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Khan: Jagr rumor has legs; Red Wings’ unsure about Osgood, Draper; MacDonald gone

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.



Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink



This is quickly shaping up to be a very interesting off season for the Wings (and that’s if Lids DOES come back). I really don’t know what to think about this Jagr talk….actually yeah I do, it blows.

Posted by godblender on 06/16/11 at 04:04 AM ET

CaptNorris5's avatar

Well, looks like we’re getting ourselves a bit of a reputation, eh?

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 06/16/11 at 04:07 AM ET

SYF's avatar

RE:  Jagr.

Two words:  Re-entry waivers.
Example:  Evgeni Nabokov.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 06/16/11 at 04:20 AM ET

CaptNorris5's avatar

Posted by SYF from I-75 and Dix Hwy on 06/16/11 at 02:20 AM ET

I could be wrong (I often am), but I’m pretty sure that only applies to players who have played the first part of the season in another league. Currently, Jagr would be able to sign anywhere as a UFA, as no team owns his rights.

Posted by CaptNorris5 from The Winged Wheel, stuck in Chicago on 06/16/11 at 04:45 AM ET


SYF -I don’t think re entry waivers apply here, as Jagr is a FA and it is the off season. Different situation as Nabokov started the season in Russia then tried to return to the NHL

Posted by mc keeper on 06/16/11 at 04:47 AM ET


They would be signing Jagr in the off season, re-entry waivers do not apply.

If they can sign him for a reasonable amount the risk could be well worth it.
He can still play (unlike Modano).
He’ll put up more points than Hudler.

Posted by Liz on 06/16/11 at 04:52 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Re-entry waivers apply if a player plays in a game for a non-NHL team after the beginning of the NHL season and is then signed by an NHL team. In other words, if Jagr were to sign with Avangard and play in the KHL during the NHL’s regular season, and THEN somebody wanted to sign him, they’d have to waive him.

This does not apply during the unrestricted free agent signing period between July 1st and the beginning of the NHL season.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/16/11 at 05:02 AM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar

This is full of wow!

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 06/16/11 at 05:30 AM ET


Re-entry waivers doesn’t apply here, as others have said.

As for my thoughts on Jagr, all for it, with reservations. He can’t be signed off his recent hat trick at the World Championships, or under the assumption that he’s still an elite player. I watched those games, and he’s definitely lost a step. However, the fact he’s like 250 pounds, with those hands, it just goes to show you how much better he was in his prime than really anyone playing today, at least in terms of pure physical skill. Crosby and Datsyuk have him bested in hockey sense and two-way play of course, which might mean they are better overall players than he was in his prime, but you know what I mean. There is no 6’3, 250 pound version of Alex Semin playing in the NHL right now.

Anyway, Jagr, in terms of beating players on the rush with his speed and stickhandling, he’s not going to be able to do that too often anymore like he used to. However, the new rules have allowed for more and more smaller players to be successful NHLers, and as a result, the league is a smaller league than it used to be. And this is one of those paradoxes or catch-22’s about hockey. The new rules favor smaller players, so smaller players now have a greater impact than they used to, and they make up a much greater portion of the NHL as they used to. But, because the rules that favor small players have led to a smaller league, now the big player can have any even bigger size advantage over the rest of the league. So although Jagr certainly won’t the dynamic top-line all-star he used to be, I think he really improves the Wings in key areas that need improvement. Size, of course, is one of them, but more than that is what his size brings, and that is dominance on the cycle. Having him with Datsyuk, or Zetterberg, it just adds a lot of the ingredients that those lines are currently missing. Zetterberg can have a true, power, cycle partner to work off of. Datsyuk can have a sniper. You get the idea. And additionally, it creates a very well-matched partnership. As it is now, when Franzen is healthy, one of the Wing two elite finesse forwards, either Datsyuk or Zetterberg, gets to have that quality power forward on his line, and the other doesn’t. But with a Jagr addition, now you have the two finesse guys, and the two bigger guys. It allows you to break up Datsyuk and Zetterberg, while still leaving both of them with quality linemates to work with.

So I’m definitely for it. I think as a Hudler replacement, just stylistically, it’s a positive change. However, the signing has to be done with reasonable expectations, and reasonable money. Franzen, when healthy, is the top line power forward. Jagr is not as good as healthy Franzen, or close, at this stage. Jagr isn’t even an elite forward anymore, from what I can see. I like him as a support guy for the Wings, strictly because he brings size, and the ability to cycle, and he really compliments the finesse components the Wings have on their roster. And he brings those aspects to the team without sacrificing puck-possession ability, unlike, say, a Holmstrom (although he’s gotten much better). Jagr can handle the puck too. He’s experienced. He’s old-time. He’s Jagr. He’s 250 pounds with soft hands. Even if he could barely skate at all, 250 pounds with soft hands, you can find uses for that. And that’s probably the difference between a great Jagr and a good, useful Jagr. When he was great, it was because of his combination of speed, hands, creativity, size, etc. Now he’s those things, minus the speed. And when you lose the speed, you have far less uses for the puck-handling. So it definitely limits a great player. But he was so great in his prime, like I said, he’s still 250 pounds with amazing hands. You put him with Datsyuk or Zetterberg, or even Filppula at some points, and it’s just going to make you a better, deeper team. Hudler, in theory, made the Wings deeper, but he made them deeper in areas they already had plenty of, like finesse in small packages. Jagr brings greater depth in the areas the Wings need it most, and that’s why it’s a no-brainer for me if it’s at a good price. But I think going into it, Ken Holland needs to realize that there’s a possibility Jagr will turn out to be a really skilled, productive guy on your 3rd line (not a normal 3rd line, but a Wings 3rd line), and that he won’t be quite good enough in the top 6. You have to pay him accordingly. If you give the guy 4 million, and he ends up as an A+ 3rd liner, that’s taking away the cap space you needed to sign a real, in-his-prime top 6 guy. If you give him 2.5, and worst case scenario he ends up on your 3rd line, you can live with that.

So that’s how I feel. Would love to have him at the right price, but most importantly, unlike with the Mike Modano situation, that can’t be the one move. He can’t be the big get because he has a big name. He is a supplemental add that, when combined with the add of a Brad Richards or other elite forward, makes you once again the clear best team in the NHL. If you just sign Jagr by himself, that’s not nearly enough.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/16/11 at 07:53 AM ET

SYF's avatar

George, Liz, CaptNorris, mckeeper…THANKS.  ‘Preciate that.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 06/16/11 at 08:28 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Thoughts on Jagr are pretty simple. Same as Modano last season, and Jason Williams before that.

If he comes at around a million bucks, it’s a risk worth taking. Worst case, he blows, you eat the million, and you basically revert back to what your plan was all along up front, because there’s not likely going to be any other forward talent on the market the Wings can afford… they need to use that cap space on a D. Best case, he pots 20 goals, helps your PP, and is solid for 10 minutes a night.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/16/11 at 09:49 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Babcock said he wants a top 6 forward.  Do we really need another third liner?  10 minutes a night?  I realize the list of free agent forwards is thin, but I don’t like the idea of a Jagr.  We need youth and speed.  Get Mursak and Emmerton in there.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/16/11 at 10:21 AM ET


We need youth and speed.  Get Mursak and Emmerton in there.

Agreed. We just went through an entire year of watching a former superstar try and adjust to a new system while being so far past his prime he can’t even see the glory days. I’d much rather get a younger player in there that is going to work hard every night than watch Jagr loaf around the ice.

Posted by GrahamWIIM from Chicago via Toronto on 06/16/11 at 11:09 AM ET


Jagr immediately pushes Homer and or Bert to the the 3rd line, so in that sense, Jagr is a top 6 forward.  Yes we need youth and speed, but this roster is clogged with old guys for one more season whether we like it or not.  One more, for one more year with a good shot at the Cup, isn’t going to hurt, especially at 1.5 million.

So much for a 1 percent chance, I guess.



Posted by jkm2011 on 06/16/11 at 11:12 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Hey, does everybody remember when they were raging at Johan Franzen for saying shit like he doesn’t care about the regular season and were wondering if he was hurt or just loafing?

Yeah, if Jagr signs, get ready to spend an entire season with that feeling.  Only now it’s amplified because Jagr has no history with the organization. 

Have we learned nothing from Robert Lang?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/16/11 at 11:17 AM ET


Maybe, George, you shouldn’t debunk every single friggin Red Wing rumour as crazy talk.  Sometimes these things are based in fact and I’m tired of always reading you say “not gonna happen” and then a while later “oh i guess it is happening”.  You need to be called out on that sh*t.

Posted by jmb on 06/16/11 at 11:17 AM ET


Franzen on Hank-Fil line, Hudler waived/traded.

Posted by jkm2011 on 06/16/11 at 11:30 AM ET

Jordan_NOHS's avatar

Maybe, George, you shouldn’t debunk every single friggin Red Wing rumour as crazy talk.  Sometimes these things are based in fact and I’m tired of always reading you say “not gonna happen” and then a while later “oh i guess it is happening”.  You need to be called out on that sh*t.

Posted by jmb on 06/16/11 at 09:17 AM ET

Really? I don’t think anyone was buying this as even remotely true. It was a friend, who also happens to be a reporter that said HE would suggest it to him just because of Detroits history with veterans. Its only now that this has legs because Holland confirmed that his agent called and Babs has spoken with Jagr.

There’s still little chance that this happens. Holland has stated before he always kicks the tires, even if there is .0001% chance.

I still say this doesn’t happen. But now it is a legit rumor and only that, a rumor

Posted by Jordan_NOHS from Detroit, MI on 06/16/11 at 11:36 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

George did report the facts. 

I’d also like a detailed breakdown of every time Malik has opined that something was not going to happen only to see it happen later.  What’s George’s batting average there?  I’m sorry if I don’t quite buy the “always” line, since that’s a favorite arguing tactic of teenagers.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/16/11 at 11:44 AM ET

Nate A's avatar

Thoughts on Jagr are pretty simple. Same as Modano last season, and Jason Williams before that.

Agreed. I’ll take him if he comes cheap. If it works, good-bye whiskey dick. If it doesn’t we don’t lose much and have capable young fill-ins

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 06/16/11 at 11:55 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

I think what Jagr can bring to the team is a lot like what Tuzzi already brings.  Minus the nuclear deterrent.  And the work ethic (he was a loafer back when he actally COULD play).  And the locker-room presence.  And the whole bit about being a good teammate.  And, oh yeah, minus the even meager history with the team.  But he could re-grow that stupid mullet, so he’s got that going for him.

A post-KHL washed-up Jagr?  No thanks.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 06/16/11 at 01:25 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Holland said they are debating whether to carry 14 forwards and seven defensemen or 13 forwards and eight defensemen.

Hmmmm. Thirteen forwards and eight defensemen? That would mean Smith stays with the club but mostly watches from the stands. That doesn’t seem like such a good idea.

As for Jagr. I have two words for you – Brooks Laich. He’d cost about double what Jagr would get but he’d be worth every penny of it. However, if Laich signs elsewhere, Jagr does have some upside to him if he gets to play with Hank or Pavel – but only if he plays with one of those two.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/16/11 at 01:26 PM ET


but if you get into the actual comments from

To me, those comments suggest that Draper and Osgood will not be back.

The only way they come back is if Eaves & Miller don’t re-sign and they can’t find younger, better forwards and a back-up.

And really…what are the chances they can’t find better talent than Draper and Osgood…honestly…

And if Holland is serious about possibly carrying 13 forwards then there is absolutely not chance Draper is back.

Nevermind the comment about passing the torch…if that isn’t there then I suppose there is SOME possibility that they come back, but he pretty clearly spelled out that they’re looking to get younger.

Posted by Garth on 06/16/11 at 01:56 PM ET


JJ, by “always” I obviously meant “often”. I was speaking colloquially which any adult or person outside of Kansas would recognize.

Posted by jmb on 06/16/11 at 02:02 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

JJ, by “always” I obviously meant “often”. I was speaking colloquially which any adult or person outside of Kansas would recognize.

Posted by jmb on 06/16/11 at 12:02 PM ET

I recognize that you were exaggerating and further butchering the language I love; I just think it’s stupid to say things like “always” when “often” works much better at not only getting the point across, but also at not making you look like a child.

Superlatives, hyperbole, and absolutes, the best-ever and only way to speak intelligently…

Getting back to the point, even with the word usage that indicates you’re capable of subtlety, how “often” has Malik debunked a rumor as false and been wrong about it?  As a comparison to how many rumors he goes over, what’s his batting average?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/16/11 at 02:13 PM ET

BrendonTO's avatar

I think this would be a great pick-up for the Wings.  This is Jagr…a very different beast from Mo.  Sure he’s lost a step but c’mon, it’s Jagr!  It would be a perfect fit with the mix of vets we have.  One thing we really miss since Hoss left is that puck-protection ability on the cycle.  Someone mentioned the cycle above and this to me is the big area where we need improvement….not on D or anywhere else (though we can obviously improve there too).  When I think of ‘Red Wings Hockey’ I think of puck possession, which makes me think of dominant cycling in the offensive zone.  That’s precisely what we could use Jagr for in a big way; just think about the pairings we could work with Pav, Z, Mule, Fil and then Jags in the Top 6!


This does of course push Bert out of the Top 6, but this is the Wings!  He doesn’t belong there in the first place anyways.  And though I love Cleary, I really dont know where he fits in anyways - his role seems to be play-on-any-line-guy.

Jagr used to be - and really, still is - a gamebreaker.  Someone who will step up and take over a game when needed.  Mule has been inconsistent in this role, which he has played very well in the past, but we need this element.  To me, this would be like getting a bit of what Hoss brought minus the (relative) youth and speed.  This just makes too much sense for the Wings, waaay more than with Mo, but price may be the sticking point.

Posted by BrendonTO on 06/16/11 at 02:24 PM ET

yannick's avatar

i agree with you BrendonR, Jagr can still dominate in games, you just need to watch the last world championship and you will notice easily that he makes things happen, he was playing very well with Plekanec who is a bit of a poor man version of Datsyuk.

Posted by yannick on 06/16/11 at 03:09 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by jmb on 06/16/11 at 09:17 AM ET

Name one other example.

I love how you’re upset at George for being responsible and warning his readers that, hey, I’m telling you about this because it’s out there, but there have been no indications from the Red Wings yet that any of this is legit.

I suppose you’re one of those fools that pays Eklund.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 06/16/11 at 05:08 PM ET


Jagr looked pretty solid at the Olympics (other than when he was getting creamed by Ovechkin) and that’s NHL-level talent.  Hard to evaluate a guy who puts up a PPG in the KHL, but the Olympics seem like a decent comparison.

Posted by Nick on 06/16/11 at 05:44 PM ET


A post-KHL washed-up Jagr?  No thanks.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 06/16/11 at 11:25 AM ET

But with a mullet, dude. Come on.

Posted by cementslinger from Midland MI on 06/16/11 at 06:04 PM 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.