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Khan provides updates regarding Red Wings’ search for a defenseman, Abdelkader, Holmstrom & Brunner

Via RedWingsFeed, MLive's Ansar Khan provides us with an update as to what the Red Wings plans of action involve regarding bolstering the team's blueline, per a conversation with GM Ken Holland:

“We're talking to a few people,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “There's some veteran defensemen looking for an opportunity. We need to sign another defenseman, maybe two. Will we do something before Sept. 15? Maybe.''

The Red Wings made a two-year offer to Carlo Colaiacovo worth about $2.5 million a season. They also have expressed interest in Michal Rozsival, Brett Clark and Mark Eaton.

Khan says that the Wings will probably wait out CBA negotiations before exploring the trade market...

Their only hope of acquiring a top-pair defenseman is through a trade. Options are limited and prices are high, however.

That has prompted the Red Wings to consider waiting until a new CBA is reached before adding a defenseman. If the $70.2 million salary cap is reduced with the next labor deal, it might force some teams whose payrolls currently are in the $60-to-$65 million range or higher into shedding salary.

And he offers updates regarding both Justin Abdeklader and Tomas Holmstrom's respective statuses...

--Signing restricted free-agent forward Justin Abdelkader is taking longer than many expected. Holland said they're still talking, but added, “I believe we're close.''

--Holland said no decision has been made on veteran forward Tomas Holmstrom, who is contemplating retirement.

Khan also confirms that, once the new CBA's settled, the Wings will indeed attempt to ink Jimmy Howard and Valtteri Filppula to contract extensions, and he reports that if there's a lockout, Damien Brunner won't play for the Griffins--the Wings will send him to his former club, EV Zug of the Swiss National A League, but for the moment, he's made the transatlantic jump:

Forward Damien Brunner, the high-scoring Swiss free agent the Red Wings signed to a one-year, two-way deal on July 1, is skating in Minnesota with some NHL players. That is where his North American agent, Neil Sheehy, is based. Holland said Brunner will arrive in Detroit next week to start skating with some of his teammates and get acclimated to his new environment.

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MsRedWinger's avatar

Interesting that they won’t have Brunner play for the Griffins. 

Can’t imagine why it’s taking so long to get Abby signed.  Hope it gets done soon.


And I guess those who think Flip is trade bait will be interested to know that the Wings plan to sign him to a contract extension.  I never for a moment thought the Wings would trade him, and if they did it would be a huge surprise to me.

And Jimmah - got to get him locked up long-term.


Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 08/29/12 at 08:28 AM ET


For me, at least, it’s more that I think Filppula SHOULD BE trade bait.

But yeah, I’m sure they’ll attempt to sign him, meaning either they’ll sign him for more than he’s worth of they’ll lose him for nothing.

Why WOULD they want to mix it up in any significant way?  I mean, the team has only been less and less successful year by year since 2008, there’s no reason to do anything but keep it steady as she goes.

Posted by Garth on 08/29/12 at 10:49 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Signing Filppula to an extension doesn’t mean he’s not potential trade bait. If anything, it means you can ask for more value out of a known commodity on a longer contract. 

I’d absolutely sign and trade Filppula or even just trade Filppula if the return is good, but I wouldn’t trade Filppula for the sheer purpose of “mixing it up”.  If Flip wants a chance to be a #1 center somewhere, then he’s got to go because I simply don’t think he’s cut out to do that. But I think cutting Filppula loose as a sacrifice to the hockey gods or the locker room chemistry gods or the demons of team complacency would be a mistake.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/29/12 at 11:26 AM ET


I’m not suggesting they trade him just to get rid of him, I’m suggesting that Detroit has needs and they also have a #1 centre, a #2 centre and, according to the brass, the best #3 centre in the league in one Darren Helm, so Filppula, also being a #2/3 centre is expendable and the best option the Wings have for a trade that could net them something that fills one of their glaring needs, be it a defenseman or a natural scoring Winger.

I don’t think he’s a #1 centre, but in a lot of places he could be the #2 centre and there are teams looking for just that.

If it’s a sign and trade, that’s great, but I don’t know that Holland would do that.  I think if they sign him, the first words out of Holland’s mouth will be that Filppula is an important piece on their team and I believe that he wouldn’t be going anywhere, for better or worse.

Posted by Garth on 08/29/12 at 12:02 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I agree, Garth, especially about how I just don’t think that Holland would actually pull a sign-and-trade because of some stuff about it being “disloyal” (unless it was one of those wink-wink kind of deals where Flip knows what’s going on and that’s why he signed the extension in the first place).

All those dreams of Holland doing something he doesn’t really do aside, I do think that’s exactly what we’d hear.

I do like that Filppula gives us a back up option to our aging #1 and #2 centers while playing very well as a setup winger (who is in dire need of having a more consistent scorer on his opposite wing).  One way or another, I’d make peace with a trade that gives up a versatile 2nd liner who can play any of the three positions well on that line, especially if it brought back a big-minute PKing defenseman who has decent offensive upside.

I’m not sure I’d be as comfortable throwing Filppula out there for a true scoring winger, as he’d be needed as a guy to help actually set up those goals, but that’s more my own personal conceptual problem and would likely disappear as soon as the words “BOBBY RYAN” flashed into my vision.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 08/29/12 at 12:16 PM ET

SandysWingingit's avatar

Filppula had his best year ever (break-out year?) with 43 points. But if a trade for a top 2 defenseman was all contingent upon sacrificing Filps? Yeah… I’d have to go for that.

Posted by SandysWingingit on 08/30/12 at 02:41 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.