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Miller likely to bolt from Red Wings, Jagr’s iffy, and Ericsson, Eaves will probably stay

Updated at 9:23 PM with Pleiness on Ericsson, Eaves, Miller, the blueline and Jagr: Red Wings GM Ken Holland told MLive’s Ansar Khan that he believes he can hold on to most of his unrestricted free agents-to-be, but that does not include Drew Miller, who’s likely to test the market…

“Just had a philosophical conversation (with his agent),’’ Holland said. “I made an offer. Can’t say we’re making a lot of progress.’‘

On the Jaromir Jagr front, Holland plans on treating the could-be Penguin like he will any player who doesn’t sign with his team before July 1st—he won’t save a spot on the roster or in the team’s payroll structure for Jagr:

As for Jaromir Jagr, Holland said, “Touched base again with his agent today. Nothing’s changed. We’re still staying in contact.’‘

Holland said his initial offer of a one-year deal to Jagr, made several weeks ago, hasn’t changed. He said he doesn’t necessarily need an answer from Jagr by noon Friday, but then the player runs the risk of the team signing other players and not having space for him.

But it does sound like Jonathan Ericsson and Patrick Eaves will remain in tow, which is good news:

Holland said of Ericsson, “Gone back and forth with his agent, made progress. We’ll talk again either later tonight or in the morning. We’d like to sign him, he’d like to stay.’‘

Holland said of Eaves, “Talked with his agent, think we’re making progress.’‘

Update: Here’s Holland speaking to the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness about Eaves, Miller and Ericsson:

“We’re still talking and I think we’re making progress,” Holland said. “But once you get to noon (today) it’s wide open for anyone to sign them.

Again, Ericsson and Eaves in particular appear lined up to remain Wings…

“We’d like to sign, he’d like to stay,” Holland said [of Ericsson].

But Miller’s probably headed elsewhere…

“We’ve just had a philosophical conversation (with his agent),” Holland said. “I made an offer, but I can’t say we’re making a lot of progress.”

And Holalnd’s not sure what his game plan is in terms of bolstering his blueline:

“On defense, we’d like to do something, it depends on Ericsson,” Holland said. “The market is getting picked over. It’s an expensive market.”

On Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres signed defenseman Christian Ehrhoff for 10-year deal worth reportedly $40 million. Earlier in the week, Vancouver reached a five-year deal with defenseman Kevin Bieksa worth $23 million.

“We’re just looking for the right fit,” Holland said. “We’ve got quite a bit of cap space, we’ll see if we use it all or not. We’re set in goal,” Holland added. “We’re not going to spend a lot on a backup. Chris Osgood is an option, but we want to explore that’s out there. There are a number of players we have interest in at forward, defense and in goal.”

And on the Jagr front? Well, it’s wait and see and then some:

“We’re still staying in contact,” Holland said.

The Wings, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, have made offers to Jagr.

The Wings don’t necessarily need an answer from Jagr by noon Friday, but the longer he waits he runs the risk of them signing other players and not having space for him.

“Up front, we’ll see what goes on with Jagr,” Holland said.

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Comments

rrasco's avatar

I always liked Miller’s work ethic, would hate to lose him, but he has a role that can be filled if necessary.  Good luck to him if he’s gonna test the market, but he could end up Lebda’d if he’s not careful.  I think someone would pick him up though, especially with the cap increase.

Posted by rrasco from TEXAS on 06/30/11 at 09:47 PM ET

rrasco's avatar

and I completely meant Lilja’d.  *face palm*

Posted by rrasco from TEXAS on 06/30/11 at 09:48 PM ET

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I’d hate to see Drew go given how hard he works on every shift, but I’ve got to agree that he’s more replaceable than Eaves.

Posted by RyanVM on 06/30/11 at 10:03 PM ET

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Miller is a hard worker; he goes in the corners; he scores when he is given the chance; he sits out when asked. Sure he can be replaced as a 4th line player but he seemed like a good fit. I don’t blame him for wanting more ice time and a bigger pay day but I wish he would stay. Draper will probably stay now and will score about 5 goals next season. All last year I felt the ‘wings just needed the addition of a couple of good players to reach the finals. Another good defenseman and a Franzen like forward that does not get injured. This post season started with a lot of promise on the signing front. The Wings have lots of cap money to acquire some good talent and now it looks like we may be shopping in the bargin bin. I hope that is not the case as Kenny has been known to be a pretty good GM. I guess it is the waiting that gets to everybody.

Posted by Mackster on 06/30/11 at 10:16 PM ET

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I love Miller and his work ethic as much as the next guy….but I’m sorry, I don’t believe he has the skills to warrant more than the 11-or-so minutes of ice time he was getting with the Wings. If he leaves I wish him all the best, though.

Posted by godblender on 06/30/11 at 10:26 PM ET

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“On defense, we’d like to do something, it depends on Ericsson,” Holland said.

I can only hope that he was using hyperbole. Otherwise, we’re fu*ked.

Posted by godblender on 06/30/11 at 10:29 PM ET

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My lady did the same thing…..she asked if he would be “Lebda’d” to which I responded “you mean Lilja’d”

Posted by Alvin from Chucktown on 06/30/11 at 10:30 PM ET

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As stated multiple times before, Ken can still trade if needed (he doesn’t have to fill all of the cap space this summer either), so I’m not so “jittery”, but I’d still like the Wings to at least have a chance at Wisniewski before they go for one year rentals/bargain bin.

Posted by Bugsy on 06/30/11 at 10:31 PM ET

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Wouldn’t it be awesome for the Miller boys to win a cup together in Buffalo.  Don’t laugh, crazier things have happened this year.

Posted by GregK on 07/01/11 at 12:41 AM ET

The Meal's avatar

If we had to pick two of #52, #20, and #17 to keep, then #20 would’ve been my odd man out.  There’s no part of me that likes seeing him move on, but I think his loss would be the least regrettable for the team.  Now let’s not see anyone wear #68 on the squad next year and I’ll feel like we haven’t lost too much ground heading into the FA season.

Posted by The Meal on 07/01/11 at 12:41 AM ET

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I’ll hate to see Miller go, but he’s earned the right to have an everyday role, and that won’t happen with the Wings.

I wonder if Drapes comes back as the 13th/14th forward, maybe at Miller’s price from last year…

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 01:18 AM ET

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Good luck to him if he’s gonna test the market, but he could end up Lebda’d if he’s not careful.

I don’t think so.

I think Lilja got Lilja’d because of that 366 days he spent in a dark room, recovering from a concussion.

Miller, for a slight raise, can get an everyday fourth-line role and probably be happy.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 01:21 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.