The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/28/12 at 10:16 PM ET
Updated with confirmation from Khan at 11:28 PM: Well color me as surprised as I was to hear the Free Press’s Helene St. James state that the Red Wings would have to pay both arms and three legs (or something close to that) to pry Rick Nash from Columbus, or that Governor Snyder, according to the Detroit News, anyway, approved the waiver allowing liquor to be sold at the Winter Classic: According to the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, Wings GM Ken Holland has resigned himself to the fact that Jiri Hudler is probably bolting for more money than the Wings can offer him:
“Right now it looks like he’s going to July 1,” Holland said Thursday.
Hudler could be expecting a big payday on July 1 after scoring a career-high 25 goals last season to go along with 25 assists and finished a plus-10 in the plus/minus category. Only New Jersey’s Zach Parise (31 goals) and Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne (26 goals) scored more among players eligible for unrestricted free agency.
Hudler could be looking for the type of money Colorado gave forward David Jones this offseason. Jones, who scored just 20 goals and had 17 assists, got a four-year deal with $16 million.
“He’s 28, he’s coming off a 25-goal season,” Holland said last week. “He’s got the right to go to free agency. We’ll see what happens. Right now Jiri will continue take time to determine what he wants to do.”
Pleiness also offers updates regarding the Wings’ restricted free agents in Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Quincey…
The Wings would like to get Abdelkader to sign a four-year deal at just under $2 million a season.
Quincey could be more difficult to sign at the number the Wings want since he made $3.25 million a year ago. They’re hoping to get him at a modest raise.
And in a different blog entry, he spoke to Holland about Justin Schultz. Holland is not amused by the way in which Schultz and his agents are ensuring that their client is wined and dined, nut only by the teams that Schultz deems interesting enough to wine and dine him:
Wings GM Ken Holland at this to say about not getting a chance to meet with unrestricted free agent defenseman Justin Schultz, “When he chose to not sign with Anaheim there were 29 other teams that he could have played for. I didn’t think all 29 teams would get an audience. I don’t know what his priorities are, but we weren’t on that list.”
Schultz reportedly has narrowed his list of teams he will meet with to Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and the New York Rangers.
Finally, yes, I have a sinus bug, and no, I don’t know if I’ll be back tomorrow or not, but I am feeling majorly, majorly guilty for taking the last day and a half off. I’m really sorry about this but I’ve gotta try and rest guilt-free for a little while.
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland had a couple of conversations this week with Hudler’s agent, Petr Svoboda, but they remain far apart in money.
“It looks like he’s going to July 1,’’ Holland said on Thursday.
The Red Wings are hesitant to pay Hudler much more than $3.2 million per season. He earned $2.875 million in 2011-12, when he scored a career-high 25 goals and had 50 points.
Scoring is at a premium in the NHL and the free-agent class is thin. Only two players – Zach Parise of New Jersey (31) and Teemu Selanne of Anaheim (26) – scored more goals among unrestricted free agents. And Selanne is certain to re-sign with the Ducks.
So there should be a considerable market for Hudler. Despite his lack of size (listed at 5-10, 186) and speed, Hudler has good finishing ability and goes to the net. On the open market, he could probably land a deal worth $4.5 million a season.
The Red Wings have ample salary-cap space – roughly $18 million after they re-sign restricted free agents Kyle Quincey and Justin Abdelkader later this summer and ink Swiss star Damien Brunner, possibly on Sunday. But much of that is set aside for an aggressive pursuit of premier free agents Ryan Suter and Zach Parise.
The Red Wings don’t want to disrupt their pay structure by slotting Hudler ahead of Johan Franzen, whose cap hit is $3.95 million. And they don’t want to pay him more than what they anticipate giving Valtteri Filppula on his next deal – he will enter the final year of his contract at $3.5 million.
Svoboda did not respond to phone messages.
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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.