The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/05/13 at 04:40 PM ET
Updated 4x at 5:12 PM:
Per the Red Wings' conference call introducing Stephen Weiss and Daniel Alfredsson, Wings GM Ken Holland told the media that he is still talking with Daniel Cleary and will touch base over the next couple of hours...
But he stated that he expects Damien Brunner to "move on to a different situation."
Regarding the roster crunch up front and the salary cap--the Wings have a capgeek-estimated $2.3 million of cap space with RFA's to re-sign in Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson, but they can exceed the cap by another $6.4 million (so that's $8.7 million in total availble space)--he stated that the Wings obviously have to move some bodies and that he would explore options over the next month or two as the roster is a work in progress.
Daniel Alfredsson sounded very emotional. He suggested that if this may be his last season, he didn't want to impose his desire to win a Cup upon a Senators team that he feels is "getting there" but remains in the process of becoming a contending team, and after bouncing things off Henrik Zetterberg 3 times, he decided to make what he stated was an admittedly selfish decision to join the Wings and chase a Stanley Cup championship.
The emphasis on "his last season" was "if it is," not "it is," and he very bluntly stated that he completely understood that Senators fans would be angry at him, just as he would be upset if someone on his favorite sports team made a decision that didn't benefit it, and he stated that the decision he made came within the last week.
He promised to keep his charitable commitments to Ottawa and said that his four boys and Mrs. Alfredsson will move with him to Detroit for the year, and he'll take it as it goes after that...
And he was very excited to be joining the Wings given his belief that the team's a contender, and that he's going to be playing with some world-class players in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
According to Ken Holland, he and Mike Babcock spoke with both Alfredsson and Weiss in a pair of 45-minute conversations yesterday, and they sold the pair on coming to Detroit. Holland stated that he, Ryan Martin, Jiri Fischer, Kris Draper and everyone else in the room were surprised to hear that Alfredsson was coming to Detroit, but they were happy as well.
Weiss sounded a little flabbergasted about joining the Wings. He stated that he had dreamed of playing for the team during his time with Plymouth, and while he will play his game instead of trying to live up to the "Weisserman" comparisons that were daunting as a youngster, he's going to embrace the pressure of stepping up to shut down opponents and be relied upon as a strong second-line center behind Zetterberg and Datsyuk, saying that he promised he'd do everything Babcock and the team wanted to contribute to the cause, and that he was excited to come to a hockey market where pressure is part of the job.
Holland stated that with Jimmy Howard locked up for 5 years as an elite goalie, Datsyuk here for four more years, with a young but strong-skating, puck-moving defense and forwards who developed significantly over the course of the past year, the Wings felt that they needed more offense and more balance up front as they fell one game short of going to the Western Conference Finals twice now, and have wanted to get further in the playoffs, so...He felt very happy to add the players he did.
Here's more on Brunner:
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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.