The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/24/13 at 10:33 PM ET
Both the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness and MLive's Ansar Khan report that the Red Wings plan on making some roster moves at the draft, and if they are unable to move bodies, they may use cap-compliance buy-outs to shake off their roster crunch up front and make some room on the 50-man roster for free agents. Khan starts us off by stating that the team will withhold its cap compliance buy-outs until next week, and then he tosses some surprising names into the trade mix:
They will try to alleviate this logjam by trading somebody this weekend. Scrappy Jordin Tootoo is available, according to a source, and chances are, so is fourth-line center Cory Emmerton.
Tootoo was a frequent healthy scratch the second half of the season and appeared in only one playoff game. He has two years remaining at $1.9 million per season. Emmerton's spot likely will be assumed by Joakim Andersson, assuming Darren Helm is healthy next season and returns to his third-line center slot.
If the Red Wings use one or both of their buyouts, the most likely candidates are forward Mikael Samuelsson and defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo.
Good news-bad news on Samuelsson...
Samuelsson has been declared healthy after finishing the postseason on the shelf with a strained pectoral muscle, one of several injuries that limited him to just four games in the regular season and five in the playoffs. But, there is a chance that Samuelsson and his agent could dispute the club's assertion that he is healthy (injured players can't be bought out). He has one year remaining at $3 million.
And I would hope that the Wings can move Colaiacovo:
The Red Wings will see if there is any interest in Colaiacovo at the draft. He has one year remaining on his contract at $2.85 million ($2.5 million cap hit). If they move or buy-out Colaiacovo, they'll have seven defensemen.
Here's his free agency update (surprise surprise, Filppula's rights will be swapped at the draft because the team's not willing to pay him $5+ million per season):
If [Valtteri] Filppula isn't re-signed, the Red Wings would prefer to acquire a center to replace him. Stephen Weiss of Florida is a potential free-agent option.
Discussions continue with Brunner and Cleary, but no deals are close. Term is an issue with Cleary, as the Red Wings don't want to commit too many years to him at age 34. The club continues having difficulty finding common ground on a salary figure with Brunner, who has only one lockout-shortened NHL season under his belt.
Pleiness confirms the trade talk...
With the Wings’ roster crowded on the blue line and up front, some possible moves to adjust those numbers could be coming soon. According to a source, Detroit may look to deal defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and forward Jordin Tootoo.
He sounds more optimistic about Filppula...
The team would still like to re-sign unrestricted free agent Valtteri Filppula, who could hit the open market once free agency starts on July 5 if he doesn’t get a new deal with the Wings. Filppula made $3 million last season and is reportedly seeking a multi-year deal in excess of over $5 million.
If they can’t do that they will try and trade his rights and use the money they had earmarked for him to sign a second-line center once free agency opens.
He offers good news about the team's restricted free agents...
The team has made qualifying offers to Andersson, Nyquist, Smith and Kindl.
And then things get a little weird:
There are also two other unrestricted free agent forwards – Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner – the team will more than likely wait until after free agency opens to sign, if they do at all, so their money and roster spots are tied up. The amount and length of contract will dictate who comes back and who doesn’t.
However, three of the forwards – Darren Helm, Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson – under contract for next season battled through serious injuries last year and there is still some concern if they’ll be able to return.
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