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Red Wings mid-day stuff: Salei joins Lokomotiv; Exelby rumor; Ken Holland on WDFN

Updated with a Ken Holland interview from WDFN at 12:59 PM: Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

According to Sport-Express’s Slava Malamud and Yahoo Sports’ Dmitry Chesnokov, as well as Sovetsky Sport and Sport-Express, Ruslan Salei’s chosen to follow Brad McCrimmon to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the KHL;

• I can’t figure this one out. The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc is re-tweeting a post from “NHL Sources Say,” whose credentials I can’t confirm, that the Red Wings have signed Garnet Exelby to a 1-year, 2-way contract. Exelby’s 29 going on 30 and is a 6’1, 215-lb defenseman who spent the past season with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs.

He’s pretty much fallen off the map after entering the NHL as a highly-heralded prospect in the 2002-2003 season with Atlanta, and his NHL totals explain his game pretty well: 408 games played, 7 goals, 43 assists, 50 points, a -28 and 504 penalty minutes. He’s a physical, stay-at-home defenseman, and if the Wings have signed him, he’d be slated to play major minutes for the Grand Rapids Griffins and supplement Greg Amadio, who’s got an AHL-only contract, as both a player mentor and gritty player. Again, I can’t confirm this but this rumor’s bouncing around Twitter like a hot potato;

• As Paul posted, the Grand Rapids Griffins have been assigned to a North Division which no longer includes the Abbotsford Heat or the Manitoba AHL franchise, which has moved to St. John’s,

Nova Scotia

Newfoundland. The Griffins will now also play in a best-of-five first-round playoff series and shift to seven-game series after that;

• In the alumni department again, the Swedish press is a little confused as Expressen’s Mattias Ek is reporting that yes, Dominik Hasek would be willing to play in leagues other than the KHL when he resumes his career, but the fact that he plans on taking a year off from hockey this upcoming season is missing from the equation;

• The Red Wings have received, well, a solid grade for their free agency moves thus far from Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski....

Detroit Red Wings: That 3-year, $9.75-million deal for Jonathan Ericsson, 27, has been a source of much ridicule, because he’s been downright terrible at times in his own end, which is not the stuff of $10-million defensemen. Can he live up to the salary? The Wings also re-signed Drew Miller (2 years, $825K) and Patrick Eaves (3 years, $3.6 million). Their big free-agent scores? Defenseman Ian White, the puck-moving blue-collar D-man who played for the Sharks, Hurricanes and Leafs last season (2 years, $5.75 million); and Mike Commodore, the veteran defenseman whose elephantine contract was buried and bought out by the Blue Jackets. Two good editions to the Wings blue line, but Ericsson’s deal knocks this down a grade. GRADE: B-

• And On the Wings’ Matt Saler notes that the gents who posted “Fake Henrik Zetterberg” videos are asking for viewer donations to break even on the costs per new episode (about $500), and compensatory prizes are in the offing:

Update: WDFN just posted an interview GM Ken Holland gave to Matt Sheppard this morning:

Download file

Update #2: As an FYI, from the Dallas News’s Mike Heika:

_ Mike Modano has not received any calls yet on free agency…but it is still very early for him.

_ Many of you have asked about the possible availability of Phoenix defenseman Keith Yandle While there is buzz out there that Phoenix might have to trade him because he is an RFA and might be difficult to sign, the Stars have not even pondered his availability. Reports out of Phoenix are discussions are ongoing to re-sign Yandle, and that most expect him to sign at least a one-year deal. The thought is if they have to trade Yandle, who at 24 was the third leading scorer among NHL defensemen last season with 11 goals among 59 points, it would be a heck of a package that they would get in return.

He’s right about Yandle, too. The Coyotes plan on re-signing him, and if they were to move him, they’d expect a mint.

Update #3: The Holland interview mostly involves the Wings’ re-signing of Ericsson and the process regarding signing Commodore. It cuts off at the 11:46 mark. There’s nothing earth-shattering in there.

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SYF's avatar

Two good editions to the Wings blue line, but Ericsson’s deal knocks this down a grade.

It’s, “Two good ADDITIONS to the Wings blue line…”  Proofreading is a bitch, ain’t it, PD?

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 07/05/11 at 03:03 PM ET

Sunday's avatar

I thought Salei was having problems with the commuting distance between So. California and Detroit.  Didn’t realize Yaroslavl was that much closer.

Posted by Sunday from somewhere else on 07/05/11 at 03:15 PM ET


from Yahoo Sports’ Greg “Puck Daddy” Wyshynski….

Just how on earth did Buffalo and Florida get A- grades?!?!

Posted by Garth on 07/05/11 at 03:15 PM ET


I believe the St John’s to which the Moose are moving is in Newfoundland, not Nova Scotia.

Posted by Voline on 07/05/11 at 03:26 PM ET


If the Garnet Exelby rumors are true, it’s probably purely a move to strengthen the Griffins, who no longer have their own GM.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 07/05/11 at 03:26 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Sorry about the Newfoundland-Nova Scotia mix-up. I know that’s a touchy subject.

I’m pretty baffled about the Salei move…

And yes, now Jim Nill is in charge of the Griffins, so he’s working on building the team now.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/05/11 at 03:34 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Why is Holland continuing to stand by the “market” assessment with regards to the Ericsson signing?  It’s been discredited by the past few days worth of signings.

I wish he’d just say that they felt this is a player that they needed to invest in and leave it at that.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/05/11 at 04:04 PM ET

awould's avatar

PD grades show no consistency. Florida/Buffalo get high marks for drastically overpaying while Detroit gets demerits for it. And the White/Commodore contracts were very good (in my opinion) and go some way in off-setting the overpayment of Ericsson.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the Wings moves thus far. The Eaves/Miller deals are greata and the two addtions are great. I have high hopes that White will blossom in Detroit and be there for a long time. The Ericsson deal is still hard to swallow; I doubt he’ll suddenly find the motivation to amp up his play now that his check is guaranteed when he couldn’t get up the gumption when he was trying to prove his worth this past season.

A goalie would be nice and it will be interesting to see who Holland signs.

Posted by awould on 07/05/11 at 04:11 PM ET

Chet's avatar

i’m still thinking that if they don’t like how ericsson develops (if at all), they can move him in a year or two.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/05/11 at 04:42 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

i’m still thinking that if they don’t like how ericsson develops (if at all), they can move him in a year or two.
Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/05/11 at 02:42 PM ET

It is critical that the price of this particular contract and the performance mesh in this case.

There aren’t many teams that routinely search for high cap hitting defensemen who have underperformed for their entire career.  Jeff Fingers contract that was signed with the Leafs in 2008 was a good example of this, I would guess that Burke has begged people to take that off his hands to no avail over the past few years.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/05/11 at 04:52 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 07/05/11 at 02:42 PM ET

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/05/11 at 02:52 PM ET

What are we talking about, BigE has a NTC.  He ain’t going anywhere no matter what.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/05/11 at 04:56 PM ET

awould's avatar

What are we talking about, BigE has a NTC.  He ain’t going anywhere no matter what.

I keep seeing that it is a “modified no-trade clause”. Anyone know what that means?

Posted by awould on 07/05/11 at 05:20 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

A modified no-trade is like what Heatley had—where there’s a certain period of time where you can be traded and/or you have to submit a list of teams where you’d be willing to be moved or don’t want to go.

Remember that even in the cases of full NTC’s, all that means is that a team has to ask a player’s permission before trading him. He can still be moved, but he has a say in deciding where he’s going.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/05/11 at 05:36 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.