Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Ken Holland explains why the Wings weren’t active on the first day of free agency

Aside from recruiting Mike Commodore to join the team as a depth defenseman, the Red Wings chose not to engage in the free agency shenanigans on July 1st, and their first decision, aside from choosing to re-sign Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller, involved bowing out of the Jaromir Jagr sweepstakes, as noted by the Free Press’s Helene St. James:

The Wings offered Jagr $2.5 million nearly a month ago, then waited around while his agent, Petr Svoboda, used it to entice other teams to make higher offers. As of earlier this week none had materialized; the Penguins topped out at $2.1 million for the former five-time NHL scoring champion.

When Svoboda made demands early Friday morning in the $4-million range, Wings general manager Ken Holland told him Detroit was out of the sweepstakes. The Penguins also withdrew their offer.
...
Ultimately Jagr signed with the Philadelphia Flyers — the in-state rival of his foremost former team, Pittsburgh — for one year and $3.3 million.

And if Holland is to be believed with players like Ian White, Anton Babchuk, Sami Lepisto, Tomas Kaberle and Bryan McCabe still available (as of the time I’m writing this, anyway), it sounds like the Wings might not make any additions for a while, as Holland suggested to the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness:

We would have probably liked to have made a bigger move, but as I look back on (Friday) there wasn’t a lot of opportunity really,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a phone interview. “We tried to make some moves, but because we couldn’t provide the opportunity or we couldn’t provide the term or the cap money the day is almost over and it looks like we didn’t do a lot.”

Commodore, 31, got a one-year deal from the Wings worth $1 million.

“We think he can provide an element that we don’t have a lot of,” Holland said. “He’s got size, grit and adds toughness to our lineup. He can also kill penalties.”

For now, Holland believes that the Wings are in the driver’s seat, so to speak, while sitting on the sidelines…

“We explored some people, but in a lot of cases where we were interested we couldn’t provide the opportunity for them to have a bigger role when they looked at our roster,” Holland said. “We’ve got all summer to put the pieces in place. We’ve got a No. 1 goaltender,” Holland continued. “Look at our defense and we’ve got Brendan Smith who’s a first-round pick, an All-American at college and made the All-Rookie team in the American League. How close is he? I don’t know. If you went out and signed a bunch of people and boxed him out from making the team I don’t know if that’s in our best interest. And we’ve got a young kid in (Doug) Janik. Some of these guys are unknown, but unless you give them an opportunity to play how do they ever become known?”

And Holland’s right when he suggests that, given everything that happened on Friday, Jonathan Ericsson’s $3.25 million salary no longer seems insane:

“It’s the going rate, if you look at what’s happened here,” Holland said. “If Big E’s on the market he would have gotten more money.”

...
“His best years are ahead of him,” Holland said. “We’ll give him a bigger role, an opportunity to play more minutes. His game is improving. Everybody needs defensemen,” Holland continued. “I think it’s the most important position on a team, along with a high-end center. If you don’t have defensemen you can’t get the puck moved along.”

As for the team’s desire to add another defenseman and/or a back-up goalie, well…

“[Kris] Draper wants to play, [Chris] Osgood is interested in playing,” Holland said. “In goal we explored three or four guys. They all signed elsewhere and they all went for opportunity. They went where they went because they think there is opportunity to be a No. 1 or be a No. 1 in a year or two. We’ve got a guy in Jimmy Howard who’s in the prime of his career and we think he’s going to be a good goaltender in this league,” Holland added. “He was a better goaltender last season compared to the year before and he’s going to be better this year.”

I happen to think—or maybe hope—that Holland’s bluffing, and that he’ll at least sign an offensive-minded defenseman, if not a back-up goaltender, instead of simply hoping to plod along until the trade deadline, and the Fan 590’s Greg Brady offered this tidbit up:

Red Wings are eagerly trying to move Jiri Hudler & offered him to loads of teams (Leafs included) at the Draft. Be shocked if he’s back.

It’s the first day of free agency and prices are nuts. Let’s see what Holland and the Wings do over the course of this month and go from there…

And in the interim, well, I guess, fellow Wings fans, that we need to keep crossing our fingers that there’s more to come.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

 1 2 >       Next »

monkey's avatar

Wings fans: THE SKY IS FALLING RUN FOR YOUR LIVES

Wings front office:  Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 07/01/11 at 11:02 PM ET

Avatar

And Holland’s right when he suggests that, given everything that happened on Friday, Jonathan Ericsson’s $3.25 million salary no longer seems insane:

Stop it George. That’s is not the going rate for defensemen who are mediocre at defense and offense. Ericsson hasn’t shown he’s significantly better than Lilja, at this point. And what did Lilja get today.

Ericsson was a panic signing by a GM who got caught with his pants down today.

Posted by captain bob on 07/01/11 at 11:03 PM ET

Avatar

Blah blah blah blah blah.

Every the good teams are either getting better or at least staying the course (except the Flyers, WTF is up with that org?) and Ken Holland is essentially saying that he’s happy with the team as is, which is worse than the team that was knocked out in the second round of the playoffs for two consecutive years.

There are still better defensemen than Commodore and Ericsson out there, but by signing them both we’ve got 8 defensemen (including Smith and Janik) competing for 7 spots, so it doesn’t look like he’s going to be trying to make the d any better than it is.

So as wonderful as it is to have as much cap space as we have, wouldn’t it be nice to say not even that we’re a BETTER team than we were with Rafalski but even that we’re as good?

Thanks for ruining Canada Day, Tick Tock.

And yeah, I realize I’m being overdramatic, and I don’t really give a shit about Canada Day anyhow.

Still, how about inking Brad Richards or something?

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 11:03 PM ET

Avatar

And we’ve got a young kid in (Doug) Janik.

Ken Holland knows Doug Janik is 31, right?

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/01/11 at 11:06 PM ET

Avatar

lol @ Sven.
It seems to me that Happy has to be moved. With the re-signing of Eaves and Miller…and Mursak basically guaranteed a spot next season…Emmerton playing his way onto the team or being lost to waivers (unless I’m mistaken), doesn’t that leave too few forward spots for our personnel? What is discouraging is the fact that it also appears we have too many d-men (with Kindl and possibly Smith on the roster) which means we aren’t likely to actually UPGRADE that position. I hope we don’t draw San Jose again next postseason.

Posted by godblender on 07/01/11 at 11:21 PM ET

Chris in A^2's avatar

I’ll be disappointed if the Red Wings don’t come out of free agency with a player equal to Rafalski, but so far there have only been a handful of players signed that I like and none of them were signed to healthy contracts.

Posted by Chris in A^2 from Nyquist Puck Control on 07/01/11 at 11:24 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Someone give Garth a hug.

Posted by SK77 on 07/01/11 at 11:25 PM ET

Avatar

Oh…as for Jagr and his camp making “demands” for $4 million…this guy can suck a bag of di*ks.

Posted by godblender on 07/01/11 at 11:26 PM ET

cainer4wingsglory's avatar

I think after today’s prices we should ease up on KH about the Big E contract. He would’ve gotten 4 mil per from somebody else on the open market and then who do you replace him with? Hate to say it but Holland had to overpay and I’m at peace with that. If you want to be pissed, blame Ericsson for fleecing the Wings when he knew he had them over the barrel. That’s not the RW way…..

Posted by cainer4wingsglory on 07/01/11 at 11:27 PM ET

Avatar

Quick question. I heard that Holland is talking to Burke to get rid of Hudler….what do you think we can get from Toronto if that (for the sake of argument) is feasible?tks

Posted by Meg on 07/01/11 at 11:29 PM ET

Avatar

@Meg…Lebda.

Posted by godblender on 07/01/11 at 11:31 PM ET

SK77's avatar

what do you think we can get from Toronto if that (for the sake of argument) is feasible?tks

Posted by Meg on 07/01/11 at 09:29 PM ET


Brett. Freakin. Lebda.

Posted by SK77 on 07/01/11 at 11:32 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

When Svoboda made demands early Friday morning in the $4-million range, Wings general manager Ken Holland ...

...laughed at him and hung up the phone.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 07/01/11 at 11:34 PM ET

dougie's avatar

Oh…as for Jagr and his camp making “demands” for $4 million

Yep, the guy still thinks he’s a rock star. But I’d hire his PR people in a minute. It’s unbelievable the buzz they created around this so-called event.

No matter the low money for Commodore, by now, I’ve looked at it drunk and sober. Makes me sad that he is on our team, either way.

But then, I hated the Bertuzzi signing when it happened, and have changed my mind the past couple of years.

I suppose signing the guy is better than getting your dog run over, or your wife leaving you, but still…....I’ve already had 3 Canes fans contact me, pointing and laughing. And I had nothing for them. Nothing. And they didn’t even make the playoffs.

Posted by dougie on 07/01/11 at 11:44 PM ET

Chet's avatar

Quick question. I heard that Holland is talking to Burke to get rid of Hudler….what do you think we can get from Toronto if that (for the sake of argument) is feasible?tks

we might get an AHL guy, or a later round pick. that’s it. although, if hudler could put up 45-55 points this year, he’d be a bargain for a lot of teams. i think we just want the cap and roster space he’s taking up. babcock obviously doesn’t like his game.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/01/11 at 11:45 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

OK .. I know it’s just the first day of free agency, and there wasn’t really a Rafalski quality defenceman available to begin with but .... if Commodore has a better season than Ericsson, I’m gunna be pissed.

The only d-man left that makes any sense to sign is Anton Babchuck (6’ 5”  212 Shoots Right 27 years old) but Ericsson got Babchuk’s money.

Trading Hudler, Janik and a draft choice for someone is our only hope.
Brendan Smith playing like the 2nd coming of Paul Coffey wouldn’t hurt too .. LOL

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 07/01/11 at 11:49 PM ET

cementslinger's avatar

what do you think we can get from Toronto if that (for the sake of argument) is feasible?tks

Posted by Meg on 07/01/11 at 09:29 PM ET

We’d have to include some picks and/or Filppula but there is always Dion Phaneuf or Colby Armstrong or Phil Kessel… A package thing.  Toronto loves packages.

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 07/01/11 at 11:49 PM ET

cementslinger's avatar

oh, and isn’t Nabokov still available?

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 07/01/11 at 11:54 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Looks like no cup next year.  Ah well, “rebuilding…”

Perhaps next year’s pool of defense will be better.  After all, we do need to prepare for a post-Lidstrom era.

I’ll still watch.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/01/11 at 11:54 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Dion Phaneuf or Colby Armstrong or Phil Kessel… A package thing.  Toronto loves packages.

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 07/01/11 at 09:49 PM ET


They must also like smoking crack cocaine.

Posted by SK77 on 07/01/11 at 11:57 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Looks like no cup next year.  Ah well, “rebuilding…”

Hippy Dave, I love you man, but did it look like Boston was getting a Cup at the beginning of the season? You get hot, you get lucky, you stay healthy, and maybe you’ve even got a pretty good roster, and then you win the Cup.

Posted by SK77 on 07/02/11 at 12:00 AM ET

Avatar

Let us take things one at a time.  I do not think for one moment that it is panic time at the Joe.

Ericsson, at his new price is as good as one will get for that money.  Remember Erhoff and Wisniewski, who are as one dimensional as it gets, got a hell of a lot more money and they are ole’ defensmen, they wave at the guy as he goes past and scores.  Commodore is capable of all the things that Holland mentioned, plus, he moves the puck up ice well, has played the point on the power play and is one of those rare right handed defensemen.

I believe we will still sign or trade for a first line defenseman in the next few days. 

Forwards?  I see no one who interests me at the prices being tossed around right now.  I feel that Eaves and Miller can step up their offense; they both did when everyone was hurt last season.  They are still young guys and can fill any position on the team.

Look at the money thrown at Erik Cole.  Look at the money thrown a Ville Leino.  These general managers have no idea what they are doing.  Leino needs a hell of a lot of help to be a 20 goal scorer.  That is a $1.5 million dollar player at best.  Cole is a complimentary player.  I love the guy, but he was paid fairly last year by the Hurricanes at about $2 million.  Ken Holland has a buck in his pocket and will spend it wisely.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Reidsville, NC on 07/02/11 at 12:02 AM ET

Avatar

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 07/01/11 at 09:54 PM ET

There are better players than the guy who couldn’t hack it in the KHL, and they wouldn’t cost us draft picks or anything.

Hippy Dave, I love you man, but did it look like Boston was getting a Cup at the beginning of the season?

Boston won’t be facing San Jose unless it’s in the Finals.  Detroit could very well be facing San Jose again next year and as it stands, the Red Wings aren’t as good as the team that lost to the Sharks these past two years.

Posted by Garth on 07/02/11 at 12:17 AM ET

Avatar

Ericsson, at his new price is as good as one will get for that money.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I believe we will still sign or trade for a first line defenseman in the next few days. 

You’re living in a dream world.  Ericsson and Commodore were THE defense UFA signings.

Who are they going to trade for a first line defenseman?

And who’s left to sign that’s a bona fide top-four defenseman, much less a top-two defenseman.

I feel that Eaves and Miller can step up their offense; they both did when everyone was hurt last season.

I’m happier about them re-signing than am about Ericsson or Commodore, but neither of these guys is a bona fide top-six guy.  Sorry.  Miller’s a solid fourth-liner and Eaves a pretty good two-way utility guy, but the best he’ll be is a Dan Cleary.

Ville Leino and Erik Cole are both 50-point players.  Cole had 26 goals and Leino had 19 in his first full year.  You’re out of you GD mind if you think there’s any way Leino was only going to get $1.5M.  He was overpaid, for sure, but $1.5M is LUDICROUS.  And Cole made $3M last year.  He was always going to be getting a raise.

If you want to get better you have to pay.  That’s the bottom line.

Posted by Garth on 07/02/11 at 12:26 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

I’ll be disappointed if the Red Wings don’t come out of free agency with a player equal to Rafalski
Posted by Chris in A^2 from the switch is a lie on 07/01/11 at 09:24 PM ET

In this entire free agency the only one that qualifies to that condition is Brad Richards, at least of those remaining.

If we have to offer 7.2 then do it.  We have… $9M in cap space and 14 forwards?

NYR have $24M in cap space, they’re probably going 7.5 to 8.0 for Richards.

We paid Hossa a salary of Datsyuk + $1M, it’s 2 years later and this is the only UFA that is a real game changer. 

Shouldn’t we pony up like the old days, Mr. I?  If we don’t we will be drifting while other teams are improving.

Other than that I agree we shouldn’t have chased and overpayed.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 07/02/11 at 12:27 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

what do you think we can get from Toronto if that (for the sake of argument) is feasible?tks

Posted by Meg on 07/01/11 at 09:29 PM ET

Lebda to pair up with Janik or Kindl.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 07/02/11 at 12:28 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

Posted by DocF from Reidsville, NC on 07/01/11 at 10:02 PM ET

Holy Cow another mid-Atlantic member.  I’m sure I drove through Reidsville on the way to Winston-Salem to visit my daughter.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 07/02/11 at 12:31 AM ET

Crow's avatar

Ken Holland explains why the Wings weren’t active on the first day of free agency

Time to put the boots on…

Ultimately, this Red Wing team is no better than last year.  It has actually regressed with the loss of Rafalski and the gain of numbskull Bozo.  Unless a trade is orchestrated, no words will redeem Mr. Holland.

Posted by Crow on 07/02/11 at 12:36 AM ET

awould's avatar

Hudler, Ericsson and a draft pick for Keith Yandle.

Posted by awould on 07/02/11 at 12:46 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Unless a trade is orchestrated, no words will redeem Mr. Holland.

Posted by Crow on 07/01/11 at 10:36 PM ET

You’re going to eat yourself before next year.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/02/11 at 12:55 AM ET

Avatar

You’re going to eat yourself before next year.

You mean when Detroit doesn’t beat San Jose in the second round of the playoffs AGAIN?

Posted by Garth on 07/02/11 at 01:14 AM ET

Avatar

chill out folks…if you think were gonna sit on all that cap and not make more moves then you have not been watching the same team as I have these last 20 somethin years..some of us wings fans have turned in to spoiled hockey brats ....

Posted by leosavage from ky on 07/02/11 at 01:25 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

You mean when Detroit doesn’t beat San Jose in the second round of the playoffs AGAIN?

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 11:14 PM ET

You know, tomorrow is Flag Day in Curacao.  Maybe you can bitch that Holland ruined that for you too.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/02/11 at 01:36 AM ET

Avatar

The Wings are a worse team right now than they have been in the last 20, if they don’t add the 50 points they lost with the retirement of Rafi the only consolation you will have is a really good draft pick next year. Way to reward Lids for resigning.

Posted by John from Michigan on 07/02/11 at 01:54 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Uh…folks…today is Day 1 of Free Agency.

But yes…panic…light the city on fire…the sky is falling…

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 07/02/11 at 01:56 AM ET

ITDeuce's avatar

Regardless of what another team was going to pay big rig those of us that watch every game he’s played in the last 3 seasons think he is being overpaid (by a lot in some cases).  It’s hard to come right out and say that it is a bad signing, because who knows what is going to happen, but it seems like a bad gamble to me.  Cam Barker at 2.25 million to the frigging Oil.  Son of a bitch…

This upcoming season fills me with malaise.  Detroit’s in deep shit without another puck mover.  Or they could load up up front and just score 5 goals every game, win the Presidents trophy and get bouncd in the second round by SJ again.  Man, I just reread this post and I’m a bitter bitch tonight.

Posted by ITDeuce from The Sunny High Desert on 07/02/11 at 01:58 AM ET

cigar_nurse's avatar

After seeing the drunken sailor money being thrown about, Gary Ass must have a missile sized hard on in the jacketorium. Raising the cap minimum has indeed caused the bottom feeders to overspend on marginal talent and try to spread the talent through out the league. I don’t believe it will happen and we will see some serious buyouts, and attempts to dump saleries in the next couple of years. Especially if the next CBA lowers the cap once again. Tick Tock is laying low in the weeds for now and expect him to make some kind of trade for one of the RFA defensman with possibly E-52 going the other way with his new “reasonably ” marketable contract.

Glad to have Eaves And Miller back anyway with Drapes most probably gone now.

Hope you all have a great and safe 4th.

Posted by cigar_nurse from Greenville South Cakalakee on 07/02/11 at 02:04 AM ET

Avatar

If some of you actually think with the Wings having that much cap space left are going to sit back and stand pat with what they have, you guys must be really new to how the Wings org and KH work.

When was the last time the Wings had that much money to spend?? Let’s not all get excited until we know what KH and Co. are going to do, they have to do it right with that much money left and it will pay off, watch and see….....Enjoy!

Posted by Johngee on 07/02/11 at 02:22 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Ericsson is NOT a Righty Doc

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/02/11 at 02:25 AM ET

Avatar

THE REAL SCOOP =  CONDITIONAL TRADE (Conditional on being able to sign the RFA)

The Wings are dealing with both Nashville for Weber and LA for Doughty.

The package: #1 rd pick Ericsson, Helm and either Filppula or Hudler.

Posted by The Word on 07/02/11 at 02:27 AM ET

 1 2 >       Next »

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

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.