The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/02/13 at 12:26 PM ET
Updated 2x at 2:38 PM: As noted in the mid-day entry, the NHL's "wining and dining" period for free agents-to-be gets underway tomorrow at 12 PM and lasts until Friday, and while nobody's sure how it will play out, Wings GM Ken Holland told MLive's Ansar Khan that he will take part in the process:
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he plans to reach out to about a half-dozen forwards.
“I'll express interest, see what they're thinking,'' Holland said.
Khan lists a slate of forwards who the Wings might target but he's reporting that today's scuttlebutt suggests that David Clarkson's somehow going to get more than $5 million per season on the open market, and nathan Horton wants $6 million, which takes any sane team out of the running for either. The news isn't good regarding Lecavalier, either:
His biggest need is a second-line center, since it appears Valtteri Filppula won't return. The Red Wings have interest in Florida's Stephen Weiss. Other centers scheduled to hit the market include Mike Ribeiro (Washington), Matt Cullen (Minnesota), Derek Roy (Vancouver) and Tyler Bozak (Toronto). Patrik Elias reportedly is close to re-signing with New Jersey.
The Red Wings are out of the bidding for Vincent Lecavalier, who is seeking a five-year deal for $5 million per season, which is a longer term and more money than Detroit is willing to offer. Lecavalier's agent told teams he has identified a club he wants to play for. It's believed to be Dallas.
The Red Wings have some interest in right wing Jarome Iginla, the longtime face of the franchise in Calgary who was traded to Pittsburgh late last season. But, there are concerns about whether Iginla, who is 36, can play an up-tempo game at both ends of the ice.
You may take these Tweets for what you will:
As for the Wings' other moves, Khan reports that:
1. Not surprisingly, the Wings may not buy out anyone (Samuelsson, Colaiacovo, Bertuzzi) until at or around Thursday's 5 PM buyout deadline;
2. And the Wings are still trying to re-sign Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner, who essentially get to "test the market" for free tomorrow:
Term, not money, is the sticking point with Cleary, who is 34. The Red Wings likely don't want to commit to more than two years.
The big issue with Brunner is his lack of a track record in the NHL. He'll probably listen to what other teams have to offer on Wednesday and Thursday and then come back to the Red Wings to see if they'll up their offer.
And, not surprisingly, Holland's been told that Filppula is highly unlikely to return:
“There's a significant difference,'' Holland said. “That's why it doesn't appear we're positioned to do a deal. It makes good sense for Fil and his agent to hit July 3 and see what's out there. I'll stay in contact with Fil's agent. When players hit the open market they're probably moving on. Players usually get offers that are better because so many teams are in play.''
Update #0.5: You may take this quip from Predators GM David Poile to the Tennessean's Josh Cooper, again, for what you will:
Poile said he had spoken with pending unrestricted free agent Vincent Lecavalier, who was recently bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning. The 33-year-old Lecavalier, a former 52-goal scorer, preferred to stay on the East Coast, according to Poile.
“We’re going to follow it up again, because we think it could be a fit, but that’s what he and his people have said,” Poile said.
Update #1: We are officially in, "Who the *#$%@& knows" territory:
And in terms of tire-kicking and free agent-retaining:
Holland will continue to talk with Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner, the Wings’ other two unrestricted free agents, to try and work out deals.
There seem to be sticking points with both of them.
With Cleary it’s not money, but length of a deal, while Brunner seems to be more about money. Cleary is 34 and Detroit will more than likely not want a deal of more than two years.
Brunner had his ups and downs in his first year in the league, so it’s hard to set the bar on his value.
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