The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/07/13 at 12:23 PM ET
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.
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!
[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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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.