Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings evening gnus: holy crap this has been a crazy day

Updated 3x at 8:08 PM: Okay, amongst this evening's Red Wings-related news, first, the cringe-worthy stuff:

Otherwise, I need to take a deep breath here.

The Red Wings signed Daniel Alfredsson to a 1-year deal with a base salary of $3.5 million and $2 million in attainable over-35 bonuses; first slowly, and then officially, we found out that Damien Brunner is not returning to the team; the Wings signed Stephen Weiss to a 5-year deal at a cap hit of $4.9 million, and going the other way, Valtteri Filppula got his 5-year deal at all of $100K more per season from the Bolts; then there was the bizarro-land Bryan Murray presser, and the good news about Luke Glendening earning an NHL deal.

First and foremost, if you want to listen to at least the Daniel Alfredsson portion of his conference call, the Ottawa Citizen posted it...

And second, let's get the Cleary and Brunner stuff out of the way, per the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness:

“Obviously, the one guy that’s out there is Dan Cleary, I continue to stay in touch with him,” Holland said during a conference call introducing Alfredsson and Weiss. “Damien Brunner I certainly expect he’s going to be moving on to a different situation, but I’ll see what happens with Dan Cleary over the next few hours.”

The Wings have 14 forwards under contract for next season and two others that are restricted free agents – Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson – that will be signed.

Brunner, 27, had his ups and downs last season, but finished with 12 goals and 14 assists in his first season in the league. He also had five goals and four assists in the playoffs.

Holland also says he’s not sure if they’re done with free agency.

“We obviously are going to have to move a player or two,” Holland said.

MLive's Ansar Khan confirms:

Damien Brunner broke into the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings last season, but he'll be continuing his career with another organization.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said today that Brunner is moving on, after turning down the club's offers of a two- or three-year deal.

Holland said he remained in contract with the agent for forward Daniel Cleary.

As of 5 p.m., Brunner and Cleary had not signed with a team.

And I quote, from the Wings:

Let's get this out of the way, too, per Pleiness:

Wings general manager Ken Holland said during the conference call to introduce forwards Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss that he fully expects Darren Helm healthy and ready for training camp in Traverse City.

“Darren Helm is feeling very good,” Holland said. “Darren Helm is a real key piece to our team and hopefully in Traverse City next week we get good news that he’s on the ice and can push and feels good and we can expect to see a healthy Darren Helm in training camp.”

Helm is going to take part in the Wings’ annual prospects development camp July 10-15 in Traverse City to test out his back.

“When you think about adding Steve and Alfie and Darren Helm to our team, from last year’s team, would be a tremendous, tremendous up-grade. We obviously got a couple of extra players, again, we think we’re a work-in-progress,” Holland said. “I’d still like to look at making a move or two, but it might take a month or two to finally shape our roster.”

And oh hey, by the way:

I'm not going to be able to get everything here as the Alfredsson signing sent shivers league-wide. Henrik Zetterberg got gushy about the deal while speaking with Aftonbladet's Per Bjurman, and the Detroit News's Gregg Krupa and Lauren Abdel-Razzaq have your translation needs covered there; you can read Niklas Kronwall's fangirl squee to Expressen's Jonathan Lindquist on your own, and I'm sure I'll spend a good chunk of the late night summarizing Swedish.

In English, Alfredsson was apologetic but honest in discussing his departure from the Senators, as noted by MLive's Ansar Khan...

“I’ve had nothing but great times in Ottawa,'' Alfredsson said. “I didn’t really see myself making a change, but as we got closer to free agency, thoughts started creeping in that it’s been 18 years and I haven’t won the Stanley Cup. That’s my dream.''

He believes joining a team with Henrik Zetterberg, who was instrumental in recruiting him, and Pavel Datsyuk, as well as a bevy of fellow Swedes, gives him his best opportunity. Alfredsson has played in the Stanley Cup finals only once, in 2007, when the Senators lost to the Anaheim Ducks.

“I feel Ottawa is getting closer and closer and going in the right direction and has a really bright future, but at this point of my career I don’t have that kind of time to wait for that,'' Alfredsson said. “I feel this is right for me and I really like to (finish) it with the Detroit Red Wings.''

He talked to a few Red Wings before making his decision and had multiple conversations with Zetterberg.

“He was the one I bounced around ideas with mostly,'' Alfredsson said.

...

The Red Wings signed Stephen Weiss Friday (five years, $24.5 million) to be their second-line center. This enables them to use Datsyuk and Zetterberg together, with Justin Abdelkader. Weiss will center a line with Alfredsson and Johan Franzen. Alfredsson called Datsyuk and Zetterberg the best two-way players in the game and said Detroit's puck-possession style appealed to him.

“I feel that’s the strength of my game, playing a two-way game,'' Alfredsson said. “I love watching (Datsyuk and Zetterberg) and the whole team play with or without the puck because they do so many good things, little things that many people can’t pick up. They perform extremely well under pressure and in important situations. In talking to Henrik, he hadn’t made up his mind who I was going to play with yet. No, I’m just kidding. It’s obviously going to be (coach Mike) Babcock’s decision. He was just happy that I was able to join as a right-handed shot. For me, playing even with Stephen, as a left-handed player, should open up a lot of chances for me.''

Alfredsson, who is in Sweden, was on a conference call with general manager Ken Holland and Babcock Thursday for 45 minutes. Unlike past years, teams were allowed to speak to other clubs' free agents during a 48-hour window prior to free agency.

“Everyone knows Detroit’s goals are always to be at the top of the game and to win championships,'' Alfredsson said. “I’m really excited to get this opportunity at this stage of my career to go for a Stanley Cup and fulfill a longtime dream.''

The Detroit News's Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner...

"I have made a very difficult decision to leave Ottawa after 18 years and 17 seasons," Alfredsson said. "I’ve played 18 years and haven’t won the Stanley Cup, and that’s my dream.

"Everybody knows what Detroit’s goals are, and that is to be at the top of the game and to win championships. I’m really excited to get this opportunity at this stage in my career to go for a Stanley Cup and fulfill a long time dream."

NHL.com's Dan Rosen...

"We had a lot of discussions here with our family leading up to this the last few days and it pretty much came down to a selfish decision in terms of I have not won the Stanley Cup," Alfredsson said. "I feel with Ottawa, they're getting closer and closer and definitely going in the right direction and have a really bright future in front of them, but at this stage of my career I just don't have the time to wait for that. It's a tough decision to make and it still hasn't really sunk in, but I feel I'm doing this for myself, I feel this is right for me and I really like the fit with the Detroit Red Wings."

...

"The easy thing for me would be just to stay in Ottawa, enjoy my last year there and retire an Ottawa Senator," Alfredsson said. "It probably would have been a great ending as well, but I'm a competitive person and I wouldn't have felt the same drive, I think, in terms of just trying to be the mentor and to play it out. Ottawa is going to be a good team next year as well and I felt I needed a different challenge to do this. It was an extremely hard decision to make, but I feel it's the right one for me at this time."

The Red Wings are moving into the same division as the Senators, so to win the Stanley Cup there is a very real possibility Alfredsson will have to go through his former team.

He said he's thought about that and said he's not worried that leaving will tarnish his legacy in Ottawa, which includes several charities to which he will remain committed. However, he will be expecting a vitriolic reaction when he returns to Canadian Tire Centre.

"I expect there will be resentment and anger from fans, as I think there definitely should be," Alfredsson said. "I have my favorite sports teams, too, and if something happens with a player and it doesn't benefit my team, I don't like it. But I know what I've done in Ottawa. I gave it everything I had throughout my career and have so many people to thank. They have been almost too good to me. This is purely a situation for me where this is about me," he continued. "This is a decision I make for myself, not for anybody else. It's all about trying to get the Stanley Cup."

(oh hi, coach Mike Babcock)

Babcock told NHL.com he spoke with Alfredsson on Thursday and got the sense Detroit was the front-runner. The coach said he thinks the change in organizations will invigorate Alfredsson.

"The thing about leadership ability is when you're Alfie's age and you go to a new situation, put yourself out there, you bring your leadership skills, you bring your competitiveness, but also it's new because you haven't been with them and it's the change," Babcock said. "All those things are exhilarating. He's going to make our team way better."

Babcock also mentioned how Alfredsson has three boys are who into hockey, "and Detroit is an unbelievable spot for hockey development for young guys."

And Yahoo Sports' Greg "Puck Daddy" Wyshynski did a hell of a job covering the presser, though he certainly doesn't like what went down...

“It came down to a selfish decision,” said Alfredsson. “I feel with Ottawa, they’re getting closer and closer [to winning a Stanley Cup]. Definitely going in the right direction. But I don’t have the time to wait for that.”

The sports landscape is littered with the broken dreams of veteran players who leave one franchise to win a ring with another. For every LeBron James, there’s a Dwight Howard. For every Ray Bourque, there’s a Marian Hossa, Detroit Red Wings edition. Sometimes these things work out, and sometimes you’re left with galleries of awkward photos featuring players wearing bizarre uniforms. Whatever the future holds, Alfie’s owning it.

“I’m doing this for myself,” said Alfredsson. “I think this is right for me.”

...

“I felt a week ago I was not going to go anywhere. My negotiations went a few days, and just started thinking … Ottawa’s in a great spot,” said Alfredsson. “If this is my last season, I don’t want to change anything that’s going on there. I don’t want to demand Bryan or Eugene have to make a push for me here to go for it. There’s too many things going on. They should stay the course. The torch was going to be passed anyway.”

That’s nice and all, but [Senators GM Bryan] Murray didn’t see it that way.

In fact, he debated Alfredsson on the Senators’ merits as a Cup contender – and based on Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza, their goaltending, their coach and their newly acquired star, they’re not exactly miles away from contention – in trying to retain him.

Again, Alfredsson had a blank check from the Senators. “Tell me a number, and we’ll get a deal done,” Murray said he told Alfredsson’s agent, “and I never heard back.”

The captain had decided to leave the ship. “Alfie indicated that winning the Stanley Cup was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up,” said Murray.

The person who scares me because he's a better writer than I am already, one Nick Barnowski, also covered the presser for Michigan Hockey (seriously, Nick, you're a sophomore in college, give me six months at least)...

"No, I’m not worried about my legacy,” Alfredsson said. “I expect there will be resentment and anger from fans, and I think there definitely should be. I thought that question through, as well. I have my favorite sports teams too, and if something happens to a player that I don’t like or if it doesn’t benefit my team, I don’t like it. But I know what I’ve done in Ottawa. I’ve gave it everything I have throughout my career, and have so many people to thank. They’ve been almost too good to me, and this is purely a situation for me where this is about me. This is a decision that I made for myself, not for anybody else. It’s all about trying to get the Stanley Cup.”

The desire to win a Stanley Cup along with Detroit’s style of play were huge factors in the veteran’s decision.

“I just really liked the way Detroit plays hockey,” Alfredsson, who had 26 points in 46 games last season, said. “It’s a puck possession game and I just think that with the personnel they have throughout their lineup I could come in and be of help in different areas and be part of something really good.”

Who noted that Ken Holland's got to make some roster-clearing moves given that the team has to re-sign restricted free agents Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson with only $2.3 million of capgeek-estimated space and another $6.4 million to play with under the "summer cap," which the Wings can exceed by 10% of the $64.3 million mark, never mind the 23-man roster:

While the Wings were very active on the first day of free agency, Holland said that he is not done shaping his team for the upcoming season.

“Obviously this is going to be a work in progress over the course of the summer,” he said, noting that he feels good about the team’s nucleus after the two signings.

“I feel good that Pavel Datsyuk re-upped for three years, we have Pav around for four more years. We believe we have a tremendous goaltender in Jimmy Howard, so, you know, with the addition of Alfie and Stephen, we think we’re going to be a lot deeper up front.”

Weiss was downright giddy about joining the Wings, as noted by the Windsor Star's Bob Duff...

"I always dreamed of playing for the Red Wings someday,” Weiss said.

Fox Sports Detroit's Regner...

"It’s an extremely exciting day for our team," Red Wing GM Ken Holland said. "We wanted to get more scoring. I felt we were challenged last year to score some goals, and certainly by adding Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss to our team, we’ve added two players -- with Daniel, who’s been a tremendous scorer in the NHL, and in Stephen Weiss, he’s been a tremendous playmaker down in Florida.So we’re adding a playmaker and a scorer. Both players provide leadership and character, and it will allow (coach) Mike Babcock more balanced as we put our lines together." 

Weiss, 30, is a quality two-way center who's not physical; however, he’s creative, has terrific acceleration, is good on face-offs and has the ability to make players around him better.

"The Red Wings have been a team that I have always looked up to growing up," Weiss said. "Obviously, playing in the Plymouth (Mich.) area for a few years (in the Ontario Hockey League), I got to go see some Wings games, and I always dreamt about plying for them one day. To have them interested in me and to have that opportunity is awesome … words can really express that right now."

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...

The Red Wings wanted a center and Weiss, a former Plymouth Whalers junior star who played for the Florida Panthers last season, was a target from early on.

Toronto and St. Louis Blues were also in the mix for Weiss, 30, who only made the playoffs once in 10 years in Florida and wanted a chance to compete for the Stanley Cup.

"It was a pretty easy decision to come and play for Mr. (Ken) Holland and Mr. (Mike) Babcock and the Red Wings organization," said Weiss. "It's been a culture of winning over the years. Their goal every year is to win a Stanley Cup."

And the Free Press's Helene St. James, who covered both players' signings:

Weiss said, “coming from Florida, and being there for 10 years, only playing in the playoffs one time - it was a pretty easy decision to come and play for the Red Wings organization. It’s been a culture of winning over the years. Their goal every year is to win a Stanley Cup and to come to a team and be a part of that is really exciting. I’m thrilled to be given this opportunity to come to this team.”

Alfredsson agreed to a one-year deal worth as much as $5.5 million with bonuses. Weiss agreed to five years, $24.5 million.

Alfredsson has spent his entire career with the Ottawa Senators, but when he became an unrestricted free agent this week, he opted to look elsewhere.

The Wings are an ideal fit for many reasons: Alfredsson is a skilled right winger who shoots right, something the Wings lack. He’s Swedish, which never hurts in joining a team that already boasts seven of them. Alfredsson was teammates with Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg on the Swedish national team, including the 2006 team that won gold at the Torino Games.

...

Weiss, on the other hand, gives the Wings the no. 2 center they badly wanted, someone who will allow them to play Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk on the same line.

Alfredsson’s deal, with a salary cap hit of $3.5 million, is heavy on bonuses that can, if needed, be deferred to 2014-15, when the salary cap will rise above next season’s $64.3 million.

Alfredsson and Weiss give Detroit 14 forwards under contract for next season, a number that will grow by two when restricted free agents Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist are re-signed. There are numerous questions, though, that hang over that current roster, including whether Darren Helm and Mikael Samuelsson will be able to play next season after both spent almost all of last season injured.

A the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness notes, the jubilation in Detroit was starkly contrasted by Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray's lament...

Wings general manager Ken Holland spoke with Alfredsson on Wednesday about the possibilities of playing in Detroit.

“I really expected to kind of get a response that he was going to stay in Ottawa,” Holland said. “Daniel was taking some time with his family and was considering talking to some teams and to explore what was out there. We set up a conference call (Thursday) where Mike Babcock and I talked to Daniel and J.P Barry (his agent) for about 45 minutes to tell them about our team. We got the news this afternoon that Daniel had decided to come join us, so a lot of this happened fast.”

...

Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray said he understands why Alfredsson did what he did, but it was still hard to hear.

“For me it was a devastating conversation, a disappointing one, hard to swallow like it is for a lot of people,” Murray said during a conference call. “But I understand a veteran player that hasn’t won, and wants to win and sees a better opportunity. Whether we did the right thing or not, I said, ‘Hey Alfie, I discourage you from doing it.’ I talked about Ottawa, but the bottom line is he wanted to try (something different). He deserves the opportunity to do what he did. He’s a great guy here. He’s been more than a player. I regard him as a friend and a guy I could sit and talk to as a friend. He has great insight into the game and we’re going to miss him. There’s no question we’re going to miss him as a person and a leader. He deserves all the credit he’s gotten here and more.”

Alfredsson, who’s a right-handed shot, had 10 goal and 16 assists in 47 games this last season. Over his 1,178-game career, he has 426 goals and 682 assists.

“I offered him an opportunity to sign a contract with us with the promise that at a particular time of the year, he could pick the date, if he felt that we weren’t in a position to be a real competitive club come playoff time, that I would send him to the team of his preference,” Murray said. “And I think rightly so on Alfie’s part, he didn’t want to go to a new team halfway through the year and find his way. He felt that starting with a new team, it was very important to go in at the start and be part of the whole group.”

And in terms of the outside takes, I'll get 'er started with this from ESPN's Scott Burnside, who, like Wyshynski, does not "hate" the Wings, but is no fan:

Detroit Red Wings
It was a curious day for the Wings as they signed an aging Alfredsson to a one-year deal worth $5.5 million, evoking memories of the disastrous turn in Detroit by an aging Mike Modano, and then signed Weiss to a big five-year deal at $4.9 million a season, even though Weiss has toiled in relative obscurity in Florida his entire career. He’s played in just seven playoff games, all in 2012. The Wings also failed to immediately re-sign veteran Daniel Cleary or bring back impressive first-year player Damien Brunner or center Valtteri Filppula, who signed in Tampa. In other words, a few steps in a circle.

Tampa Bay Lightning
And since we’re on a Red Wings kick, let’s look at the Filppula signing. Five years at $5 million a year is a lot for a guy who had 17 points in 41 games this season (he did register 66 points in 2011-12). As a second-line center in Tampa who will ostensibly replace Vincent Lecavalier, is Filppula up to the task or was that 66 points a mirage and will he settle back to his career norm of 40 or less? Let’s put it this way, for GM Steve Yzerman’s sake, Filppula better be on the ascending arc of his career or this is going to look pretty ugly in the wake of the Lecavalier buyout.

More in a bit.

Update #0.5: DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose spoke to Patrick Eaves about both players...

“Man, did we land a big fish,” Eaves said. “He’s one of the best. That’s a great signing for us.”

Alfredsson and Zetterberg played on a line with hall-of-famer Mats Sundin when the Swedes won the gold medal at the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino. A regular on the international stage, he’s appeared in 13 tournaments for Sweden.

“Our (Stanley Cup) chances are increased definitely with him in the team,” Zetterberg told the Swedish media on Friday. “I've played with him in the national team and have only good memories from there, from the Olympics and World Championships. Now it will be fun to play with him in the club.”

Eaves was a rookie in 2005-06 when Alfredsson put together the best statistical season of his career, topping the 100-point plateau for the only time with 43 goals and 60 assists.

“Actually, in my first game I played on the line with him,” Eaves said. “He took really good care of me.”

Alfredsson could make a good fit on the Red Wings’ second line with forward Johan Franzen and newly acquired center Stephen Weiss, but Eaves said his former Senators teammate can play anywhere.

“He could work anywhere, first line, second line, he’s still such a great player, but I don’t know where coach is thinking of putting him,” Eaves said. “He’s a special, gifted player. Just to have him in the lineup is a great thing for us.”

...

“For him to come into this locker room he should pretty much fit right in,” Eaves said. “He knows all the Swedish players very well and I know him well. Everyone will welcome Alfie with open arms in this locker room.”

And here's what Eaves said about Weiss in an earlier Roose article:

“I know from my own experiences of going to a different team you’re not extremely comfortable right away,” Eaves said. “The guys here are great, even when I first walked in they were unbelievable. But it will be a new place for him, it’s life, and will take a little time. I just know that he’s a really good player.”

Update #1: Weiss spoke with the Sun-Sentinel's Harvey Filakov about leaving the Panthers. Filakov says that the Panthers couldn't fit Weiss into their budget...

"I tried to stay there as long as I could and always put the team ahead of myself,'' Weiss told the Sun-Sentinel. "I wanted to have a fairy tale ending, taking the team to the playoffs and eventually compete for a Stanley Cup one day. It took awhile to get the first part done and obviously, the second part isn't going to come true. From what I was hearing from [my agent Pat Morris] was that Dale was doing everything in his power to find a way to get a deal done and to present a contract. In the end, that didn't happen. It's not a big secret when you're publicly saying you want to get someone signed and a deal doesn't get done then it's because your hands are tied. I'm disappointed to leave, but at the same time looking forward to a new challenge.''

The Panthers added four players, three with two-way deals most likely earmarked for Florida's AHL affiliate in San Antonio, and one projected starter in fourth-line right wing Joey Crabb. But they were never in the hunt for top-tier free agents such as Danny Briere, David Clarkson, Mike Ribeiro or even Horton.

Clearly, the internal budget set by owner Cliff Viner handcuffed [GM Dale] Tallon.

"I'm happy for him. He's much deserving of it,'' Tallon said of Weiss. "We had to move in another direction with our young guys. Those guys are our future. We have a budget and have to stick with it.''

...

Weiss, the Panthers' fourth overall pick in 2001, amassed 145 goals and set franchise records with 249 assists in 654 games. Never healthy after the lockout, Weiss had just four points in 17 games before opting for season-ending wrist surgery.

He's looking forward to returning to the BB&T Center with the Red Wings, now in the Panthers' division, to thank the fans.

"That'll be a special time, a special game my first game back,'' Weiss said. "I'm excited to move on and help Detroit get to where they want to go and everyone knows what their goal is every year.''

If you want to read Borje Salming or Markus Naslud speak to Expressen's Jonathan Lindquist about Alfredsson's move, head over to the Swedish translation thereof...

And here's the AP's Larry Lage's Alfredsson-Weiss story:

Alfredsson won the Mark Messier Leadership Award after scoring 10 goals and dishing out 16 assists in 47 games during the shortened season. He won the Calder Trophy as the league's rookie of the year in 1996 and was an All-Star for the sixth time in 2012. The Swedish star joins a team with several players from his native country, including captain Henrik Zetterberg.

“Zetterberg, I talked to two or three times,” Alfredsson said. “He was the one that I bounced ideas around with mostly.”

Detroit hopes Alfredsson can help the franchise compete for a championship next season when it moves to the Eastern Conference. He and his contract may essentially end up replacing Damien Brunner and Daniel Cleary, both of whom are unrestricted free agents. Holland is holding out hope he can keep Cleary but acknowledged Brunner likely will sign elsewhere. Weiss fills a void as a second-line center the Red Wings needed.

“It was a big part of the appeal,” he said.

The 30-year-old Weiss was limited to playing just 17 games during the shortened season in Florida, a year after he had 20 goals and 57 assists for the Panthers. He had wrist surgery in March, three months before the Red Wings wasted no time adding him to the roster.

Weiss, who is from Toronto, has 145 goals and 394 points in his career that began with the Panthers during the 2001-02 season. He had a career-high 61 points during the 2008-09 season and scored a career-high 28 goals the next year.

Florida drafted Weiss No. 4 overall in 2001 while he was playing for the Plymouth Whalers in suburban Detroit.

“It is neat to come back to a city where I played before and watched the Wings, and wondered about playing for the franchise one day,” he said. “It's kind of surreal.”

Update #2: Multimedia time. Here's EJ Hradek on Weiss...

And the NHL Network on Alfredsson...

And the Free Press has posited Alfredsson and Weiss photo galleries, as well as a slate of facts about both players from Helene St. James.

Update #3: Here's the Windsor Star's Bob Duff's take on the Alfredsson signing:

The moment the news broke that Daniel Alfredsson had signed with the Detroit Red Wings, two words immediately came to mind: Mike Modano. As Modano was in Dallas , Alfredsson, the 17-season Ottawa Senator, was the heart of his previous team, coming to Detroit for his last NHL season at age 40.

Here’s why this signing should work out differently, though. Modano came to town and basically played out the string. Alfredsson is coming to town with an agenda. He wants the one bauble missing from his resume – a Stanley Cup.

“I didn’t really see myself making a change, but as we got closer to free agency, thoughts started creeping in that it’s been 18 years and I haven’t won the Stanley Cup,” Alfredsson. “That’s my dream.”

The combination of that desire and his apparent compatibility with Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg – the two were linemates along with Mats Sundin on Sweden’s 2006 Olympic gold medal team –makes Alfredsson such an intriguing and potentially exciting addition to Detroit’s mix. Both moves offered an indication that after an off-summer of 2012, the Wings are once again a destination of choice for high-end free agents.

The two guys who came to Detroit Friday – Alfredsson for one year at (all figures US) $3.5 million and Florida Panthers centre Stephen Weiss for five years and $24.5 million – were the leaders and faces of their respective franchises. Weiss is Florida’s all-time leader in games (654) and seasons (11) played and assists (249, while right-winger Alfredsson, a Senator since 1995 and captain since 1999, holds Ottawa career marks for seasons (17), games (1,178), goals (426), assists (682), and points (1108).

But it was the one goal on his mind that made Detroit his destination.

“Everyone knows Detroit’s goals are always to be at the top of the game and to win championships,” Alfredsson said. “I just really like the way Detroit plays hockey. It’s a puck-possession game, a push-the-pace game and I just think with the personnel they have throughout their lineup, I can come in and be of help in different areas and be part of something really good.”

Update #3.5: the Wings posted a Weiss/Alfredsson photo gallery, too.

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Comments

Avatar

I wonder what made Brunner leave the Wings. He said its not about the money, it’s about the right fit. Do you get the impression Kenny lowballed him or he just got too cocky?

Posted by RicoSauve on 07/05/13 at 06:37 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

For crying out loud, just let Cleary go.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 07/05/13 at 06:41 PM ET

SYF's avatar

For crying out loud, just let Cleary go.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 07/05/13 at 07:41 PM ET

What if he goes to NSH?

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 07/05/13 at 06:44 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

I still hope for a Quincey/Smith + forward(s) +/- draft picks for a #2 or 3 defenseman, but happy right now. Otherwise, I guess they could use the spare forward(s) for a #7/8 defenseman or draft picks. So it sounds like they’ll hold onto 2? extra now in case re: Helm/Bertuzzi/Samuelsson don’t come back healthy?
Mr. Burnside, thanks for bringing up Modano, party-pooper.
I wonder how much Weiss’ past Detroit area ties played in targeting him. I wonder which if any would be the main reason: 2 way game? Getting him cheaper because of the wrist and/or being smaller than the power forwards? Just like DeKeyser, a sense he wanted to come to Detroit (of course by yesterday, didn’t sound like Horton or Clarkson were coming here anyway)?
In hindsight, do you think the Wings had any chance of getting Bickell? Doesn’t sound like it, but Chicago signing him for 4 million looks good now, but then someone else (don’t remember who) said the signing of Miller was definitely at a hometown discount.
So, at minimum, the cap space reopens by $3.5 Million minimum after Alfredsson retires, with the increasing cap. The free agents otherwise are Bertuzzi, Samuelsson, Monster, Eaves, Quincey, and Ericsson for next year. This will be interesting what they do with Ericsson next.

Thanks for everything, George.

Posted by Bugsy on 07/05/13 at 06:47 PM ET

SYF's avatar

This will be interesting what they do with Ericsson next.

Posted by Bugsy on 07/05/13 at 07:47 PM ET

Well, would you pay him over and above Kronwall?  I wouldn’t…unless E52 has a Norris-type of season.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 07/05/13 at 06:49 PM ET

Avatar

If nobody else is gonna say it I will.

I LIKE our team.

Doesn’t mean I don’t have an eye on you Quincy.

Can’t stop grinning, 9 centers on the roster.  Friggin amazing.

Posted by maltby18 on 07/05/13 at 06:54 PM ET

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If Holland is still trying to bring in more forwards then he’s planning on a trade or two. Since Holland doesn’t “make trades just to make a trade” maybe he will try and bring in a top 3 d-man. As it stands I would think that Sammy, Eaves, Tootoo and Emmerton are definitely expendable as well as one or two of our own defencemen (please Quincey).

Posted by godblender on 07/05/13 at 06:57 PM ET

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Are we going to have enough cap space to re-sign Mursak?

Posted by godblender on 07/05/13 at 07:03 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

SYF, I would seriously question his sanity.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 07/05/13 at 07:03 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Mursak left for Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL. Wings can’t match what he’ll be getting from them.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/05/13 at 07:03 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

  This will be interesting what they do with Ericsson next.

  Posted by Bugsy on 07/05/13 at 07:47 PM ET

Well, would you pay him over and above Kronwall?  I wouldn’t…unless E52 has a Norris-type of season.

Posted by SYF from a squishy place on 07/05/13 at 07:49 PM ET

SYF, I would seriously question his sanity.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 07/05/13 at 08:03 PM ET

Understood.
However, 39 y/o Gonchar got $5M x 2 years from Dallas, 35 y/o Streit got $5.25M x 4 years from Philly, 34 y/o Ference got 4 years x $3.25 M in a thin free-agent defensemen market. Kronwall is signed for 4.75 Million through 2018-19, and Ericsson at age 29 now makes $3.25 million this coming year (Quincey is $3.775 million for his last year at age 27 now).

Would I pay E $4.75 M? No, but this is free agency we’re talking, so do you offer him $4-4.25 M x 4 years to sign sometime this fall or winter, or wait? Another way to ask this is I’m not sure there is enough proof yet to sign him to an extension, but how long do we wait to see if he’s worth it, with the cap likely going back up next year?
(BTW, Tatar, DeKeyser, and Emmerton are the restricted free agents next year).

Posted by Bugsy on 07/05/13 at 07:14 PM ET

SYF's avatar

SYF, I would seriously question his sanity.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 07/05/13 at 08:03 PM ET

LOL.  I was being facetious, Chris.  The “pace” that Uncle Mike seems like a theme this year.  He appears to want a team with fast, 200-foot forwards and a mobile, but defensively responsible corps of defensemen.  The extra forwards may be a way to cut some of his forwards, esp. the younger guys, some slack from the “pace” and as backups to injuries.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 07/05/13 at 07:15 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Weiss will center a line with Alfredsson and Johan Franzen.

Potential, it’s there.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 07/05/13 at 07:23 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Kronwall is signed for 4.75 Million through 2018-19, and Ericsson at age 29 now makes $3.25 million this coming year (Quincey is $3.775 million for his last year at age 27 now).

I really don’t know until the season plays itself out.  If E52 just plays at the level we’re accustomed to seeing, $4 million isn’t out of the question.  IF IT WERE ME, I’d adios Q.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 07/05/13 at 07:25 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

I know you were, man. That’s how we do things around here.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 07/05/13 at 07:48 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Slainte, bud.  I’m sure we’ll have more surprises this weekend.  I"m out, 19.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 07/05/13 at 07:57 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Craig Button tied together a few things in the NHL clip, which make more sense to me now. Babcock kept pounding the message at least in the first half of the year that the team basically had to grind more, help the D more, in other words, not play “pretty” as much because they didn’t have the talent from the past.

Weiss, as a 2-way, creative player, is not known as a physical player from what I’ve read around the web, although he did have a fighting major. The Wings, now that they’ve added Alfredsson and Weiss, can play with more creativity. The question is whether they’ll miss not getting a physical net-front presence while enhancing their creative/puck possession style. If nothing else, everyone should get whatever wisdom they can gain from Alfredsson while he’s here.
(also, Filppula’s faceoff percentage was 54.7%, Weiss 51.1%, so still > 50%).

Posted by Bugsy on 07/05/13 at 08:01 PM ET

Tony Perkis's avatar

I was really impressed with Weiss against NJ last year. With him and Alfie, I’m very excited for this season. Who cares about the D now. Eastern teams don’t play team D anyway…until 5 years from now when they finally learn from the Wings.

Posted by Tony Perkis from Drinking at Robert's Lounge with Billy Batts on 07/05/13 at 08:12 PM ET

Tony Perkis's avatar

1) Zett-Dats-Alfie
2) Franzen-Weiss-Tatar? 
3)  Bert-Helm-Tootoo  
4) Miller-Emmerton…who cares, I really like the first three lines.

The East is in for a fuchin wake-up call.

Posted by Tony Perkis from Drinking at Robert's Lounge with Billy Batts on 07/05/13 at 09:14 PM ET

MsRedWingFan's avatar

I was really impressed with Weiss against NJ last year. With him and Alfie, I’m very excited for this season. Who cares about the D now. Eastern teams don’t play team D anyway…until 5 years from now when they finally learn from the Wings.

Posted by Tony Perkis from Drinking at Robert’s Lounge with Billy Batts on 07/05/13 at 09:12 PM ET

 

  grin

Posted by MsRedWingFan from West Michigan hometown of Abdelkader on 07/05/13 at 09:29 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

1) Zett-Dats-Alfie
2) Franzen-Weiss-Tatar? 
3)  Bert-Helm-Tootoo  
4) Miller-Emmerton…who cares, I really like the first three lines.

The East is in for a fuchin wake-up call.

Posted by Tony Perkis from Drinking at Robert’s Lounge with Billy Batts on 07/05/13 at 10:14 PM

I think you missed something Tony. Andersson, Nyquist….....

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 07/05/13 at 09:43 PM ET

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Those lines are juuuuuuust a bit off.

They’ll probably be:
Zata-Pasha-Gator
Mule-Weiss-Alfie
Nike-Andy-Sauce
Miller-Helm-Eaves/Tuzzi/Cleary

Distinct possibility Helm moves up one slot and Andy drops. And, for what it’s worth, the guess here is Uncle Mike puts them in a blender on a fairly regular basis.

Posted by wingsfan1983 on 07/05/13 at 10:20 PM ET

SK77's avatar

the guess here is Uncle Mike puts them in a blender on a fairly regular basis.

Posted by wingsfan1983 on 07/05/13 at 11:20 PM ET

So many interchangeable parts suddenly. Babcock is going to have a frickin’ field day with this lineup if Helm ever gets healthy.

Posted by SK77 on 07/05/13 at 10:22 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Holland & co. Continue the unhealthy obsession with Cleary yet Brunner is donzo? Why? KH continues to preach we’re getting younger and need scoring but constantly pursues and adds old, broken down past bottom 6 forwards to take their spots (Samuelsson and Cleary). Hollands pickups this free agency were actually palatable and he wants to sour it by obsessing w/ Cleary still. Give it up dude. Alfie should be a scoring stopgap (if he doesn’t get hurt or die of natural causes) and Weiss is an actual 2nd line center, making it an upgrade on Fil.

Apparently Holland is still delirious about moving the excess on the team too. Nobody wants Emmerton, Eaves, Samuelsson, Quincey, etc. I still think Kenny thinks Q was a great deal despite the fact he’s paid like a top 4 but plays like a 6. He’s not really good at anything and there’s the wont admit a mistake for 1st rd pick part. Q is not awful, just doesn’t fit with this team. Goofy skater, not particular physical, never displayed the offensive flair he was supposed to bring along for the price, not a shutdown guy and is mediocre on the PP. I guess there’s always hope that some dumbass will take him away (Islanders?)

Here’s the part where I rant about Cleary (again) and treat those who think differently as inferiors.  I don’t hate DAn do-nothing, I just really really really do not want him on the Wings. He has heart and provides energy, but a type of player you look for as a standout cup contender on the cusp. Unfortunately, that is not the Wings right now. Kenny already messed up by giving into his urge for illogical signings of old persons simply b/c there out there by getting Samuelsson. Reupping Cleary would be the making the same mistake yet again. The Wings already have a bevy of 3rd and 4th liners and Cleary is as such. Paying Cleary anything more than $1M is as ludicrous as bringing him back period. You don’t pay a 3rd liner bigger money in the cap era. You don’t pay an energy guy bigger money in the cap era. You don’t bring Cleary back when you have $6M tied up in similar grinders that are older than Santa and get hurt more than a granny who hasn’t heard of Boniva yet.

There is a reason Cleary didn’t get signed today. Nobody in their right mind should pay him for what he’s asking. Cleary has not played a full season in years, is INCAPABLE of even subbing on a scoring line, and declining as I write this essay that nobody gives a hoot about. Despite what the Wings brass vomit on you, he does NOT bring size. He gets thrown around like a rag doll along the boards (he’s barely 6ft). Despite what the bimbo St. Holland jr blabs he was not really that effective in the playoffs either, and this has been true for quite some time. He was a -1, and scored 4G only 1 of which didn’t conveniently bounce off of him. Oh and 4 of 6 assists in the 14 games were secondary gimmies. Fans who watched the games intently should remember Cleary losing possession just about every other time after an offensive zone entry or getting rocked trying to hit the opposition. Not sold? What about when the trailer on a play would score b/c he had the every so often brain cramp or the score when for some damn reason he epically fails at getting the puck out of the defensive zone? Cleary couldn’t score w/ perhaps the most gifted playmaker in decades (pav). His past playoff performances are subpar considering how often babs moved him up on a scoring line. His knees are shot so he isn’t fast anymore and doesn’t have a strong shot (sorry guy who awkwardly believes he has a nice wrister despite the fact that you’d be challenged to find 1 highlight showing as much this season). Don’t bring him back Kenny. Pretty please w/ sprinkles and Kate Upton on top.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 07/05/13 at 11:13 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Also get Raymond over here and pair him w/ helm Kenny.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 07/05/13 at 11:30 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Lines

Z-Pav-Abs
Mule-Weiss-Alfie
Nyke-Andy-Tatar (babs hates him so unlikely here but ev1 else likes him so w/e)
Miller-Helm-Eaves

Samuelsson (he’ll play cuz KH f’ed up and babs forced to play em)
Bert
Emmerton

Kronner-E
DeKeyser-Kindl
Smitty-Lash

Q (will play but here just b/c he sucks donkey balls)

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 07/05/13 at 11:39 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.