The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/01/12 at 12:15 AM ET
I believe it was the Detroit Free Press’s Helene St. James who suggested that someone like Jiri Hudler could earn “Martin Lapointe money” as an unrestricted free agent this summer because the UFA class of 2012 is so thin that extreme overpayment is all but guaranteed for anybody who can score, and along the, “Jeremy Jacobs decided to give Martin Lapointe $5.25 million a year because he was pissed off at Mike Ilitch for being called cheap at a Board of Governors meeting” line of thinking, it seems less than coincidental that one of Ilitch’s business rivals here in Metro Detroit may end up engaging in a bidding war for this summer’s biggest free agent prize.
Via the QMI News Agency, the Raleigh News & Observer’s Luke DeCock reports that the Carolina Hurricanes have two specific targets this summer: either Zach Parise via free agency or Jordan Staal via trade:
For the first time, the Hurricanes have identified a first-line caliber winger to play with Eric Staal as their top priority. One could argue a No. 1 defenseman is a more pressing need, but let’s not quibble. It’s taken them so long to acknowledge that Staal has been held back by sub-par linemates that one should never discount such progress.
General manager Jim Rutherford has declared that owner Peter Karmanos is willing to spend the money, and a not-too-subtle whispering campaign has identified New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise as the No. 1 target. For good reason: He’ll be 28 at the beginning of next season, in the heart of his career, a no-question-about-it All-Star who will command top value if he hits the free-agent market – and the Devils, with financial and ownership issues, may let that happen.
The Hurricanes won’t be the only team going after Parise. Anyone with the money to spend will make a run, and that includes the Detroit Red Wings. Just because the Hurricanes have money to spend for once doesn’t automatically mean they’ll get the guy they want.
If they can’t land Parise, the Hurricanes may wait a year in the hope Jordan Staal hits the market when his contract expires in 2013, or try to make a trade before then if the Pittsburgh Penguins decide they can’t or won’t re-sign him.
Jordan Staal is an elite two-way center, the kind that doesn’t come along often for small-market teams, but nothing should preclude getting a winger for his brother. If the Hurricanes have the money to spend on Jordan Staal, they need to find more money to spend on a first-line winger.
Continued with admitted speculation from DeCock regarding “alternates” in Patrick Marleau, Rick Nash or Jarome Iginla.
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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.