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The Malik Report

Red Wings mid-day stuff: Ericsson in English and tidbits

Thanks to my ISP clunking out after some severe thunderstorms rolled through the Metro Detroit Area, this is essentially an “overnight report” in belated fashion…which is annoying as all hell get out for someone who wants to remain on top of the news. It could have been much worse, however, so my apologies for the delay.

Anyway: Jonathan Ericsson talked about his desire to remain a member of the Red Wings in Swedish on Sunday, and the Free Press’s George Sipple basically offered an English equivalent of his interview this morning:

When the Wings’ players cleaned out their lockers for the season a couple weeks ago, Ericsson made it clear he wasn’t all that excited about testing the waters as an unrestricted free agent. “I really like it here, and my first choice is to be here,” Ericsson said then.

And until he hears from his agent, he said he planned to be back in his native Sweden working on a new summer home.

 

“We just got a new house back in Sweden,” Ericsson said. “Do a lot of things around the house, remodeling and stuff. It’s a property on an island.”

Ericsson said it takes a couple minutes by boat to get to the island.

“You can live there all year,” he said. “But obviously I’m just going to use it for the summer.”

• As previously noted, the Red Wings signed Andrej Nestrasil to a 3-year, entry-level contract, and they’re going to have Nestrasil turn pro with the Grand Rapids Griffins this fall. The Wings’ amateur scouts will spend this week in Toronto with barf bags in hand as the NHL will hold its scouting combine from today till June 4th, and the combine famously combines quirky player interviews with brutal and often sickness-inducing fitness testing. Not fun;

• At the other end of the spectrum, DetroitRedWings.com’s Dave Burke looks at significant figures from what might have been Kris Draper’s final NHL season:

200: Number of career assists reached on January 15 vs. Columbus in a 6-5 overtime win. Assisted on Drew Miller’s third goal of the season with 40-seconds left in the first period at Joe Louis Arena.

220: Career playoff games played in as of May 4 in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals vs. San Jose. Had an assist with a plus-1 rating in 8:53 of ice-time in the 4-3 overtime loss.
...
160th: Career goal scored against Boston in a 4-2 win by the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Feb. 13. The game, assisted by Patrick Eaves and Darren Helms, at 12:44 of the second period was the eventual game-winner against the Bruins.

• Red Wings social media coordinator Jake Duhaime picked a fitting game as the Wings’ best of the 2010-2011 season:

May 10, 2011
Red Wings 3, Sharks 1

The Red Wings came out and dominated play through the first period, but were unable to solve Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi until the third, as Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula scored just minutes apart in yet another impressive comeback to force a Game 7 in San Jose.

Darren Helm added an empty netter, setting off sheer bedlam at Joe Louis Arena. Jimmy Howard also made 24 saves and picked up the victory.

Major props to the crowd, who made Joe Louis Arena shake during the third period. Who will ever forget 20,000 strong singing ‘Journey’ as the clock wound down on an epic evening of hockey.

• Sportsnet’s Mike Brophy earns the, “Yeah, no foolin’” comment of the day award via the following quip:

You could make the case the best player in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs isn’t even in the running for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

That would be Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings who bowed out in the second round.

• In the player/alumni/etc. appearance category, the Sagina News’s Hugh Bernreuter notes that Mickey Redmond will appear at Thursday’s Great Lakes Loons (minor league baseball) game;

• In the “everything is about politics” category, part 1: Crain’s Detroit Business’s Bill Shea reports that the partially Ilitch-backed Woodward light rail line‘s status is a bit messy due to conflicting operational plans between the project’s private and public supporters;

• In the “everything is about politics” category, part 2: Click at your own risk, but some nut claims that the Wings will sign two middling defensemen instead of one big name. Ken Holland’s suggested the latter, that the Wings will spend some, most, or possibly all of Brian Rafalski’s $6 million cap hit (probably most but not all) on a #2/3 free agent defenseman. The nut in question probably would have predicted sunny skies for Michigan on Sunday and snow showers for today;

• And you might want to keep this name in your back pocket. He’s no longer a star player, but Michael Nylander told Expressen’s Tomas Bjorklund that the 38-year-old center is working out in Chicago while harboring hope of making an NHL comeback now that his contract with the Washington Capitals has expired and he’s returned to health after suffering what was essentially a broken neck.

He’s not a star player anymore, but Nylander spent part of the 2009-2010 season playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins as he was on loan from the Capitals, earning rave reviews in the process, and he is at least in theory someone who could center a team’s second or third line and post 40 or so points while on an affordable contract. I think the Wings might give him a look later in the summer.

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Comments

RWBill's avatar

Since the headline included Ericccsssson, and Walter was beaten to death yesterday, where do you think Big E fits given this current salary structure?  I was going to post the bigger image but it was 633 wide.  screw it i’ll try it.  (1st number column is yr 10-11, then 11-12)

Understanding that I probably underestimate Big E’s worth,  Do you slot him at $3M year?  With Kronwall at $3.5?  Who’s more of a value, Ericsson’s $1.2M, or Helm at $1.0 (11-12), Justin $825K (11-12), Eaves or Miller at $750 - $800?

Big E shouldn’t get much of a pay raise from his current $1.25, IMHO.  Granted he plays more minutes but if Big E starts pulling in $2M+ what the heck do you give Helm and Justin, who I believe are far more valuable on the ice and for the future.

I dunno, leave it up to Ken.  Where do you peg Ericccsssson’s salary, knowing that he could get $10M in Toronto, and other places a bit higher than Detroit, what should Detroit pay him ?  I doubt they’ll go over $1.75M.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 05/30/11 at 04:29 PM ET

DetCapC19's avatar

Posted by RWBill from Imported from Detroit, Land of Todd-Ber-Tuz-zi !! on 05/30/11 at 02:29 PM ET

I see them going between 2.25-2.5MM on a 3 or 4 year deal.

Not saying he`s worth it but I imagine that`s his value on the open market and the Wings seem to be pretty high on him still.

Worst case scenario, $2.25-2.5MM is a pretty good contract for most teams should we ever decide to deal him.

Posted by DetCapC19 from Vancouver, BC on 05/30/11 at 04:53 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Sagina?  That puts a lot of things in a totally new perspective.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 05/30/11 at 05:01 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Market value-wise, the Wings will probably have to toss Ericsson $2.25-2.5 million to keep him. It is indeed all about keeping him off the open market in terms of comparable contracts and the fact that, in this day and age, it’s entirely possible that someone would drop $3 million on Ericsson because teams overpay through both nostrils for defensemen in July.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/30/11 at 05:10 PM ET

awould's avatar

I agree… Ericsson will get about $2.25 and 3-4 years. The problem for Ericsson is that he hasn’t proven himself yet - by this point, everyone expected he’d have developed more but he is behind - so they’re negotiating a contract based on potential and promises still, and Ericsson acts like he’s a known quantity who has earned something.

I don’t think any Red Wings fan is a big fan of Ericsson but the powers that be sure are so I guess we trust them. At some point though, you gotta just admit that he is what he is and the reality won’t ever match the potential. That’s what is happening w/ Filppula, though he’s still a good player he’s not likely to reach the potential he showed 3-4 years ago. He’s a solid 2/3 line center when everyone thought he could be a 1/2 line guy. He had a great playoffs though, so maybe he’ll step up (probably not) and have a “break-out” season (finally). Still, at $3.5 for 2 more years, I’m happy he’s a Red Wing and I think after that 2 years, his value will reset to whatever is realistic and either we keep him for a fair price or he gets more from a team like Calgary, Islanders or Columbus (or another team that sucks who will pay too much for a player like him).

In my opinion, Helm is the best value of those you mentioned. I bet he starts scoring more goals this next season, reaching 40-45pts or so. Abdelkader is still very much a work in progress, but he’s coming along nicely; could do with fewer dumb penalties. Eaves and Miller are great if the price stays right; hard workers like them are always good to have.

Posted by awould on 05/30/11 at 05:11 PM ET

DetCapC19's avatar

To be honest, I thought he was really coming into his own after Game 3 of the SJ series.  I know as a team we played a lot better, but I saw a lot of progress out of E in Games 4-7.

I`d like to see him paired with Lidstrom next season so he can take the next step and have Nick cover up his mistakes when required.  He played well with him in 2009. 

I`m probably in the minority here, but I`d really like to see Ericsson back and while $2.25-2.5M is a bit steep given his erratic play over the past couple of seasons, I think its worth the risk.

Posted by DetCapC19 from Vancouver, BC on 05/30/11 at 05:22 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

I don’t think any Red Wings fan is a big fan of Ericsson but the powers that be sure are so I guess we trust them. At some point though, you gotta just admit that he is what he is and the reality won’t ever match the potential.

Man, the myopia of Wings fans astonishes me.  Ericsson is a 2nd year player!  2nd year (+ his first playoffs).  The reason why defensemen are in demand is because it’s hard as hell to be a defensemen in the NHL and he has serious potential. If he’s still making turnovers 2 years from now, then we have some cause to make him a whipping boy, but not until that time.  Ericsson is a hell of a player and I will be extremely disappointed if another team throws big money at him. This kid is going to be great in a few years when it all comes together. Look at how long it took Kronwall. The prime years for a dman are 29-35, and he’s not there yet. Quote it for truth. The Wings will re-sign this kid because they’d be crazy not to.

Posted by PDXWing on 05/30/11 at 06:34 PM ET

cainer4wingsglory's avatar

Man, the myopia of Wings fans astonishes me.  Ericsson is a 2nd year player!  2nd year (+ his first playoffs).

I think you have a myoptic problem of your own buddy. Did you really just say this was Big E’s first playoff?? The dude played 34 playoff games before even starting game 1 of the 2011 playoffs.

Ericsson is a hell of a player

Really? A ‘hell of a player’? If that was true then the Wings might still be playing right now. Maybe in a year or two we’ll be talking about Big E like that, but right now, he’s just a decent Dman that has upside….

Posted by cainer4wingsglory on 05/30/11 at 06:55 PM ET

awould's avatar

Ericsson is very far behind where Kronwall was in his first 2 years “on the team”.

Everyone who is not a fan of Ericsson also isn’t ignorant of how the league views D-men. Don’t assume that those who aren’t a fan of Ericsson are myopic. And don’t jump in here to defend him so passionately and accuse the rest of us with not understanding things and then claim that this was Ericsson’s first year in the playoffs and that a Dman’s peak is 28-35 years old. One thing is just not true and the other is highly debatable.

Ericsson has played in 45 playoff games in the past three years. I think that alone is another “season” of experience for him, making it more understandable that people are frustrated with him.

Regarding the prime age, historically, most defensemen retire before hitting 31 years old. The average age for Dmen in 2010-11 is under 30 on every single team but the Red Wings (32) and that is skewed by Lidstrom/Rafalski. Clearly the ones who stay deep into their 30s are pretty good or just pretty reliable, but don’t confuse an elite player’s career arc with Ericsson.

As for potential, I wasn’t a fan of Lebda either and the same things were said about him - but sometimes a player just doesn’t pan out like you want. Not that Lebda is a terrible player (almost), but he wasn’t worth nearly what he thought and in the end he wasn’t worth what everyone promised he would be.

The proof is when a player like that leaves the Wings and ends up on a team without all the support to cover up their deficiencies. The fact that Ericsson plays on the Red Wings probably makes him look better than he is.  I think for $2.5MM there are better options. Ericsson doesn’t play like the big man that he is, he is frequently out of position and he coughs up turnovers routinely.

He’s 27 years old, so if his “prime” begins in the next 2-3 years he has a long way to go in not a lot of time.

Posted by awould on 05/30/11 at 07:13 PM ET

DetCapC19's avatar

My thing with Big Rig is this:

1. We’ve seen him play out of this world (2009)

2. We’ve seen him hit rock bottom (2009-10)

3. I don’t think he’s as good as his best or as bad as his worst.  Like I mentioned in my earlier post, I really liked what I saw out of him in Games 4-7 of the SJ series.  If that’s what we can expect (which is in the middle of his highest and lowest points) then I’m satisfied.

4. Given his size and potential and the guys we have to mentor him (Lidstrom, Stuart, Kronwall), I think that he can be a player that gets closer to 2009 rather than 2010.  And in my opinion, that’s worth $2.25-2.5MM.

Posted by DetCapC19 from Vancouver, BC on 05/30/11 at 07:22 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by DetCapC19 from Vancouver, BC on 05/30/11 at 05:22 PM ET

I don’t disagree completely with any of that, but I still have my issues w/ the guy. I think Ericsson isn’t near the potential that Babcock/Holland imply. But I’m just a chump working in a cubicle, not head coach or GM with multiple Stanley Cup rings.

I hope the overall cap hit is closer to $2MM then $3MM and I hope it’s no more than 4 years. I don’t think Ericsson has played consistently enough to warrant a dime more. But based on your comment,

I don’t think he’s as good as his best or as bad as his worst.

, I’d say he’s barely worth that.

Posted by awould on 05/30/11 at 07:28 PM ET

DetCapC19's avatar

Posted by awould on 05/30/11 at 05:28 PM ET

I defintely agree that Ericsson isn’t as good as Holland/Babs think he is (or will be).  HOWEVER, I didn’t think Howard was as good as Holland thought he was either.  So, hopefully I’m wrong and they’re right again.

I also think he made improvements this year (however slight they may be) which is a positve and a step in the right direction.  I don’t think playing with an injured Rafalski all year was the best situation for him to succeed in either.

Perhaps I’m a liitle bias and I’m having troubles removing 2009 from my memory, but I would hate to see him leave before we know how good he really can be on a more consistent basis.

Posted by DetCapC19 from Vancouver, BC on 05/30/11 at 07:35 PM ET

awould's avatar

I would hate to see him leave before we know how good he really can be on a more consistent basis.

It all depends on what it costs us. Sometimes it is easy to stick with a guy like that because you don’t want to look risk letting him go and watching him blossom on some other team, or worse, some other team in your division.

The counter to that is how fun it was when Kopecky went to Chicago. I have a lot of friends in Chicago who thought that it was just great and laughed how they ‘stole’ one of our young guys, until I explained that I also thought it was great and laughed at them.

Anyways, I’m not a fan of Ericssons. He belongs in the NHL but I hate thinking of overpaying him and being stuck with him if it doesn’t pan out. It seems they’re pretty set on keeping him so I can only hope I’m wrong, and seeing as how I’m disagreeing w/ Holland and Babcock, the odds are I am.

I never had a big opinion on Howard. I always felt bad for him that he didn’t get a shot for so long. But I don’t know how a goalie develops. I will say he exceeded my expectations, whatever they were.

Posted by awould on 05/30/11 at 07:44 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

Sorry if it wasn’t clear, but I meant he’s played two seasons, plus the first playoff season where he was inserted into the lineup with out playing the regular season prior to it (so 3 playoffs worth of time, plus two full seasons).  RE: prime. Ken Holland has repeatedly said that d-men hit their prime in their late 20’s - early 30’s.  I’m too lazy to verify, but I’m pretty sure Lidstrom didn’t win his first Norris until after he turned 30 (though he was a contender without winning prior to that).  What I’m saying is that the past 2 years (and 3 playoffs) of playing isn’t a big enough sample and for people to throw him under the bus and implicate that he’s the reason they lost this year (

Really? A ‘hell of a player’? If that was true then the Wings might still be playing right now.

) is short-sighted (I guess myopic hit a nerve). He’s older than most because he was left in Sweden to play, but his trajectory is that of Kronwall: tons of potential, but not an elite player from the start (e.g., Doughty).  Let’s not write off such a young player just because the hivemind decided that he’s this year’s whipping boy. At this point, he’s a 4-5 defenseman with potential to be a top 2 dman given some time.

Posted by PDXWing on 05/30/11 at 07:49 PM ET

Norskirama's avatar

Please remember that the Big Rig has not been a defenseman that long, so he is due a few extra years imho.

And I am a Red Wings fan who is a big fan of Big E.

Posted by Norskirama from Lincoln, Nebraska on 05/30/11 at 09:42 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Erricson is a 4/5 defenseman, depending on who’s babysitting him.

The guy is stuck in his head.  He came in his first playoffs and played big and simple.. then all the talk about the next big thing and now he’s makin’ stupid plays tryin’ to be cute and over committing instead of letting the attacking F make the play, which is theirs to make, not his.  But he does and we all bitch about it.

He’s not worth 2.5 when Stuey is getting 3.5.  2M was very fair and with the reputation Detroit has, it wouldn’t be hard to fill that void for what he’s giving us which is what, 2-3 goals a year and 20 pnts if that?  I honestly have NO idea what his stats were because I pretty much never saw him score.  Think there was 1 in there I remember in the beginning of the season.  Stupid break out passes.. oy vey..

I think 3 seasons of playoffs and 2 seasons in the big show after 4 years in the AHL (counting up fingers and toes, that looks to come out to roughly 7 seasons of american pro hockey.  You’re right, we haven’t given him enough time…

I’m much more excited about Kindle and Smith.. I think that’s where our future is at.  They’re both taller guys and not exactly skinny.. not to mention Smith has a little natural snarl that i’m sure the Wings brass will try to whip out of him when they issue him his skirt but hopefully he’ll be a leader which is something I don’t see in very many prospects we have.  We have good soldiers to do what they’re told, but we don’t have a lot of guys who we can realistically envision driving a team to success.. Smith is the only one I’ve seen with even remotely that type of personality.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 05/30/11 at 09:54 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The future definitely lies with Kindl and Smith, but without Ericsson to hopefully become a solid #3/4 guy if he ever gets over his brain cramps and, at worst, develop into a Lilja clone who might be a little overpaid at $2.25-2.5 million, the Wings won’t have the luxury of bringing along Kindl as a #6 guy and Smith either in Grand Rapids as their #1 defenseman and/or as a call-up and/or as the #6/7 guy if he beats out Doug Janik for a job at training camp.

You might think similarly about Filppula, and, to a lesser extent, Hudler (despite the fact that I *think* he’ll be traded, it’s entirely possible that the team will simply expect better out of him and ride out the final year of his contract).

With Bertuzzi and Holmstrom in the final years of their deal and probably likely to retire at the end of the following season, the Wings will be more keen to bring along Tatar so that he’s ready for the 12-13 season (if it’s not locked out), let Mursak shift focus from grinding to scoring if he proves himself next season, and possibly—and I must emphasize that this is incredibly tentative “forecasting” as it’s almost impossible to figure out where the team is two years down the line—bring up one or two of Ferraro, Callahan, Andersson, Nyquist, or even bring over Axelsson or Jarnkrok.

While I’m blathering about “the future,” I’m guessing that the Wings aren’t going to let Kronwall or Stuart go (I’ve already read “Stuart will go home in 2012” stuff, and there’s no way in hell that the Wings will let him go), and it’s entirely possible that, two years from now, Homer and Bert might still be playing. But the Wings’ “next generation” of forwards will be ready in 2 or 3 years and that’s when we’re going to start seeing some turnover.

All of that being said, we also need to remember that, of the Wings’ rather deep crop of forward prospects, the return on prospects is pretty low. I’m very biased about these youngsters because I’ve been able to at least touch base with them every summer, but aside from staking my reputation of Tatar coming up and grinding the fark out of his opponents, if not becoming the player that the Wings hoped Jiri Hudler could be, I can’t even say that Thomas McCollum, who is without a doubt the nicest young man I’ve met out of forty or fifty prospects, will make the NHL and shine as Jimmy Howard’s back-up.

If you look at the Griffins coming out of the lockout, yes, the Wings bet quite a bit on Valtteri Filppula, Jiri Hudler, Tomas Kopecky, Brett Lebda, Derek Meech, Niklas Kronwall and Joey MacDonald panning out as NHL players and at least one of them becoming a star (Kronwall)...

But if you take a gander at the 04-05 Griffins roster, we and the Wings also thought that Igor Grigorenko was the team’s “x factor,” there were hopes that Darryl Bootland would be the team’s next instigating forward, Paul Ballantyne was supposed to be the big, stay-at-home guy the Wings were looking for, the Wings were frustrated with but hopeful about offensive defenseman Danny Groulx, they hoped that small-but-speedy Eric Himelfarb would pan out and that Drew MacIntyre would push MacDonald and maybe serve as the Jordan Pearce to MacDonald’s McCollum.

There were also high hopes for Mattias Ritola, Johan Ryno, Juho Mielonen, Anton Axelsson and Christofer Lofberg.

So not everybody we’re hoping will pan out will, well, pan out. Himelfarb’s a bona-fide star in Europe, Anton Axelsson’s had a long career as a grinding, defensive forward, Groulx’s bounced around, MacInture’s starred on various teams’ AHL affiliates and Ritola and Meech are at least borderline NHL’ers, but of all of those players, the only real “star” is Kronwall, and Filppula, Hudler and Kopecky are still finding their NHL footing.

In any case, my point is pretty simple despite all that blah—Ericsson is, at worst, a “bridge” player who will give the Wings some size and strength until Smith, Kindl and, to a lesser extent, maybe Brian Lashoff develop and give the Wings a hand as we transition out of the Lidstrom era (shudder).

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/30/11 at 11:18 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

NHL experience cannot be replicated in any league in the world (otherwise Leino would be a star in the NHL when he arrived). He’s a 2nd year player with a lot of potential, you just don’t give that up. And the Wings won’t.  They are known for developing players and having patience until it doesn’t make sense. It still makes sense, if his contract demands are not crazy.

Posted by PDXWing on 05/30/11 at 11:21 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

  Ericsson is a 2nd year player!

Please remember that the Big Rig has not been a defenseman that long,

And those reasons right there are precisely why he should not have a cap hit over $2M. Even near that would disturb me a little.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 05/30/11 at 11:32 PM ET

Avatar

“He came in his first playoffs and played big and simple”

I have been waiting for that Ericsson to show up for two years now and if he ever does then he will be worth 2 million.

Posted by Mackster on 05/31/11 at 12:18 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

The big booger of the entire matter involves the fact that it’s not the Wings who set the prices for underachieving players.

It’s the marketplace, and, regrettably, dumbass general managers overpay through the nose like otolaryngologists (ear-nose-throat doctors, who, trust me, specialize in pain, pain, and more pain, says someone who used to have an *internal* Patrick Roy nose) for decent talent.

Five years ago, Robert Lang was overpaid as a 60-point-scorer at $4 million and the Wings were seen as nothing less than nuts for signing Pavel Datsyuk, who was around a 70-something point-scorer, to a deal worth $6.7 million per season.

Now, if you score a point per game, you’re at least a $6 million player, if not an $8 million player.

In 2007, the Wings were taking a huge risk by signing Niklas Kronwall to a deal that averaged $3 million per season, and were theoretically overpaying due to marketplace shenanigans by paying Brad Stuart $3.75 million to keep him.

These days, even now that the post-recession cap bubble has burst, Kronwall could very easily get $4.5-5 million on the market, injury history included, and Stuart’s market value is about $250,000 short of what he could get from a desperate team.

Based on what Ericsson could get on the market because he’s 6’3” or 6’4,” only 27 and a Red Wing, anywhere from $2.25-2.5 million is probably “underpaying” somebody who could get $2.8 to $3.25 million on the open market because of his size and resume.

If general managers with Ken Holland’s fiscal restraint were bidding on players on July 1st, 90-point-scorers would earn no more than $6 million, the Kronwalls of the world would still be $3 million players and Jimmy Howard’s $2.25 million cap hit would be seen as a very reasonable, if not generous offer for an “unproven” goaltender instead of a “hometown discount” for a goaltender who’s posted back-to-back 30-win seasons and might fetch $2.75 million or more on the open market.

What we value players at and what the general mangers who’ve tossed around silly money at the Chris Drurys, Scott Gomezes, Dusten Penners, Bryan McCabes and Roberto Luongos of the world have done to skew the “marketplace value” of free agents..They’re two very different things.

Based on his play and the Red Wings’ pay structure, sure, I could see Ericsson being laughed at for turning down $2 million, but Holland can’t ask Ericsson to take that kind of money in the marketplace. A $2.25 million deal is officially in “hometown discount” territory compared to what Ericsson could earn on July 1st, and $2.5 million is still pretty reasonable given how severely defensemen are overpaid on the free agent market.

How things work in our world and the crazy world that is the NHL’s “marketplace” are two very different things, and how things work in Holland’s world is a nice meshing of the two.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/31/11 at 02:20 AM ET

Norskirama's avatar

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 05/31/11 at 12:20 AM ET

Excellent summation, George!

Posted by Norskirama from Lincoln, Nebraska on 05/31/11 at 02:56 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

If general managers with Ken Holland’s fiscal restraint were bidding on players on July 1st, 90-point-scorers would earn no more than $6 million, the Kronwalls of the world would still be $3 million players and Jimmy Howard’s $2.25 million cap hit would be seen as a very reasonable, if not generous offer for an “unproven” goaltender instead of a “hometown discount” for a goaltender who’s posted back-to-back 30-win seasons and might fetch $2.75 million or more on the open market.

It’s sadly not that simple.  It’s a bit like saying if only we had more oil, then gas prices would go down.

If every General Manager had Ken Holland’s fiscal restraint, then Edmonton would not be able to field a complete lineup.

Similarly, if Ken Holland were the GM in Ottawa, he’d find it very difficult to get free agents to come to a team that lacks the reputation as a perennial contender and one of the greatest and most player-friendly organizations in the league.

There certainly is a difference between the Red Wings’ price for free agents and the general market price.  The last three seasons have made this phenomenon branch out, as once again the NHL follows the mold of hockey’s most successful franchise of the last 20 years.

This is as simple as you can get the formula: Player’s ultimate contract = player’s value - team discount.

Better teams equal bigger discounts.  Edmonton doesn’t garner shit for a team discount while Detroit, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, and a handful of other teams pull the bigger discounts.  Before winning the cup, Chicago didn’t pull discounts either (which is why the Brian Campbell contract was simultaneously one of the bigger contributing factor to the Hawks’ ability to get enough talent to win the cup and the one of the biggest contributing factors to why the Hawks had trouble keeping that team together).

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 05/31/11 at 10:22 AM 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.