The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/07/13 at 04:04 AM ET
The Red Wings were able to sign Joakim Andersson to a 2-year contract extension for less than the value of his previous contract ($732,500 cap hit per season versus $875,000 for his previous deal) thanks to a combination of two factors...Well, maybe three.
First and foremost, the new CBA's league minimum salary dropped back down frrom $750,000 to $550,000; second, Andersson's contract included signing and performance bonuses, which second-through-over-35 contracts cannot include; and third, mostly, he signed a 2-year deal at an affordable salary because he had all of 38 games played over the 2013 season, 43 total reguilar season NHL games and 14 playoff games' worth of leverage.
As such, Capgeek estimates that the Wings have about $312,000 in cap space, and the team can both exceed the salary cap by up to 10% ($6.43 million) and the 23-man roster limit until the "last day of training camp," a.k.a. 5 PM EDT after the last exhibition game (September 29th), and they will probably have to do the former (and are already engaged in the latter) to re-sign Gustav Nyquist, whose higher base salary over the course of his previous deal (and his deal had an $875,000 cap hit, just like Andersson's) may or may not make any difference in terms of his future base salary given that he's played in a total of 40 NHL games (18 during 11-12 and 22 during 2013) and 14 more NHL playoff games.
Just as Brendan Smith and Andersson signed a 2-year deals, may be the "magic number" term-wise as accepting what may be a lesser salary over the short term allows the player to prove that he's worth a bigger raise over the course of more consistent NHL play while ensuring that he's an affordable option while the salary cap's upper limit slowly but surely rebounds going forward.
What's Andersson worth? I'm a big believer in him given both the fact that he was a very strong AHL performer, given his ability to allow Nyquist and the departed Damien Brunner to deke and dazzle in the offensive zone while not surrendering too many goals against during the playoffs, and given the plain and simple fact that he's 6'2," 206 pounds and has 2 pro seasons with the powerhouse Frolunda Indians as well as 2 full seasons with the Grand Rapids Griffins under his belt at all of 24...
But that small sample size at the NHL level overrides my optimism regarding his status as a "heavy" player and a solid 3rd line center in the making. We'll have to see what he can do over a full 82-game season, we'll have to see whether he stays healthy over the long haul, and we'll have to see where he fits in going forward.
The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reiterated the usual talking points regarding the Wings' roster...
The signing does increase the Wings’ roster size to 24 and that will go up one once Nyquist gets his deal done. That’s two over the league limit and puts them close to $3 million over the salary cap. Teams can also go 10 percent over the salary cap during the offseason, but that’s something Detroit doesn’t want to do.
The Wings do have a bit of flexibility with this year’s cap if they choose to apply Daniel Alfredsson’s potential $2 million in bonuses to next season since that cap number is expected to rise.
Detroit isn’t completely sure if [Darren] Helm will be ready when training camp arrives. Helm was limited to playing just one game last season due to a slightly torn disc in his back. He took part in the Wings’ development camp last week to test his health and it seemed to go well. If Helm is unable to start the season the Wings could place him on long-term injured reserve and thus create a roster spot there. It would also allow his $1.75 in salary to not count against the salary cap.
The list of possible players to be trimmed from the roster via trade includes Jordin Tootoo, Mikael Samuelsson and Patrick Eaves. The Wings have had discussions with Nashville about sending Tootoo, who has two years left on a deal at $1.9 million a season, back to the Predators.
Eaves’ game is comparable to that of Miller.
Cory Emmerton appears safe on the roster if Helm is unable to regain his pre-injury form to center the Wings’ third line. That would more than likely secure Andersson to centering the third line and allow Emmerton to center the fourth line, like he did most of last season.
There’s also a chance Detroit could welcome Daniel Cleary back, but only if a deal can be made to shed salary.
“We’re comfortable where we’re at right now,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said earlier this offseason. “But if we do anything else we’d have to move somebody first. We’d like to do a move or two, I’m not sure we can,” Holland added. “If we can’t make a move I’m OK with our team, we’ll go to camp. If we can make a move and free up some money then certainly re-signing Dan Cleary is a possibility.”
And all I can realistically add to the situation as I'm not willing to play the "who stays and who goes" game is that Nyquist is obviously going to be re-signed before camp.
The fact that the Wings have prioritized slowly but surely getting business done with Smith, Andersson and now Nyquist is at least encouraging in terms of the team's priorities. Nobody seems to be sure whether the Wings have cleared a space on their 50-man roster by inking Tom McCollum to an AHL-only deal, but if the team really wanted to get Cleary locked up as a higher priority, the team would've made a move to do so...And instead, they're "going with the kids" in this instance (yes, even though I know the whole youth movement was embraced reluctantly, etc. etc.).
In the honest-to-goodness prospect department, Marquette, MI's ABC 10's Jerry Taylor filed a video report to accompany his article about goaltender Jared Coreau's attempts to get back up to speed before the prospect tournament as he's been recovering from shoulder surgery...
A number of current and former Northern Michigan University hockey players are back in Marquette working out at the Berry Events Center.
One of the former Wildcats back in town is goaltender Jared Coreau, who signed with the Detroit Red Wings back in April. Coreau is preparing for the upcoming season with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Back in April, Coreau had surgery to repair a partially torn labrum in his left shoulder. He wasn’t scheduled to participate in the Red Wings’ prospect camp last month, but Coreau was on the ice for a few non-contact drills.
The Red Wings goaltender took away a few pointers from the camp on what to work on this summer from Jeff Blashill, the head coach of the Griffins.
“The big thing that Coach Blashill talked to me about was that sometimes I get a little over anxious in net and I slide out of the crease too much on the second or third shots,” said Coreau.“Coach (Blashill) told me to control that and just work on my skating, getting stronger in net, work on my core strength, and getting my shoulder back to 100 percent,” added Coreau.
In Lake Placid, New York, both Anthony Mantha and Jake Paterson will get into actual game action as Team Canada's World Junior Selection Camp team will tangle with the Americans, Finns and Swedes after three days' worth of practicing in suburban Montreal, and NHL.com's Adam Kimelman reports that Mantha will play on the first line against Finland today, but that Paterson will sit out the game;
In Norrkoping, Sweden, Jonathan Ericsson got back on the ice for the first time this summer with--and I'm not making this up--the "Guts" of the Swedish 3rd division, and he told NT.se's Johnny Daagh that he felt predictably rusty after having not skated since the Wings lost against the Hawks in late May (Daagh reports that Ericsson's father, Sven coaches the "Guts," and Ericsson's younger brother Jesper plays for them; his older brother Jimmie and SHL champions Skelleftea AIK hit the ice on Monday);
In Finland, former Wing Valtteri Filppula spoke with Ilta Saomat's Eetu Ampuja while golfing in Vantaa, a Helsinki suburb, and what was he asked about? Whether Teemu Selanne will continue playing (Filppula isn't sure);
Via RedWingsFeed, if you're into "infographics"...
And finally, it took a while, but I found "Fox Sports One's" press release stating that they've added Chris Chelios to their roster of NHL analysts:
CHRIS CHELIOS ADDED TO FOX SPORTS 1 TALENT ROSTER
Hockey Hall of Famer Serves as NHL & Olympics Analyst for FOX Sports Live, FOXSports.com & FOX Sports Radio
New York - Named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in July, NHL legend Chris Chelios is FOX Sports 1's latest addition, joining the new network as an NHL and Olympics analyst. He provides expert commentary on the NHL as well as prior to and throughout the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, across all FOX Sports platforms, including FOX Sports 1, America's new sports network launching August 17, FOXSports.com and FOX Sports Radio. The announcement was made today by Rick Jaffe, FOX Sports Senior Vice President of News. Chelios joins Michelle Kwan and Picabo Street, who were previously announced as FOX Sports Olympic analysts.
"I am excited to join the FOX Sports family and look forward to being part of a brand new network," Chelios said. "I am happy to have the chance to bring NHL and Olympic hockey into homes across the country, and I look forward to sharing my passion for the game with other sports fans."
"We are very fortunate to add Chris, not only a Hall of Famer, but one of the greatest players to ever play the game, to our roster," said Jaffe. "We believe his hard-nosed style of play on the ice will translate directly into his new role for our NHL and Olympics coverage."
Elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year eligible, Chelios played 1,651 regular-season games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and Atlanta Thrashers, more than any other defenseman or American player in NHL history. A three-time Stanley Cup champion, he is also a three-time winner of the Norris Trophy, given annually to the NHL's top defenseman, was an 11-time All-Star and played for Team USA in four Olympics, captaining the squad to the silver medal in 2002. He played two years of collegiate hockey at the University of Wisconsin and led the Badgers to the NCAA title in 1983.
Called the "best American-born player ever," by former Blackhawks teammate and current NHL television analyst Eddie Olcyzk, Chelios holds the NHL record with 266 playoff games and 24 playoff appearances. He accumulated 185 goals and 948 points in regular-season play with the totals increasing to 216 goals and 1,052 points including playoffs. Chelios was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in July and will be inducted in November.
Chelios retired from hockey in 2010 at the age of 48, making him the second-oldest player in NHL history. Following his retirement, he was named the Red Wings' Advisor to Hockey Operations, a position he currently holds.
Again, as Chelios told the Free Press's George Sipple, that isn't going to change.
Update: Lest I forget, if you find yourself in Brandon, Manitoba on Friday...
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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.