The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/28/14 at 01:47 PM ET
Updated 3x at 5:05 PM:
From the Red Wings...
Here's the press release:
The Detroit Red Wings today announced that they have agreed to terms with left wing Tomas Tatar on a new three-year contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed.
Tatar, 23, completed his first full NHL season in 2013-14, ranking sixth on the team with 39 points (19-20-39) in 73 games. The 5-foot-10, 186-lb., forward also ranked among team leaders with 19 goals (2nd), a plus-12 rating (3rd), three game-winning goals (T4th), 158 shots (1st) and three shootout goals (1st). He also represented Slovakia at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, tying for second on the team with two points (1-1-2) in four games. Originally drafted by Detroit in the second round (60th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Tatar has skated in 100 career games with the Red Wings since 2010-11, tallying 47 points (24-23-47) and 34 penalty minutes.
Prior to the 2013-14 campaign, Tatar skated in 265 games with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins from 2009-13, recording 196 points (87-109-196) and 152 penalty minutes. He also appeared in all 24 of the team’s Calder Cup Playoff games in 2013, earning most-valuable player honors with the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy after logging 21 points (16-5-21) and 23 penalty minutes. In addition to making his Olympic debut in 2014, Tatar has represented his country at the 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Championships, picking up a combined 15 points (8-7-15) over the three tournaments and a silver medal at the event in 2012. He also racked up 16 points (10-6-16) in 13 games over two appearances at the World Junior Championships in 2009 and 2010. Tatar made his professional debut in Slovakia’s top league for HKM Zvolen at the age of 17, registering 25 points (12-13-25) in 56 games over two seasons with HKM Zvolen and SHK 37 Piestany.
Update #1: FYI:
Update #1.5: Mattias Backman gave a very long interview to Corren.se, and I was going to transcribe it until the Tatar news broke. I have an appointment at 3 so I will be out of the office for 2-2.5 hours, and Paul will get the $ if I don't. Backman stuff will have to wait until the evening.
And of course...Now the Wings need to: Re-sign DeKeyser, find an NHL assistant coach and 2 AHL assistant coaches, figure out Alfie's health + ink Babs/KH.
Update #3: Fox Sports Detroit's Dana Wakiji confirms...
It took a while for Tomas Tatar to get to the Red Wings but now he's staying.
The Wings announced Monday that they signed Tatar, a restricted free agent, to a three-year contract worth a reported average $2.75 million annually.
Via his Twitter account, @Trto90, Tatar said, "Really excited to be a red wing for another 3 years. I can't wait for new season. #redwings #IsItOctoberYet."
Tatar, 23, had 19 goals and 20 assists in 73 games last season. The 19 goals were the second-most on the Wings.
Before last season, Tatar played in 265 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins, scoring 196 points (87 goals, 109 assists).
During the 2013 AHL playoffs in which the Griffins won the Calder Cup, Tatar was the most valuable player, with 16 goals and five assists in the 24 games.
MLive's Brendan Savage clarifies the Wings' cap situation...
The Red Wings have 22 players signed to one-way contracts (14 forwards, six defensemen and two goaltenders) for a cap hit of $63.7 million (the cap is $69 million). They have $5.2 million in cap space and will sign DeKeyser and possibly right wing Daniel Alfredsson before training camp opens on Sept. 18.
And he spoke with Ken Holland about re-signing Tatar...
"He's 24 years of age this year; his best years are ahead of him," Holland said. "He's a guy that plays hard. He goes to the hard areas. He played with a lot of kids (last season). We had so many injuries a lot of our veterans went down. Tats is a very important guy to our team. He's an important guy going forward. If we can get healthy, we want to roll four lines and get points up and down the lineup. For two years in a row, we haven't scored enough. Part of it is health. Part of it is when we had Nick Lidstrom running the power play we used to score more on the power play. We're not as efficient on the power play as we once were."
The team's vision for the Nyquist-Sheahan-Tatar line going forward...
"I'm hoping that if we can get healthy – with the development of Nyquist, the development of Sheehan, the development of Tatar – we're able to put four lines together," Holland said. "We're going to get offense up and down the lineup. That's the hope. The role for Tats is probably one of our top-line forwards. We're hoping we can roll three lines, for sure, that can really score and the fourth line can kill penalties and chip in. That's the way we built our team for a lot of years.
"We need guys like Pav and Z and Helmer and Franzen to be able to play 70-75 games. We're going to get offense from a lot of the kids with Tats being one of them."
And Holland also addressed Danny DeKeyser's situation:
"I don't see any problem," Holland said. "We're going to want to get him signed. I talked 3-4 times with his camp in June and a little bit shortly after the draft. We haven't talked in a little bit. But again, I'm motivated to get him signed. I think Danny wants to get signed. Once you get into early July, everybody's focus is free agency for a couple of weeks. Going forward, now we can find a solution. I'm confident we can get him done."
Holland said a decision on the status of Alfredsson, who battled a back injury last season, won't be made until he begins skating a couple of weeks before training camp begins Sept. 19 in Traverse City.
The Free Press's Helene St. James also confirmed Tatar's signing...
Tats scored 19 goals, not a lot of players his age are scoring many more than 19 goals,” general manager Ken Holland said. “He’s really confident, he wants the puck. He’s not afraid of the moment.”
Tatar will be 26 when the deal expires, but because he’s a late birthday (December), he’ll still be an RFA when this contract expires. That sets the Wings up to potentially lock him up long-term a year before he’d be unrestricted.
“He’s certainly an important player for us,” Holland said.
Tatar is in Europe and was not available for comment.
Tatar rarely is quiet, on or off the ice. His irrepressible personality echoes loudly around the locker room, and his prowess has led to 24 goals already in 100 NHL games. One of the best he scored came this past January, during a game at Dallas, when Tatar busted through the Stars’ defense and put the puck in the net.
An she added this:
The only RFA left to be re-signed is defenseman Danny DeKeyser. That one could be trickier - DeKeyser’s camp knows how highly the Wings deem DeKeyser, and defensemen increasingly make premium dollars these days. At 24, DeKeyser doesn’t have a lot of games under his belt (76) but he may well consider that since he’s part of the top-four mix, he should get money similar to the $4.25 million Kyle Quincey will make annually after re-signing with Detroit on July 1.
Capgeek has Tatar preliminarily listed as earning $2.75 million per season.
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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.