The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/16/11 at 03:41 AM ET
Now things get “interesting” for Red Wings fans. The Free Press’s Helene St. James’s report was titled to suggest that the Red Wings would not bring back Chris Osgood or Kris Draper, but if you get into the actual comments from Ken Holland, here’s what he told St. James:
“Right now, we owe it to ourselves to wait till July 1,” Holland said. “I’ll talk to both players, but so much is unknown right now. We don’t know who is going to be on the market July 1. Is there somebody out there we think brings something we’d like to our team? We owe it to ourselves to look at options. The torch has to be passed. If 40-year-olds aren’t passing the torch, we aren’t going anywhere.”
This suggests that after the Wings, whose braintrust just wrapped up its organizational meetings, find out what Nicklas Lidstrom has planned next week (as reported by the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan), they’re going to wait a bit to decide whether or not to bring back Osgood or Draper, and that’s what Holland told MLive’s Ansar Khan:
“So many decisions affect other decisions,” Holland said. “Drapes and Ozzie are important guys, bring important ingredients. ... They’re support players, they bring intangibles, but we got to figure out a way to make our team better. No decision has been made. Nothing has changed. It might go into early July. It might not. There’s so many moving parts.”
The club might not have a roster spot for Draper, 40. It has 11 forwards on one-way contracts and hopes to sign Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller before they become unrestricted free agents on July 1. The 14th and final spot would go to rookie Cory Emmerton, who is out of minor league options and likely would be claimed on waivers if the team tried sending him back to the Grand Rapids Griffins. Holland said they are debating whether to carry 14 forwards and seven defensemen or 13 forwards and eight defensemen.
One player who won’t be back is Joey MacDonald, who Khan says may end up in Russia given the strength of this year’s unrestricted free agent market…
The Red Wings will not offer goalie Joey MacDonald a one-way contract and he is not interested in signing a two-way deal with any NHL club because he doesn’t want to risk spending another season in the AHL. MacDonald, 31, hopes to sign a one-way contract with an NHL club after July 1. If he doesn’t get it, he’ll likely sign a one-year deal for $1 million with a Russian team.
And as for that rumor about Jagr coming to Detroit, via his pal telling Denik Sport’s Zdenek Janda
Things get weird and plausible fast here.
@NHLGossip on Twitter, who actually deals in facts, Jagr’s agent, Jaroslav Zidek, told Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov that his client is only interested in staying in Russia if he re-signs with Avangard Omsk, and that otherwise, his client will pursue employment in the NHL, and as it turns out, Khan reports that Jagr’s North American agent has contacted the Wings:
The Red Wings didn’t call Jagr. His agent, Petr Svoboda, called them. But Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has had several conversations with Svoboda, and coach Mike Babcock has spoken to Jagr.
Svoboda reportedly contacted Pittsburgh and the New York Rangers, two of Jagr’s former teams, as well as Montreal.
But Jagr would prefer to play in Detroit for the chance to play with highly skilled players Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and, if he returns, Nicklas Lidstrom.
The Red Wings consider it a gamble, since Jagr turns 40 on Feb. 15 and hasn’t played in the NHL since 2007-08. But they also believe it might be worth the risk if they can get the Czech native fairly cheap, since they don’t have to relinquish anything in return.
Holland declined comment, except to acknowledge that his club has been contacted and is exploring the possibility.
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