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Red Wings afternoon news: on Chelios the Hall of Famer, Alfredsson fall-out and Alumni in the Soo

Updated 4x with Ted Kulfan believing that Brunner will get $4 million at 2:51 PM: Amongst today's Red Wings-related news stories:

DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose penned an article discussing Brendan Shanahan's legacy given that the Hockey Hall of Fame is highly likely to name the former Wings forward to their 2013 induction class on Tuesday (after passing over Shanahan last year, as noted in the overnight report), and around the time I put my head on the pillow, the Wings' website published another article from Roose regarding the former Wing who's a first-ballot inductee in one Chris Chelios:

Jiri Fischer will never forget what Chris Chelios meant to him as a young defenseman learning his way in the NHL.

“He was so good at just putting things into perspective,” said Fischer, the Red Wings’ director of player development. “It evolved over a couple of years, but Cheli and I were just a good fit. Cheli was ready to teach and I was willing to listen and it worked out great.”

Before Chelios retired at 48, Fischer, a former defensive partner of Chelios’s, already considered the ageless wonder a lock for enshrinement into the Hockey Hall of Fame, not just for his numerous accomplishments, but for the way he treated young players.

“He really wanted to teach, he really wanted to help me out,” Fischer said. “That’s the feeling that I got. When we played together, as long as I did my job and we didn’t get caught in the D-zone for too long, everything was simple. But that was when Cheli was still a top-two defenseman in the world.”

Now, three years after Chelios retired as a player, his supporters hope to learn that the best American-born defenseman in hockey history will be a first-time ballot hall of famer when the induction class of 2013 is announced this Tuesday in Toronto.

“For me, Cheli’s a slam dunk,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “I think he’s one of the greatest defensemen of his era. Played 25 years, what he won a couple of Norris Trophies and three Stanley Cups, two with us, and regarded as one of the best of his era.”

Roose continues at length, and his article's worth your time.

Just as a photo gallery accompanied the Shanahan story, the same's the case for the current Red Wings player mentor.

This is just my gut feeling talking, but it's entierly possible, if not probable, that Chelios will soon embark upon a coaching career as an assistant somewhere (after his sons and daughters finish their university educations, anyway). I hope that the Wings find a way to keep him in the family by placing him next to Toledo Walleye coach Nick Vitucci or Grand Rapids Griffins coach Jeff Blashill.

 

 

 

The fallout from Daniel Alfredsson's decision to sign with the Red Wings will likely continue to play out over the course of the summer and will linger into fall, and a little earlier this morning, the CBC's Elliotte Friedman attempts to perform something of a post-mortem, suggesting that, after a career of taking "hometown discounts," Alfredsson had enough of being "lowballed" by the Senators:

[Alfredsson] announced his return to a Swedish reporter on June 28. He informed the Senators about his decision to leave on July 4.

Between those dates, the Red Wings signed Jakub Kindl to a four-year extension, made Anthony Mantha the first of their draft picks and bought out Carlo Colaiacovo. Curtis Lazar led Ottawa’s draft charge before the team signed Nathan Lawson to a two-way contract.

No offence to any of them, but those moves did not change either team’s Vegas odds on winning it all in 2014.

So, what really happened here? The answer comes in [Senators GM Bryan] Murray’s explanation of the negotiation timeline. He met with agent JP Barry last Saturday in Manhattan. Here is the GM’s description:

“That was the one and only meeting where money was talked about. It was just a comment about what we could do and not do. One of the numbers that was at me, I said, ‘That’s not really the number we can go to, it’s not a fair number I don’t think.’”

That number is believed to be $6 million. Initially, it was a two-year request, although that would change. The Senators are believed to have offered a one-year contract in the $4 million zone.

Oh, man. You can totally see how things fell apart right then and there.

He continues, of course...

 

 

 

I think that the grade's still out, but MLive's asking Red Wings fans to give the Wings a free agency assessment based upon what took place between what took place between July 1st and July 2nd. I don't know about you, but I think the subjective answer depends on whether the Wings really do re-sign Daniel Cleary, and where Damien Brunner ends up...

 

 

 

In the literal alumni department, the Soo Evening News notes that the Red Wings Alumni Association will be visiting Sault Ste. Marie, MI in mid-September:

The Soo Eagles will face-off against a legendary opponent on Saturday, September 14, when the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Team meets them on the ice at Sault Ste. Marie’s Pullar Stadium.

Organizers are planning the perfect combination of hockey excitement and community support at this charity event being sponsored by the Sault Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Proceeds from the event will benefit the KDR Challenge, the Soo Eagles, and The Sault Events.

“The KDR Challenge is so excited to be a part of bringing the Red Wing Alumni Team to the Sault. Kelsey was a huge hockey fan,” said Bonnie Raffaele, KDR coordinator and Kelsey’s Mom.

The KDR Challenge was created in memory of Kelsey Dawn Raffaele who was tragically killed in an automobile accident on January 24, 2010. KDR focuses on educating Michigan youth about the dangers of using a cell phone while driving.

Raffaele said monies raised by the hockey game will be put to good use. “The KDR Challenge will be able to speak to thousands of students because of this generosity,” she said, thanking the Soo Eagles and the Sault CVB.

...

Tickets are on sale now at a variety of locations, including the Sault CVB office, the Sault Area Chamber of Commerce, Neville’s Superette, and the Soo Eagles office. Tickets purchased before September 1 will cost $16 for adults and $12 for kids under 18. Ticket prices will increase after September 1.

For more information about the event, call the Sault CVB at (906) 632-3366 or visit http://www.saultstemarie.com

.

 

 

And you'll have to excuse me for a little back-scratching here. I tend to read SI's Allan Muir's Top Line collection of morning links on their Home Ice blog every morning, and he mentioned me today. Many thanks!

 

Update: FYI:

Update #2: Via RedWingsFeed, MLive's Brendan Savage ponders what the Wings' forward lines might look like:

[The] two newcomers will allow coach Mike Babcock to pair stars Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk along with gritty winger Justin Abdelkader to give the Red Wings a potentially potent top line.

Weiss was signed to replace Valtteri Filppula as the second-line center and he'll play between Alfredsson and Johan Franzen.

Possibilities for the other two lines include pairing Gustav Nyquist, Darren Helm and Todd Bertuzzi on the third line while having Drew Miller, Joakim Andersson and Tomas Tatar skate together on the fourth line.

It remains to be seen how much Helm will contribute, however, after he missed all but one game last season with a mysterious back injury. He'll be back on the ice for the first time since the season ended when the Red Wings annual Prospects Camp begins Wednesday in Traverse City.

If Helm gets back to full strength, he'd add speed and penalty killing to the lineup as well as some added scoring punch.

Assuming those are indeed the four lines the Red Wings go with, that leaves Mikael Samuelsson, Cory Emmerton, Patrick Eaves and Justin Tootoo in reserve.

Unrestricted free agent Daniel Cleary is also a possibility but the Red Wings have to clear some salary cap room before they would be able to re-sign him and that could be difficult.

 

Update #3: Um, okay, NHL.com's Corey Masisak posted a slate of "Eastern" conference moves, and here are the Wings:

DETROIT RED WINGS

Say hello to: C Stephen Weiss, RW Daniel Alfredsson

Say goodbye to: C Valtteri Filppula, D Carlo Colaiacovo

Still shopping: RW Damien Brunner, LW Danny Cleary, D Ian White

Skinny: The Red Wings added two impact forwards and could have more help on the way from prospects Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco. Despite buying out Colaiacovo, they are short on space below the salary cap, and need to sign RFA forwards Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson and defenseman Brendan Smith, each of whom had big roles in a surprising playoff run. Forwards Mikael Samuelsson and Todd Bertuzzi are likely surplus parts at this point and cost a little more than $5 million against the cap; moving them would make a really good offseason a great one for general manager Ken Holland. Detroit could challenge Boston for the top spot in its new division.

 

Update #4: The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan confirms that Daniel Cleary, as he puts it, isn't, "At the top of the Red Wings' 'to-do list'":

Restricted free-agent forwards Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson, and defenseman Brendan Smith, all need to be re-signed. All will be, as RFAs have little bargaining power. But until all three get signed, and for how much, that'll keep Holland from quickly adding to his roster.

The Red Wings would like to re-sign unrestricted free-agent forward Daniel Cleary, but they are hamstrung right now until their roster and salary-cap situation come into clearer focus.

After signing forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss on Friday, the first day of free agency, the Red Wings have 22 players under contract — soon to be 25 when the three RFAs are under contract. NHL teams carry 23 players on their rosters.

Also, even without the three RFAs and Cleary signed, the Red Wings already have a $65 million payroll, about $700,000 over the $64.3 million salary cap. That's acceptable for now; teams can be as much as 10 percent over the salary cap in the summer. But teams need to be compliant once the regular season arrives.

Cleary has drawn interest from other teams, including Anaheim, Pittsburgh and Dallas, but for now is focusing on the Red Wings, likely on a three-year contract somewhere between $2.5 to $3 million per season.

The Red Wings have essentially cut ties with forward Damien Brunner. Hitting the free-agent market Friday, Brunner is expected to find a team this week that will sign him for a multi-year contract worth close to $4 million annually.

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Comments

SYF's avatar

Good news ‘bout Shanny and Cheli.  Shanny has said that he wants to go in the HHOF as a Wings player; not sure about Cheli, though.  MTL, CHI, DET, and ATL.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 07/07/13 at 01:25 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Chelios has always joked that he’ll have his Team USA jersey with him.

There is no rule that one must “go in to the Hall of Fame” representing a particular team in hockey. Larry Murphy had Penguins and Red Wings jerseys on the dais when he made his induction speech; Igor Larionov had none at all; Chelios can bring his Canadiens, Hawks, Wings, Team USA and Thrashers jerseys with him if he wishes to do so.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/07/13 at 01:34 PM ET

Avatar

This B.S. about being low balled is absurd. He was not mistreated at all by this franchise during the negotiations. If anything, the Murray’s are perhaps guilty of being naive, thinking this situation couldn’t go sour off simple negotiating tactics. Alfredsson has said time and time again that he didn’t want to play anywhere else and even that he couldn’t imagine winning the Cup with another team. SO you can forgive them for thinking he wouldn’t even consider outside options.

Alfie simply felt that the Wings were a better team and closer to winning the Cup than the Sens. I happen to disagree, but I’m a Senators fan, so I have a bit of a bias.

I’ve always said that if the Sens were to win a Cup, I’d want them to beat Toronto along the way. Well now, this season, I want them to beat Detroit as well.

Alfie’s legacy will remain strong in Ottawa, but it is tainted by all of this to some degree. At the very least, it’s taken a blow, which may or may not heal with time. In any case, we’ll see a year from now if it was worth it I suppose.

Posted by Chris M on 07/07/13 at 01:40 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I post the story. I don’t necessarily agree with it. I think that the divorce between the Sens and Alfredsson involves more than money.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/07/13 at 01:43 PM ET

awould's avatar

Its seems to me that Alfie wanted a reasonable payday to end his career and the Sens decided that was asking too much. After taking below-market contracts for years, you’d think maybe they could toss him a bone, or at least not act like he’s asking for too much.

Posted by awould on 07/07/13 at 01:44 PM ET

Avatar

Its seems to me that Alfie wanted a reasonable payday to end his career and the Sens decided that was asking too much. After taking below-market contracts for years, you’d think maybe they could toss him a bone, or at least not act like he’s asking for too much.

He was given a blank cheque basically. If he really wanted to stay in Ottawa, it wouldn’t have been “too late”.

He wanted to win a Cup. He thinks the Wings are further along. We’ll see how that works out for him won’t we?

Posted by Chris M on 07/07/13 at 01:51 PM ET

perfection's avatar

if you read the whole story, by the end of negotiations they were offering him a “blank check”, so it’s absolutely not a case of simply wanting a reasonable payday. Ottawa would have given him whatever he wanted by the end of the process. If money had anything to do with it, it was simply a catalyst for Alfie to let his mind wander to what other options might look like. If you read what Alfie actually said, it’s not just that he feels the Wings have a better shot than the Sens (though he did state this explicitly), but he takes it further and expreses the fact that the Wings will do whatever it takes to get there. They will spend to the max, they have assets to play with, they expect to win. Simple. He stated he didn’t want to impose his desire to go balls out for the cup on a developing Sens team. He doesn’t feel he’s imposing anything on the Wings because going balls out for the cup has been business as usual for two decades.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/07/13 at 02:01 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Go with Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika’s version of events instead.

As he suggests, it appears that over the past couple of months, the issues of money and perceived “worth” got caught up in a very literal as well as figurative failure to communicate wants, needs and desires, and both sides have very valid points.

It certainly appears that the relationship soured, that Alfredsson’s perception of his team’s “chances” of winning (which are still excellent) changed, and it appears that, somewhere along the way, the sides lost trust in each other…

All while both sides misjudged how the “wining and dining” period gave Alfredsson the opportunity to think about what life would be like playing for another team.

To me, the fact that the Senators didn’t ask Alfredsson if anyone was courting him, and that Alfredsson didn’t tell the Senators that he’d spoken with the Bruins or Red Wings until after he’d started to seriously consider leaving the team…Well, that tells us more than anything regarding how the relationship/trust/lines of communication/whatever you want to call ‘em got crossed, frayed and eventually broken.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/07/13 at 02:05 PM ET

awould's avatar

If money had anything to do with it, it was simply a catalyst for Alfie to let his mind wander to what other options might look like.

This is what I meant. Not that it was purely about the money, but that they originally seemed intent on low-balling him as much as they could when they should’ve given him the Lidstrom treatment and let him dictate what he would take to stay on the team. Especially since he’s always taken a discount. Instead, they treated him like any other player that they’d be ok seeing walk away. That is, until it looked like he might actually walk away.

The articles I’ve read seem to indicate that this rubbed him the wrong way and, like you say, gave him a reason to let his mind wander. Their actions offended him. Which caused him to think “what if.” And I’m sure there is much more behind the scenes that we’ll never hear about.

Posted by awould on 07/07/13 at 02:34 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

The Sens got away for years low balling a superstar and captain, averaging just $4.8M over the last 8 years, with last year’s actual cash payout just $1M.

Despite the allegations about giving him a blank check, stories now and facts will come out about the Sens’ owner’s financial difficulty.

Clearly Alfie has never made money or security his primary consideration, and is saying all the right things about it being a better opportunity for playoff success, and, just as well, not wanting to crimp the Sens ability to build their future.

The Senators franchise has clearly been basing their operations on the cornerstone of underpaying their Captain, and I believe badly misplayed this process, somehow making Alfredsson come to realize he’d be better off leaving the franchise less than a week after he’d never even considered the possibility.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 07/07/13 at 02:55 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

I happen to disagree, but I’m a Senators fan, so I have a bit of a bias.
Posted by Chris M on 07/07/13 at 01:40 PM ET

Chris, as a Sens fan, and probably more in tune with the Ottawa media than me as a Wings fan, has there been much talk about the rumors that Melnyk is having financial troubles, or is that more BS thrown out there to stir the Alfie Wants All The Monies pot?

Posted by Hootinani on 07/07/13 at 02:57 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

See the update for Ted Kulfan’s estimation of Damien Brunner’s payday. Holy shit, $4 million!

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/07/13 at 02:58 PM ET

Hank Scorpio's avatar

Brunner is expected to find a team this week that will sign him for a multi-year contract worth close to $4 million annually.

If Brunner can find a team that will pay him that, good for him. He’s not that young and his window to make a life-changing salary is small. This may be his shot. I liked him and wished he’d stayed with the Wings, but he may never have a better opportunity than now to cash in.

I don’t think he “owes” us anything for uncovering him and getting him playing time. There were 3 or 4 teams after him, including Tampa.  If it hadn’t been with us, it would have been with someone else.

If someone wants to give him $4 mil/year for a long term contract, this is kind of like when Boston threw that ridiculous contract at Lapointe all those years ago. If the “insider” accounts are correct, the Wings brass told him that he had to take that contract because they couldn’t match it and they were sorry to see him go. 

Now that I think about it, that Lapointe contract is one of the reasons that I had a hard time cheering for Boston against Chicago.  I couldn’t remember why I disliked them . . . .

Posted by Hank Scorpio on 07/07/13 at 02:59 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Hitting the free-agent market Friday, Brunner is expected to find a team this week that will sign him for a multi-year contract worth close to $4 million annually.

They haven’t exactly been tripping over each other to sign him in a hurry.

$4M could make another Ville Leino story if he doesn’t produce big, which is far from a given.

I liked his quickness and goal scorer’s mentality and abilities, but that’s more than he’s earned, in my view, and apparently the Wings too.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 07/07/13 at 03:03 PM ET

perfection's avatar

if by some miracle Bert and to a slightly lesser degree Helmer are both at 100% by the start of the season, a Helm, Nyquist, Bertuzzi line sounds kind of amazing. You could swap Cleary for Bert and it’s still one of the more potent 3rd lines in the league. And to still have Andersson (who proved FULLY capable as a 3rd line center) with Tatar and an offensively underrated Drew Miller as a fourth line is incredible. We will be able to heavily roll four lines all year, hopefully keeping the miles manageable on our new 41 year old de facto co-asst captain.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/07/13 at 03:22 PM ET

Avatar

So looking at capgeek, Toronto, Rangers, and Calagary all have cap space.  Based on their past signings I could see a bidding war for Brunner with someone giving him that 4 mill.  Thats a lotta swiss cheese.

Posted by maltby18 on 07/07/13 at 03:33 PM ET

SYF's avatar

CAL *seems* to make sense as Hartley at one time coached the ZSC Lions in the Swiss Leagues.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 07/07/13 at 03:52 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Yes that would make sense, and the Rangers love the big name splash signings, not exactly Brunner.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 07/07/13 at 04:14 PM ET

Avatar

Can’t even spell Calgary right, crap.

Maybe if I swap Q/Tootoo/Sammy for Edler on capgeek enough times it will happen.

Posted by maltby18 on 07/07/13 at 04:55 PM ET

Avatar

Chris, as a Sens fan, and probably more in tune with the Ottawa media than me as a Wings fan, has there been much talk about the rumors that Melnyk is having financial troubles, or is that more BS thrown out there to stir the Alfie Wants All The Monies pot?

It’s certainly a story that has emerged in the last week or so, after the series of blogposts on Hockeybuzz, the Ottawa Citizen (probably the biggest local paper) had a large write-up about Eugene’s financial woes.

But I’m not sure how that is relevant to the Alfredsson situation. This isn’t a player who will be around past this season, so there is no issue of not wanting to make a long term commitment to a shaky financial situation.

Posted by Chris M on 07/07/13 at 04:59 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

At this point, I really don’t care about losing Brunner. As far as I’m concerned, he’s still adjusting to the North American brand of hockey and I don’t see him doing anything that Tatar/Nyquist/Jurco can’t do.

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 07/07/13 at 05:06 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

As a reminder, whatever Holland does with the extra forwards, if the trade in is for a top defenseman, something of value may have to go with it likely, whether a pick or a prospect. As George said yesterday:

At this point, I don’t think that the Wings want to part with a Jarnkrok, Jurco or Mrazek, who teams would ask for in return for a top-four defenseman. That’s just my opinion, however. The cap issue is tricky regarding someone like Edler.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/06/13 at 03:31 PM ET

Posted by Bugsy on 07/07/13 at 05:22 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

But I’m not sure how that is relevant to the Alfredsson situation. This isn’t a player who will be around past this season, so there is no issue of not wanting to make a long term commitment to a shaky financial situation.

Posted by Chris M on 07/07/13 at 04:59 PM ET

The only time I saw it brought up in the local media was in reference to Alfie, as a reason why he might have moved on.  I was more curious if it was true because it seems several other teams are having serious financial issues, some of them serious (NJ,PHX,FL).  Appreciate the response.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/07/13 at 05:49 PM ET

Avatar

In regards to the Sens ability to win compared to the wings, I just have to wonder how a team that keeps an internal cap of $50 million can ever compete for a title against teams willing to spend to the cap every year. The extra $$ buys talent, you can’t expect to win it all on the cheap.

Posted by updem on 07/07/13 at 08:33 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.