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Red Wings ink Tomas Tatar to 3-year contract extension

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.

Update #2:

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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Comments

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AWESOME. How much?

Posted by Pasha1277 on 07/28/14 at 12:52 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Red Wings never release $ details. We’ll find out soon enough.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/28/14 at 12:54 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

Too high!

(I don’t know how much. This is just a pre-emptive strike).

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 07/28/14 at 12:55 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Too high!

(I don’t know how much. This is just a pre-emptive strike).

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario

Okay, lil Guy, I’ll offer the pre-emptive counter point: “Hell of a bargain. I can’t believe they got him to sign for that little.”  grin

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/28/14 at 01:01 PM ET

awould's avatar

The Red Wings never release $ details. We’ll find out soon enough.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/28/14 at 01:54 PM ET

I always see this, George. The Red Wings always add the disclaimer that terms/$$ are never disclosed and then 20 minutes later the entire world knows and it’s on capgeek. How’s that work exactly? And why doesn’t Detroit just release the details since they get released anyways?

Posted by awould on 07/28/14 at 01:08 PM ET

awould's avatar

Also, my initial reaction is 3 years is great. I had hoped for 4 but was quite rightly told that was ridiculous. 2 years seems like it would’ve been a bad sign for Tatar’s future w/ the Wings. 3 years is a good bridge contract for both sides.

Posted by awould on 07/28/14 at 01:10 PM ET

DrD's avatar

I cannot celebrate this good news because of Dan Cleary.

-Signed the guys who can never celebrate good new because of Dan Cleary.

Posted by DrD on 07/28/14 at 01:10 PM ET

DrD's avatar

News. ugh.

Posted by DrD on 07/28/14 at 01:11 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

“Club Policy” is stupid. Mr. I’s trapped in the 80’s, when you weren’t supposed to disclose salaries.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/28/14 at 01:16 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by DrD on 07/28/14 at 02:10 PM ET

At some point, the people petitioning for the burial rights of the dead horse should probably stop stomping all over it with their placards in hand.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/28/14 at 01:16 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

This is actually a GOOD signing by Ken Holland, the perfect amount of years.  If I’m reading this right, the Wings will still have him under rights for 1 year when the contract is up, not bad.  Gives him and the Wings 3 years of pro hockey evaluation.  Of course, Tats could just go to arbitration for that last year, but so what, still a good deal.

So its been 20 minutes, what’s the per annum?

Posted by MurrayChadwick on 07/28/14 at 01:23 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

As JJ reports, Tatar will remain a restricted free agent at the end of his deal, which is good.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/28/14 at 01:26 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Added this to the post via St. James,

AAV $2.75M

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/28/14 at 01:46 PM ET

awould's avatar

That’s a great deal.

Posted by awould on 07/28/14 at 01:49 PM ET

hiero4life's avatar

Good deal, I’ll drink to that.  Now let’s lock up DDK.

Posted by hiero4life from anywhere i am on 07/28/14 at 01:50 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Capgeek confirms the salary.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/28/14 at 01:51 PM ET

Avatar

Good signing.

Posted by Garth on 07/28/14 at 02:13 PM ET

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I think $2.75M per is a bit much for Tatar.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/28/14 at 02:26 PM ET

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Considering the Rags just signed Brassard for 5/5, this looks really good.

Posted by cantskate on 07/28/14 at 02:29 PM ET

awould's avatar

I think $2.75M per is a bit much for Tatar.

Posted by Uncle Rico on 07/28/14 at 03:26 PM ET

Go to capgeek and see who his cap hit comparables are.  This is a good deal for a player that can put up 40 points, assuming his production from last year is a real indication of his future.

There’s really nothing to complain about with this one. To me, it’s an indication that both sides dealt fairly with respect for their positions.

Posted by awould on 07/28/14 at 02:38 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Mr. I’s trapped in the 80’s, when you weren’t supposed to disclose salaries.

This is something I can get on board with. I think too much emphasis is on player salary…in all sports. Who cares what they earn. Salary is none of our business. We should only be concerned with what players on the team and how they are performing and as a team; what is more important is the team. Gotta support the team. Too much hand wringing and hair pulling is spent stressing out over what a players wages are. F that.

And to address the salary cap elephant in the room. F that too.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 07/28/14 at 03:05 PM ET

Avatar

assuming his production from last year is a real indication of his future.

That’s why it could be a little high.

Posted by Garth on 07/28/14 at 03:15 PM ET

Avatar

Honestly, compared to what some of these other players were making, Tootoo, Sammy, Cleary, (last year) and even the Brassard deal at 5/5… I don’t think this is a bad deal. If Tartar improves, which I think He will. (I think it’s a stretch to say that Tartar AND Nyquist hit their ceilings last year in the NHL with a depleted line up and 1 full year of NHL experience…) That being said, Tats and Nyquist I think will continue to improve (I don’t know if NIke will score 26 golas but…) at 2.75/3 is a good deal imho.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 07/28/14 at 03:30 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

This is great news.  Huge upside with the former AHL MVP.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/28/14 at 03:30 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I think he’s going to produce better than he did last year. Certainly don’t think he’s a top line winger, but a good second line winger that can notch 30 goals a few seasons running at his peak, and be in the 20s for another handful?

I think there is surplus value in this contract. We have to admit, this is generally where Holland and Co. make their money. Too bad they then waste all that savings on Dan Cleary (sorry, had to).

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/28/14 at 03:31 PM ET

awould's avatar

assuming his production from last year is a real indication of his future.

That’s why it could be a little high.

Posted by Garth on 07/28/14 at 04:15 PM ET

My opinion is he’s got more in him. It’s more likely he improves than his his first real year is his best.

And to me, even if he slides to a 35 pt guy, rather than what I expect as a 45 pt guy, still a decent deal. My guess is, in 3 years he’ll be due a raise.

Posted by awould on 07/28/14 at 03:59 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by awould on 07/28/14 at 04:59 PM ET

You’re probably right, and I don’t expect that last season was an anomaly, just saying that I understand people saying it’s a little high.

Posted by Garth on 07/28/14 at 04:04 PM ET

awould's avatar

just saying that I understand people saying it’s a little high.

Posted by Garth on 07/28/14 at 05:04 PM ET

I guess I’d wonder how low his production needs to drop so this deal is an overpayment, and is that more realistic than expecting him to stay the same or improve…. just seems like there’s no real reason to doubt his performance and it’s just reflexively negative. Not that you’re in agreement w/ the negative, but what’s the point I wonder?

The Cleary deal was legitimately bad enough without making up more stuff to get worked up about.

Posted by awould on 07/28/14 at 04:32 PM ET

Avatar

with $5.2M left in Cap space, how can the Red Wings possibly sign both DeKeyser and Alfie? DeKeyser is gonna get a lot more than Tatar (close to $4M AAV, since he’s basically a top 4 D-man). What’s left for Alfie, assuming he can go one more year? Even if you take away the Cleary signing, there would only be $3M available. I don’t see anybody putting up almost 50 pts settling for that low of a deal. Two months ago I thought, and a lot of others too, that Sheahan, Tatar and DDK would all be signed for $6 -$7M. Now it might be closer to $8M.  That plus $4.25M for KFQ and $1.75M for Cleary seems to have effectively used all the remaining money to pay for Alfie.

Posted by Heresy from Aiken, SC on 07/28/14 at 04:34 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Alfie can have a large chunk of his salary paid in bonuses on a one-year over-35 deal, which can be pushed forward to next season if they don’t have cap space for it.

Last year, Jarome Iginla’s cap hit with the Bruins was essentially $1.8M until after the season was over and it became $6M thanks to those bonuses.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/28/14 at 04:49 PM ET

Avatar

I understand that, but what happens next year when those bonuses are deducted from next year’s available Cap? Hopefully Cleary will be gone and Alfie as well perhaps, but Nyquist, Jurco, Andersson and Brendan Smith will all be looking for new contracts. Maybe Andersson and Smith won’t be renewed, but their replacements will cost some money.

Posted by Heresy from Aiken, SC on 07/28/14 at 05:02 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I believe in that situation, the rise in the salary cap thanks to the activation of the Canadian television deal would more than offset the loss of cap space by having Alfredsson bonus dollars carry over.

I’d probably prefer not to over-fill the cap this season and definitely not to a large amount, but it’s an option that allows the Wings to give DeKeyser a fair amount while also fitting Alfie into the budget.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/28/14 at 05:41 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The estimates regarding the new TV deal have suggested that we’ll see a $75-ish million cap next year and maybe $80 million within two or three years. That’s still “tight,” but the Wings have managed the cap relatively well, and we can always start a campaign to send Dan Cleary into space or something…

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/28/14 at 05:54 PM ET

awould's avatar

The estimates regarding the new TV deal have suggested that we’ll see a $75-ish million cap next year and maybe $80 million within two or three years.

But don’t they need to worry about leaving cap room for the big free agent signing they’ll make to improve the defense?

Posted by awould on 07/28/14 at 06:18 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

A good singing, but lets hope Tatar isn’t trade bait later in the season for a right handed shooting defensman. The hope is maybe the right handed defenseman can come from Grand Rapids. Sproul? I assume he shoots right.

Posted by bigfrog on 07/28/14 at 06:41 PM ET

Avatar

Very good news especially considering Tatar will still be RFA after 3 years.
$2.75 is solid for 20 goal scorer who brings other intangibles.
KH is usually good at getting his own RFAs signed to solid deals.

Posted by VPalmer on 07/28/14 at 06:59 PM ET

Jaromir Blogger's avatar

Sproul? I assume he shoots right.

He does. So do Marchenko and Jensen (although Nick is a bit further out than Alexey).

Posted by Jaromir Blogger on 07/28/14 at 07:45 PM ET

Avatar

The Cleary deal was legitimately bad enough without making up more stuff to get worked up about.

Hmm, in not sure saying “it might be a little high” counts as getting worked up about it.

Posted by Garth on 07/28/14 at 10:02 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Can I get in on the, “The Cleary deal was awful” train, or am I working the boiler on that one?  raspberry

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/28/14 at 10:21 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

what happens next year when those bonuses are deducted from next year’s available Cap? Hopefully Cleary will be gone and Alfie as well perhaps, but Nyquist, Jurco, Andersson and Brendan Smith will all be looking for new contracts. Maybe Andersson and Smith won’t be renewed, but their replacements will cost some money.

Posted by Heresy from Aiken, SC on 07/28/14 at 06:02 PM ET

Man I am stressed out.  They’ve never been in this boat.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 07/28/14 at 11:03 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.