that the Wings weren’t able to sign Suter, Parise or Semin, as if they have lost out on them and they’ve all signed elsewhere.

NONE OF THEM HAVE SIGNED ANYWHERE YET.

Posted by Garth on 07/02/12 at 11:35 AM ET

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Tootoo is a solid forechecker, agitator, and a guy who scored 30 points last season.  He’s a more-than-adequate NHL player and terrific 4th line/checking line player.  And he costs almost nothing, so no complaints here.

Posted by Huss on 07/02/12 at 11:38 AM 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.