The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/02/11 at 01:25 PM ET
MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms that Red Wings GM Ken Holland plans on getting down to the nitty-gritty of attempting to retain his unrestricted free agents over the next few days…
“We’ll have conversations with (some) free agents, see what they’re thinking,” Holland said.
[Patrick] Eaves and [Drew] Miller, both 27, are valuable third/fourth-line players, two of their top penalty-killing forwards. Eaves had 13 goals and 20 points in 63 games. Miller had 10 goals and 18 points in 67 games. Eaves made $750,000 this past season, Miller earned $650,000.
[Jonathan] Ericsson, 27, showed some improvement this season (three goals, 15 points, plus-8 rating in 74 games) but hasn’t progressed as quickly as many anticipated after a strong playoff showing in 2009. He earned $1.25 million this season and was offered a deal worth $2 million a year.
Holland said the club won’t decide until later this month whether to offer contracts to veterans Kris Draper, 40, and Chris Osgood, 38, the latter of whom hasn’t decided if he wants to continue playing.
Khan reiterates the fact that Holland wants to, per St. James, consult with the rest of the organization during the team’s organizational powwow on June 14th and 15th, when Holland, assistant GM Jim Nill, capologist Ryan Martin, coach Mike Babcock and the pro and amateur scouts make final decisions on their Entry Draft strategy, possible trades made before or during free agency and the team’s July 1st-and-beyond UFA targets…
And Holland confirms to Khan that the Wings may very well ask Joey MacDonald, who wants to remain a Wing, to take over for Chris Osgood if #30 does not return:
“I think Joey would like to be a candidate for that position,” Holland said. “He did a great job for us in the short time he was here.”
If Osgood doesn’t return, the Red Wings might sign MacDonald, 31, to be Jimmy Howard’s backup or offer him a deal to be the starter for the Grand Rapids Griffins and seek a veteran free agent. Some of the backup goalies slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1 include former Red Wing Ty Conklin (St. Louis), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (Toronto), Marty Turco (Chicago), Brian Boucher (Philadelphia), Johan Hedberg (New Jersey), Jose Theodore (Minnesota), Mathieu Garon (Columbus), Alex Auld (Montreal), Peter Budaj (Colorado), Mike Smith (Tampa Bay), Curtis McIhinney (Ottawa) and Ray Emery (Anaheim).
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