Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: free agent talk, the Chairman’s speech, Shanahan muted and action Jimmy

This overnight report will be a little different than the usual, “I post stuff, start the discussion and step back” format because, well, because, so let’s start with a review of the biggest news posted during the evening (which you may have missed):

First and foremost, the Detroit Free Press’s Helene St. James reports that Red Wings GM Ken Holland is talking contract turkey with Jonathan Ericsson’s agent, which is good from the, “It would really (stink) if the Wings had to replace Ericsson, Lidstrom and Rafalski at the same time” standpoint, but is not so good if your nickname for Ericsson includes a four-letter word;

Second, and perhaps more intriguingly, DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose at least dropped a strong hint that the Wings plan on retaining the services of both Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller. Those players’ deals won’t be too hard to hammer out, and any positive, “We’re gonna keep ‘em” news is good news.

After the jump, however, we’re going to talk about one Chairman Mao’s state-of-the-game speech, which involves the topic that’s been reduced to pulp over the last two weeks—the Wings’ chances of moving to the Eastern Conference for the 2012-2013 season:

I’d like to think that my job involves not talking all that much, but instead, finding as much Wings stuff to place in TMR as possible to make following the Wings a little easier for you, to find offbeat and foreign-language stories, start discussions and mostly cut through BS so that you don’t have to read the fluff and posturing to get to the important parts of the talking heads’ takes on things.

But we’ve got to get knee-deep in BS from the master thereof, one Gary Bettman, to talk about the realignment issue (and the salary cap) because Chairman Mao’s annual pre-Cup Final “State of the Game” speech tends to predict the ways in which the NHL’s Board of Governors will approach certain situations, and as we now know, the Wings would both have to submit an application for realignment to the NHL before January 1st, 2012 and that they’d have to, according to the Toronto Star’s Damien Cox, get 20 of the NHL’s 30 teams to sign off on the Wings moving East as opposed to the Nashville Predators or Columbus Blue Jackets.

If you want to just skip to the Cliff’s Notes versions of the story, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Associated Press’s Greg Beacham and the Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek can help you out, but sometimes it’s best to read what the horse’s a…I mean mouth…said to the press.

From the presser transcript, here’s what Bettman said about relocation:

QUESTION: Can you update where things stand for realignment in lieu of Winnipeg’s reentry, and also the latest on Phoenix?

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: With respect to Winnipeg’s re-entry, obviously there is a process under the Constitution and Bylaws with respect to ownership transfers and relocation that needs to be complied with. That’s on the agenda, will be on the agenda, for the June 21st Board meeting.

In order to do a schedule for next season, it’s not possible to do realignment right now. Winnipeg, despite its geographic peculiarities relative to the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference, will be playing in that division and in that conference, with an assurance that for the following season they will be in the west.

We have a number of clubs that would like to address specific issues on realignment. All those clubs need an opportunity to be heard. That’s a process we’ll go through the first half of next season, looking at the issues that clubs want to raise, looking at various possibilities, and trying to figure out what will make the most sense moving forward.

If I had to guess anything, and this is purely speculation, as much as I hate to do that, because ultimately it’s a Board decision, I think we’ll wind up moving towards a slightly more balanced schedule to accommodate the variety of issues I’ve heard so far from the clubs.

So we know that the Wings, Blue Jackets and Predators will attempt to move to the East, and, as it stands now, it’s actually the Blue Jackets who are the odds-on favorite to move East, we know that there will be a full year’s worth of campaigning by all three teams before their fates are decided a year from now, likely at next year’s summertime Board of Governors meetings, and we know that the Wings have an uphill climb in terms of trying to get 20 of the 30 members of the Board to agree to move the Wings to the Eastern Conference.

Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly also addressed the salary cap—and their figure involves the NHLPA agreeing to exercise its right to inflate the cap by 5%, which means more escrow payments, as well as the league hitting the magical $3 billion in revenue mark—which is important as the Wings might have a little more coin to spend on Brian Rafalski’s replacement, possibly Jonathan Ericsosn’s replacement and the mythical top six forward Mike Babcock alluded to:

QUESTION: Any more precise indication of where the cap is going?

COMMISSIONER BETTMAN: Actually, I think Mr. Daly did. I don’t remember giving cap numbers.

Bill, do you want to venture a guess?

BILL DALY: I think our current projections have the cap being in excess of $60 million, maybe as high as $63 million.

I’ve heard anything from $62 to $63.5 million, but $63 million is a safe bet.

So that’s that.

Shifting gears, the NHL also announced that Brendan Shanahan would take over Colin Campbell’s duties as the NHL’s disciplinarian next season, as discussed by ESPN’s Scott Burnside, the CBC’s Tim Wharnsby, the Sporting News’s Craig Custance, the Hockey News’s Ken Campbell and NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, among others.

I know that many pundits have suggested that giving Shanahan hockey’s most thankless job will mean an increase in fines and suspensions (something Bettman alluded to—the Bettman presser link also includes Shanahan and Campbell’s comments—and that a new perspective and a younger man’s perspective, perhaps a perspective tied more to the rules emphasizing player safety (which Shanahan will continue to advocate along with his NHLPA partner, Mathieu Schneider) instead of Campbell’s adherence to “Old Time Hockey” rules, all add up to something very good happening for the league going forward.

I have to disagree. Campbell’s inconsistencies and back-room dealings included, we knew that he didn’t have to do anything other than worry about disciplinary issues.

Shanahan was a true progressive, installing an every-summer R&D camp, working with the PA to modify shoulder pads and even engaging fans via Twitter.

What was the first thing that happened when the hiring was announced? @NHLShanny’s “Tweets” disappeared as he closed his account.

What’s going to happen in the fall? Shanahan’s focus will shift from thinking about innovation to discipline, and he’s going to find himself entangled in the back-room deals, GM’s and player agents lobbying for leniency and/or severe suspensions, the dirty politics of hockey and establishing his status as something of a fair but harsh judge of player conduct and, in the end, something of a villain.

That’s…disappointing at best and plain old scary at worst. It’s no surprise that Gary Bettman wanted his protege to join the family of high-powered executives who take on adversarial roles toward just about everybody they deal with, but it’s very sad that Shanahan’s tenure as someone who was dedicated to thinking creatively will pretty much go out the window.

At least the Associated Press provided us with a little comic relief by producing a to-scale image of the man behind the podium:

Back to Wings stuff: On Tuesday morning, MLive’s Ansar Khan reported that Wings assistant coach Paul MacLean interviewed for the Ottawa Senators’ head coaching job, and the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan confirms while using an unfortunate word to describe another coaching candidate:

[Senators GM Bryan] Murray’s first two interviews, as reported by the Sun’s Bruce Garrioch Tuesday, were Kirk Muller and Paul MacLean. Both enticing candidates. Muller is this summer’s sexy pick. After an exceptional, 19-year playing career, the likeable Kingston native has, by all accounts, done a solid job as an assistant in Montreal the past five seasons. Rumours also have him a top candidate to become the next Dallas coach. MacLean, a former Hull Olympique, also had a strong 10-year playing career. In eight seasons as a minor league head coach, he won almost twice as many games as he lost. He’s been an NHL assistant the past eight years, the most recent six in Detroit.

Dave Cameron and Craig MacTavish will have sit-downs with Murray, too.

Let’s stick with executive news for the moment. The Detroit Pistons’ sale to Tom Gores should receive the approval of the NBA’s BoG shortly, but the Detroit News’s John Niyo made an astute comment about the winner in terms of strengthening his front office was Mike Ilitch:

[Ilitch CEO of entertainment and business properties Tom] Wilson & Co. are busy catering to the customers for Mike Ilitch downtown, of course, and we saw the results with the Red Wings’ rejuvenated crowds at Joe Louis Arena this spring. But there still are good people left at The Palace who remember the way things used to be, and presumably Gores has a few ideas — and people — of his own to bring to the table. (Come to think of it, how about playing a Pistons game or two downtown at the Joe, just to bury the hatchet?)

The Wings raided the Pistons’ cupboard and are a much stronger organization because of it. Wilson will play a large role in the Wings’ negotiations with the City of Detroit, Wayne County and the State of Michigan regarding Joe Louis Arena’s follow-on rink, and over the past eight months, he’s done a solid job of injecting energy, enthusiasm and a customer-first mentality to the Wings’ ticket sales department. I hear nothing but good reports about Wilson’s sincerity and thoroughness.

Shifting focus back to players, at least in the alumni department: I had to laugh when I read this quip from Kerry Fraser, discussing players with notorious reputations as, let’s say “embellishers”:

Fellow Sarnia, Ontario native, Dino Ciccarelli was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last season; a well deserved honour.  While he was a prolific scorer and went into the hard areas in front of the net his uniform could often be as wet on the outside from diving as it was on the inside from sweat.  That’s no deference to Dino’s work ethic; he just fell down whenever he was touched but usually bounced right back up so as not to take himself out of the play. One night in the Joe Louis Arena, Dino went down six times on one shift in the corner and maintained possession of the puck each time.  He never complained about not drawing the penalty - he just kept trying!  It was actually quite comical.

It wasn’t his diving that made me laugh hardest but an attempt one night to grab an assist.  A goal was scored by Dino’s team with him sitting on the player’s bench.  After assessing the goal, I went to centre ice and watched Dino and his line come onto the ice. He skated right up to me and said, “Frase, I got an assist on that goal.”  I grinned and said, “Dino, you must have the longest stick in the league because if you got an assist on that play you did it while sitting on the player’s bench.  I just saw you come onto the ice after the goal was scored.”  Dino further appealed to his “hometown referee” and said, “Come on Frase, I’m in a slump and haven’t scored a point in two games.”

Wow, two whole games - that was a slump for Dino.  I laughed and said just shoot the puck and it will go in.  It wasn’t long after that the puck did go in for him.  There weren’t many nights that it didn’t.  There weren’t many nights that he didn’t dive either.

I hate to admit it, but #22 did a helluva job drawing penalties and occasionally taking them.

In the “activity” category, the Saginaw News’s Adam Bouton reminds us that Mickey Redmond will attend Thursday’s Great Lakes Loons baseball game;

And the Wings posted a press release regarding Saturday’s equipment sale:

The Red Wings will be holding a special equipment/memorabilia sale at Hockeytown Authentics in Troy, Michigan (1845 E. Big Beaver Road) this coming Saturday, June 4 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For the first time, game-worn jerseys from the team’s 2010-11 campaign will be available for purchase, as will various game-worn jerseys from previous seasons and used/unused equipment (sticks, skates, etc.). Red Wings fans will also be able to add limited-edition autographed memorabilia items to their collections as part of this one-day-only event. 

Members of the Red Wings’ Season Ticket Holder Family will have exclusive access to this special sale between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. The general public will be able to take advantage of the incredible items up for sale from 11:00 a.m. until the store closes at 7:00 p.m. Longtime Red Wings Equipment Manager Paul Boyer will also be on hand to answer any and all queries from the Hockeytown faithful between 11:00 a.m. and noon.

Quite frankly, the STH folks tend to snap up the best stuff, so if you can find a friend who’s a partial or full season ticket-holder who doesn’t want to go…

Let’s end, or nearly so, with an article and a video which should make you smile.

The Hockey News’s Adam Proteau notes that a certain Red Wings forward played so dominantly over the course of 11 games that he’s still the playoff leader in one statistical category…

6. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit: Datsyuk was a one-man wrecking crew for Detroit against the Phoenix Coyotes in the first round, posting two goals and four assists before adding nine points in the second round against the San Jose Sharks. He finished the post-season with seven more points than the Red Wings’ next best playoff producer. Even more impressive: despite playing only 11 games, the two-way wizard still has the second-best plus-minus rating (plus-10) of this post-season.

And this is plain old cute, per the Red Wings’ website—Jimmy Howard was asked to ham it up after his MacFarlane Sports action figure was released, and he did so in spades:

As of 5:47 AM, there’s no Russian, Swedish, Czech, Slovak or Finnish Wings news that I can find, and I tend to stay up to look as the Swedish local newspapers don’t tend to update their sites till 5 AM EDT.

And regarding the whole trip thingy...I was asked to try to guesstimate costs (I hate talking about this, by the way) regarding possibly heading to Traverse City to cover the Wings’ prospect camp from July 7-14.

At present, as the Cherry Festival takes place during that time, the cheapest hotel rates I can find range from $800-950(!!!!—at a Super 8, no less). In terms of other expenses, I can cover my own dry cleaning ($80), in terms of food, I’m guessing that $100-150 would be a generous budget in terms of getting groceries, pop and fast food, and it took me—let’s add in a margin to be safe—about 3/4ths of a 22-gallon tank up, 3/4ths to get home, home and about a quarter tank of gas to drive around during the week during training camp because I had to shuttle back and forth from the hotel several times a day sans wireless access at the rink. Regrettably gas is supposed to hit nearly $5 a gallon in early July, but at its present rate, let’s say $4.10 a gallon, and given that I have a 22-gallon tank in the Pacifica, we’re talking about, let’s say 55 gallons x 4 = about $160 for gas, based on driving at 78 miles an hour on cruise control for the 230-mile trip up.

Sadly, due to the Cherry Festival stuff, I can tell you that I paid about $250 more for a full 15-day stay in September, so that should tell you about the rates for July. We’re looking at, minimum, about a grand for the week. I can maximize my travel budget to cover any underage and if there’s any overage I’d put it into the training camp fund as that cost about $1,400 last time around.

Again, I’d give away my $60 seat to A Perfect Circle’s July 8th concert at the Fox Theatre as part of the bargain.

Let me know what you think—and I should mention the fact that, save a few incredibly generous pals, the $5 here and $10 there were the donations that fueled the prospect tournament/training camp trip. I may have to start a Facebook or Twitter campaign or something but I honestly feel pretty crappy about having to ask in the first place. Believe me, if I could do this stuff on my own dime, I would.

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Comments

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Andy from FightNight's avatar

George, we know you would. But start the campaign, get something up and I know I’ll be happy to donate some when I get my paycheck on the 20th and I think a lot of your readers would donate too. Your stuff from prospect camp last year was outstanding and I think we’re all willing to pay a little for stuff like that wink

Posted by Andy from FightNight on 06/02/11 at 07:30 AM ET

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I’m not exactly sure it’s legal to donate when he’s openly talking about things like ‘underage’.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 06/02/11 at 08:56 AM ET

gusoline's avatar

Hey George,

Definitely put up a campaign.  I’m in Brazil so can’t easily send a check.  grin

Also, you might want to check out AirBnB - a new startup that allows people to list rooms or houses for rent.  They have this room listed for $50/night in TC: http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/129052

Not too much else in the immediate area though and doesn’t look like they’ll provide internet, so you might need to hit Starbucks or something.

Posted by gusoline on 06/02/11 at 09:15 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

I’m in Brazil so can’t easily send a check.

A-what?

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/02/11 at 09:46 AM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

George, put up the paypal link already.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 06/02/11 at 09:48 AM ET

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I posted this on another blog that’s pretty old just now, but I doubt anyone will be checking there, so I’m posting it here, on the latest blog.

I was asking why it seems like Holland isn’t going to go after Brad Richards, or Pitkanen, or Markov, or all of them, and people laughed at me, and said that I was forgetting Lidstrom would take up a lot of cap space (oh yeah, us Wings fans, always forgetting Nick… Lindstrom? Lidstrum? What is it again?), and that there wouldn’t be enough cap space. Of course, I wasn’t forgetting Lidstrom, I had actually crunched the numbers, and of course as it turns out I knew much better than all these condescending bullies all along. Here’s the proof and all..

Here’s ‘how to build a cup winner, immediately, in less than (1000?) characters.’

Datsyuk (6.7) - Zetterberg (6.083) - Holmstrom (1.875)
Filppula (3) - Richards (6 - would be paid 8 mil per yr, but 6 mil cap hit) - Franzen (3.95)
Helm (.9125) - Abdelkader (.7875) - Cleary (2.8)
Mursak (.55) - Miller (.65) - Bertuzzi (1.937)
Emmerton (.533)

Lidstrom (5) - Kronwall (3)
Markov (5.2) - Pitkanen (4.4)
Stuart (3.75) - Smith (.875)
Kindl (.883)

Howard (2.25)
Osgood (.6)

= 61.741378 total

Cap will be 62 mil plus.

AT MINIMUM, you can get Brad Richards and one of Markov or Pitkanen. At minimum. If Pitkanen won’t sign for less than 5 million, if Markov wants 6, if you can’t get Richards’ cap hit down to 6 mil, then you may have to settle for just two of those three. But it’s definitely possible to get all three. Or you can just get Richards and Markov, for instance, and then instead of paying Pitkanen 5 mil, you might have to settle for Brewer at 4 mil, or someone else in that range.

Bottom line, at minimum, you can sign Brad Richards, one of Pitkanen or Markov, and then a 3rd free agent, either another top 4 defenseman, or a top 6 forward. Either way, you should end up with three impact players, including Brad Richards, from free agency. So that’s what Wings fans should expect out of this year’s free agency. It as simple as what I just outlined. It will take a few days of talking to agents, finding the best return for Jiri Hudler, etc, but that all comes with the territory. The point is the players are available, and the cap space is there in droves. All it will take to build the Wings back into the best team in the NHL for next season is a little bit of execution on this plan by Ken Holland.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/02/11 at 09:02 AM ET

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/02/11 at 10:09 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

George, put up the paypal link already.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 06/02/11 at 08:48 AM ET

This.

And stop feeling guilty, OK?  Just do it and we will help out.  smile

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 06/02/11 at 10:47 AM ET

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Posted by Johnson22 on 06/02/11 at 09:09 AM ET

a) You’re not getting Richards for 6m.  You’re just not.  Pipe dream, please wake up.
b) Markov for over $5m?  Are you our of your mind?  $5.2M for a guy who played 7 games last year?  And 52 over the past two years?
c) Lidstrom for $5m?  Ok, this is a maybe.  I wouldn’t be susprised if it happened, but I don’t think you can expect it.
d) No Eaves?  Ok, it took me this long to realize that your whole post just a joke.  You’re having a go at us, right?

Nevermind the fact that Detroit was second in scoring last year and WHY ARE PEOPLE FOCUSING ON GETTING A FORWARD AND ‘SETTLING’ ON DEFENSE?  Do you not know who Ken Holland is?  Do you really think he’s going to add another $6M+ contract at forward while skimping on defense?

Oh, and what about the fact that Stuart and Kronwall are up for renewal next year and are both going to be getting raises?  AND Helm.  AND Abdelkader.  AND Bertuzzi and Holmstrom both either retiring and having to be replaced or re-signing?

But yeah, it’s all just as simple as throwing too much money at injury prone defensemen, assuming that we can get a guy who’s been making nearly $8M a year for the past five years and is the most prized free agent on the market to take a 25% cap cut, assuming the best defenseman of his generation is going to take another pay cut, not re-signing one of our best defensive forwards who’s been growing offensively and completely ignoring the future in favour of today.

Simple as that.

Posted by Garth on 06/02/11 at 11:15 AM ET

Lucce's avatar

If we are Detroit we can get Richards for 6M if you are Rangers you can get him for more….

Posted by Lucce from Kingdom of Zweden on 06/02/11 at 11:29 AM ET

Bhernhard Bhudznev's avatar

George,

Does the July trip, rule out a September trip for the prospects tourney?

I am looking around town. For something.  I thought there was WiFi at Centre Ice?

Posted by Bhernhard Bhudznev from Traverse City, MI on 06/02/11 at 11:41 AM ET

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Garth,

“WHY ARE PEOPLE FOCUSING ON GETTING A FORWARD AND ‘SETTLING’ ON DEFENSE?”

Ask Ken Holland. I based my post on what he said, which is “we don’t need to sign a #2 because we have Kronwall.” I think the focus should be on both, but he said they’re only going to sign a #3 defenseman.

As for your “points,” they’re a waste of my time, but here goes. I won’t be correcting your misconceptions again, so next time read the whole post before replying, and read it more carefully.

You say: “a) You’re not getting Richards for 6m.  You’re just not.  Pipe dream, please wake up.”
Answer to A. I wouldn’t actually have to write anything new here if you’d read the original post more carefully. Remember this part? “Richards (6 - would be paid 8 mil per yr, but 6 mil cap hit).” Henrik Zetterberg has a similar thing going with his contract. He gets paid 7.5 million per year but has a cap hit of 6. Ilya Kovalchuk gets paid maybe 10 mil a year with a cap hit of only 6.67 million. The NHL has since put in some new rules to lessen the front-loading to a small extent, so the Kovalchuk contract, frontloading to that extent, circumventing the cap to that extent, would no longer be allowed. But certainly doing 8 mil in money and 6 mil in cap hit is still very possible.

“b) Markov for over $5m?  Are you our of your mind?  $5.2M for a guy who played 7 games last year?  And 52 over the past two years?”

Usually when you propose a plan for building a fantastic team while staying under the cap, people complain that the only way you’ve been able to do so is because you’ve undershot the player salaries. If I’d put Markov for 3 million, I would have twice as many responses telling me I’m dreaming, and we could never sign “an allstar defenseman” for that little. See people are always looking to pick apart what you write. If I’d undershot on Markov, that’s what they’d be saying, he’s an all-star defenseman. Not one person would mention his injuries. Now apparently I’ve overshot in your mind, so you bring out the injuries.

Bottom line, if Markov still has lingering injuries, you probably wouldn’t even sign him to begin with. If he’s healthy and you think he can be signed for 2-3 million, that just makes my proposal work even better. Regardless, the point of my post was to illustrate how much cap space is REALLY available, if you do it right, and that three star players could be added to the Detroit Red Wings without sacrificing the rest of the team. I’m not tied to Markov at all. Like you say he may very well be on the decline, and he has injury problems. It’s just an example. You’re missing the greater point.

“c) Lidstrom for $5m?  Ok, this is a maybe.  I wouldn’t be susprised if it happened, but I don’t think you can expect it.”

This is why I included a caveat in my post. If some of the players require more cap $ than I alloted them, you would not be able to sign three star players, just two. Only two ;( ;( ;(.
Only Brad Richards and Joni Pitkanen ;( ;( ;(.

The horror! What a terrible idea!

“d) No Eaves?  Ok, it took me this long to realize that your whole post just a joke.  You’re having a go at us, right?”

Hmm, I would rather have Brad Richard, Joni Pitkanen, Andrei Markov (or Eric Brewer, Bieksa, or whomever), and Jan Mursak, than not have the cap for one of those big names because of Eaves. Again, people always want to pick holes in what you write. Obviously I prefer Eaves to Mursak. I had him in my other proposals, but with this one, having 13 forwards, if I included Eaves at the same salary as this season, the cap number gets awfully close to 62 million. The cap will probably be over 62 million anyway, but again, I am trying to play it safe here, to illustrate to everyone that even the worst case scenario, this can work. It can work no matter what. Again, you jump to conclusions. You make a bigger deal out of Eaves not being included than about getting Brad Richards and Joni Pitkanen. Maybe you’re the one joking? Eaves is a nice 4th liner who helps the PK. Brad Richards is a Conn Smythe winner. I think you are joking…

“Do you really think (Holland’s) going to add another $6M+ contract at forward while skimping on defense?”

Again, his words, not mine. He has tons of cap room to spend, but has stated he’s only planning to sign a #3 defenseman. That can’t possibly take up even half the cap room, so where do you think the rest of the cap is going? You clearly didn’t have the base knowledge about this subject when reading my post that I had when I wrote it. That might explain some of the things you’re blatantly missing.

“Oh, and what about the fact that Stuart and Kronwall are up for renewal next year and are both going to be getting raises?  AND Helm.  AND Abdelkader.  AND Bertuzzi and Holmstrom both either retiring and having to be replaced or re-signing?”

Stuart is getting significantly less, or he can leave. A nice luxury of signing two upper echelon free agent defenseman is that if you lose an overpaid player like. Your thesis is that Stuart will need more money, and he’s already making 3.75, so that’s what, 4.25? 4.5? Hey! That’s Pitkanen/Brewer/Bieksa/whomever money. And they’re all better than Stuart… You following yet? You can not sign any of the free agent defenseman this summer so that you’ll have room to sign Stuart next season, but that wouldn’t make any sense when the free agent defenseman this summer are better than Stuart.

As for Kronwall, ummmm… Lidstrom is retiring after next season, if he isn’t retiring this summer? How thick are you man? The cap has gone up every year since the lockout as well… And like you said, Holmstrom and Bertuzzi will either be re-signed for less money (Bertuzzi especially less), or they’ll be gone. This applies to Helm to Abdelkader too. You really don’t make any sense whatsoever.

“...the most prized free agent on the market to take a 25% cap cut”

A cap cut? Did I read that right lol? “Well, I like the 8 million dollars part, but I’m not signing that damn deal unless you raise my cap hit! If I sign for a 6 mil cap hit, I’m making it way too easy on you! You need more of a challenge, Holland! Plus I want my ex-team the Stars to have a chance against you guys! You sign me for 6 mil cap hit, and there will be way too much cap room for you to bolster your roster! I won’t take it! I don’t want the 8 mil! Not unless you add 10 mil years on my contract from age 40 to age 50, to increase my cap hit! That’s called backloading. I’ll retire before I hit those years so you won’t have to pay me them, but they’ll serve to raise my caphit! Do we have a deal?”

I already regret doing this. I only read the first few lines of your post before I started responding to them, and then went through the remainder of the post after that as I was writing back, part by part, and by the end I could just tell it was useless. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Logic doesn’t resonate with people like you. A 25% cap cut…

At least you got the percentage right.

:facepalm:

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/02/11 at 11:56 AM ET

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A nice luxury of signing two upper echelon free agent defenseman is that if you lose an overpaid player like Stuart, you’ll not only survive, but still be better off with the two upper echelon free agent defenseman you signed the offseason before, and no Stuart, than you’d be with Stuart, and no two upper echelon free agent defenseman from the season before*

That’s what that sentence was supposed to be.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/02/11 at 12:00 PM ET

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“This applies to Helm to Abdelkader too” means that Bertuzzi and Holmstrom either leaving or getting less money applies to Helm and Abdelkader too, in that the extra cap space applies to them. I didn’t mean that Helm and Abdelkader will either re-sign for less or leave/retire too, lol, although that’s sort of how it read. Wish there was an edit function.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/02/11 at 12:03 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Usually when you propose a plan for building a fantastic team while staying under the cap, people complain that the only way you’ve been able to do so is because you’ve undershot the player salaries

That is because you’ve undershot the player salaries… by about $5M.  Pretty consistently all-around.  To the point where I feel you have no idea what a player is worth.

You’re not going to get a backup goaltender who can play 20-25 games for $600,000.

Lidstrom is more likely to sign for $6M than for 5.  I hope you’re right, but I think you’re wrong.

Brad Richards may sign a long-term front-loaded deal, but he’s probably going to get much better offers.  It would be nice if all of the pieces fit exactly like you say and you have a point that the Wings can probably afford two of the three guys you mentioned, but your plan involves not just one or two numbers with which I disagree.  They involve a lot of pieces falling just perfectly where they shouldn’t be expected to.  Should Holland try to sign everybody under your plan?  Absolutely damn right he should.  Jimmy Howard should also try stopping 100% of the shots he faces next season.

The cap has gone up every year since the lockout as well

Yes, every year there has been a CBA in place for the next season, the salary cap has gone up.  Guess what happens next summer.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/02/11 at 12:11 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

I dont believe Kenny will be signing any more long term-low cap hit deals in the near future. There are already 3 on the books, and the uncertainty of the new CBA makes any additional contracts of that type a dicey situation.

I certainly wouldn’t complain about getting Richards, but I find it highly unlikely. Even if you punt on D and settle for Kronner as a top 2.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 06/02/11 at 12:19 PM ET

11B4PF7 in MN's avatar

I will say two things about johnson22’s post.  First, I have wondered if Pitkanen was the mystery target of Holland at the #3 spot.  But, I get the feeling he would require a bigger contract—money wise—than the Wings would want to commit to that defensive slot.  Like many people have been posting, I really think we could use some extra defensive muscle on the backend.

Second, with the long term contracts that Holland has already committed to Z and Franzen, do any of you feel Holland would or should give another long term contract if the right opportunity presented itself?  At different points these long term contract start at underpaid status, move to right pay status, and finally achieve over paid status vs player performance.

Posted by 11B4PF7 in MN on 06/02/11 at 12:25 PM ET

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I wouldn’t actually have to write anything new here if you’d read the original post more carefully.

Well, if you paid attention to Ken Holland then I wouldn’t have had to write anything.

Holland was VERY CLEAR when he gave Zetterberg and Franzen their contracts that he was signing guys who came up in the system and who were being rewarded for years of service to the team.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Brad Richards has ever played for the Wings.

Also, correct me if I’m wrong, but there was a lot of controversy surrounding contracts similar to Zetterberg’s and Franzen’s, and now they are under much more scrutiny than they were at the time.  No way he’s getting a contract like Zetterberg’s or Franzen’s (or Hossa’s or Luongo’s or Kovalchuk’s) from the Wings.

Again.  Pipe dream, PLEASE wake up.

Bottom line, if Markov still has lingering injuries, you probably wouldn’t even sign him to begin with.

So why in the HELL are you proposing that type of contract?  I mean, you know, if it’s “as easy as that”...

I had him in my other proposals, but with this one, having 13 forwards, if I included Eaves at the same salary as this season, the cap number gets awfully close to 62 million.

So in other words, dumping a guy the organization clearly LOVES and in very high on didn’t make you wonder if you ought to re-think your ideas?

Hey, you know what?  I have a great way we can afford Richards.  We’ll just trade Zetterberg!  And if we trade Datsyuk and Franzen too, and don’t re-sign Lidstrom we can probably get Luongo AND Pekka Rinne!

The horror! What a terrible idea!

I clearly didn’t say it’s a terrible idea, did I?  I very clearly said that while I don’t expect it to happen, it COULD happen.

Did you stop reading?  Are you just quoting things out of context in order to argue them?

Again, his words, not mine.

Funny that you use “his words” about the defensemen, but where are “his words” about signing a STAR winger?  You know, the most sought after forward in the entire UFA pool?  Where are those words?  You don’t have to post a link, maybe just a quote.

“His words” said nothing about upgrading the offense AT ALL.  Babcock said he thought Holland might be looking for a top six forward, but NOBODY has said they were even LOOKING at Richards.

His words.

Stuart is getting significantly less, or he can leave.

No he’s not.  You’re a buffoon.  You don’t sign a #3/4 defenseman so that you can get rid of your other #3/4 defenseman.

Stuart’s not going anywhere, and if he did, you’re not going to replace a guy as good as him without spending at least what you’re paying him and probably more.

A cap cut? Did I read that right lol?

Yes, you did, because in order to pay him $8M a year now, that means he’ll have years at the end where he’s making $1-2M.  Meanwhile we KNOW there are teams out there that can afford to and WILL offer him contracts that are $8M across the board, with no years at the end tailing down to a million dollars.

Again, he is THE most prized UFA of the bunch, he’s not going to sign a contract like Zetterberg’s and Holland is not going to OFFER him that type of contract.

or they’ll be gone.

Yeah, and you do realize that Bertuzzi’s and Holmstrom’s roster spots don’t magically disappear, right? They have to be replaced, and it’s hard to replace guys that do what they do for as little as they were paid to do it.  Right?  You do understand that?  Please tell me you do…

:facepalm:

You realize this is the last year of the CBA and everyone.  That is…EVERYONE is predicting a lower cap with a salary roll back next year, right?  You do realize that smart, fiscally responsible teams like the Red Wings aren’t going to be tossing out $60M contracts to UFAs with the uncertainty of what will be happening next year, right?

But you know what?  If we trade Hudler (I’m sure we could get 8 first round picks for him, so that’s good), keep Miller and Eaves at their current salaries (because I like Eaves…), bring up Tatar, Mursak and Smith, have Joey Mac as our backup, let Ericsson walk, re-sign Lidstrom for a million, sign Richards for a million (that’s just the cap hit…we’d actually be paying hill $11M so he’s happy), and if the cap went up to $62 like it’s rumoured to, we could sign Drew Doughty and Shea Weber to offer sheets…giving $10M to Weber and $8M to Doughty (or $9M each, so Drew doesn’t feel bad).

Honestly, if we do that, we could even just tell Lidstrom to get the hell out of here because really, who would need him?

Posted by Garth on 06/02/11 at 01:03 PM ET

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Sorry, my bad.  My math was wrong.  We could only offer Weber and Doughty $8.5M each.  I hope that doesn’t screw up my plans.

The good thing though is that we’d still have $850K left so that maybe we could trade Filppula for Daniel & Henrik Sedin at the deadline because Holland could probably convince Mike Gillis and the league to allow the Cancks to eat all but $1.75M of each of their salaries.

This is going to be an AWESOME f*cking year!!!!

Posted by Garth on 06/02/11 at 01:07 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Also, I hate to stab everybody’s bubble right in the ass, but Patrick Eaves is not going to re-sign for $750k.  He spent time on the top line.  He played himself out of the rotation.  He’s better than a $750K contract.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/02/11 at 01:17 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Patrick Eaves is not going to re-sign for $750k.

No, he’s going to be resigned for $3m per year with a cap hit of $750k.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 06/02/11 at 01:29 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Posted by SnLO from Meeesheegan on 06/02/11 at 12:29 PM ET

I love you bastards.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/02/11 at 04:34 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Why isn’t anyways pretending Zach Parise onto the team damnit?!  I’ll take him over Richards.  We can trade Jiri Hudler to Columbus for 1st 2nd and 3rd round picks and use our picks to give the Devils for Parise.

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/02/11 at 05:30 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

anyone*

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/02/11 at 05:46 PM ET

Avatar

We can trade Jiri Hudler to Columbus for 1st 2nd and 3rd round picks and use our picks to give the Devils for Parise.

We could just trade Hudler to Jersey for Parise and Jersey’s next four 1st round picks!

Posted by Garth on 06/02/11 at 05:59 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

if we did that we’d still have to sign him Garth, picks would only get us his rights… use your head… geeze…

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/02/11 at 08:13 PM ET

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if we did that we’d still have to sign him Garth, picks would only get us his rights… use your head… geeze…


Well, what’s league minimum?

Posted by Garth on 06/03/11 at 12:17 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Does the July trip, rule out a September trip for the prospects tourney?

I am looking around town. For something.  I thought there was WiFi at Centre Ice?

Going in September, weather permitting wink And there is WiFi, but it’s not public, at least not during training camp. They’re…unpleasant to deal with. To say the least.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/03/11 at 07:16 AM ET

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JJ: “Brad Richards may sign a long-term front-loaded deal, but he’s probably going to get much better offers.  It would be nice if all of the pieces fit exactly like you say and you have a point that the Wings can probably afford two of the three guys you mentioned, but your plan involves not just one or two numbers with which I disagree.  They involve a lot of pieces falling just perfectly where they shouldn’t be expected to.  Should Holland try to sign everybody under your plan?  Absolutely damn right he should.  Jimmy Howard should also try stopping 100% of the shots he faces next season.”

“YOU HAVE A POINT THAT THE WINGS CAN PROBABLY AFFORD TWO OF THE THREE GUYS YOU MENTIONED, but your plan involves not just one or two numbers with which I disagree.”

EXACTLY!

Jesus, that’s the exact point. Even if you disagree with some of the numbers, that’s the whole point, that there is SO much cap room, even if I’ve undershot some players, you can still afford Brad Richards AND Pitkanen (or whoever you want).

How is that bad? How does that all of a sudden shoot down my idea? “You said we could have Richards, Pitkanen, AND Markov or Erhoff, but I think you can only get Brad Richards and Pitkanen. NO DEAL! BAD IDEA!”

I honestly think people just hate a good idea when it comes from someone else. How’s this? It’s not really an amazing idea. It’s pretty simple, really, and I take no credit. I’m sure you all would have thought of this too if you had taken the time I took to go over the cap hits and all that. Okay? So can we get past the “I think this guy might take 500k more than you mentioned, so therefore your idea is stupid” crap, and get to the “I like the main idea, even if no one can ever predict the exact cap hits players will make in the future” part already?

JJ, as for your claims on the caphits themselves, you think Lidstrom is more likely to make 6 million than 5… What I’ve read from most other people is they expect he will take a discount. If he’s coming back, it’s not going to be for the money, it’s going to be to win a championship. Doesn’t mean he’s going to take 500k, he still will want to add a good number to his bank account, but 5 million seems entirely reasonable to me, and most I think agree with that. To say it’s more likely he makes 6 million is incorrect. He may end up making 6 million, but it’s certainly not more likely. Regardless, we’re splitting hairs. The main idea of my post is what’s important. I wish someone would get that…

As for the backup goaltender, Chris Osgood is well past his prime, and he’s not going to play 20-25 games if his injuries continue. He’s aging, past his prime, and injury ridden. If he wants to keep playing in the NHL, the Red Wings are his only option. He screams cap minimum salary. Old, aging, injury ridden. To think your reasons are more valid than mine, I just don’t understand that way of thinking by anyone. Maybe you think on the off-chance he’s healthy all season, combined with the fact he’s a veteran, has a history with the team, and is a good leader, means that Ken Holland will give him 1.5 million or so just as sort of a gift, out of respect, because of Osgood’s history with the club, even though Holland knows he has all the leverage, and Osgood could never get that much (or a contract at all) with another NHL club. #1, that would be doing what’s right for the player over what’s right for the team. #2, maybe, it’s possible, but it’s not any more likely than Osgood getting an offer of “cap minimum or we’ll go with someone else.” In fact, it’s far less likely. And to say I don’t know hockey because I suggested an aging, injury ridden backup goaltender would only get 600k… again, this is precisely what makes me think people just hate a good idea if it comes from someone else. You’re just looking for anything to poke a hole in. You’re starting with the position of a backup goalie, and those aren’t paid very much to begin with, and then you’re adding on top of that that the player is old, well past his prime, and injury ridden… that screams cap minimum. Most organizations wouldn’t even sign a player like that to begin with. If he’s coming back, it’s only because he’s Chris Osgood, not because he’s the most talented backup goaltender available for cap minimum. So suggesting that he’ll make 600k, that’s not an absurd suggestion. None of us can predict how much a certain GM will offer a certain player, but certainly my suggestion was not absurd. It’s always possible Holland gives him more out of kindness, but it’s not anymore likely than him offering Osgood 600k (in fact, it’s less likely).

As for Mcdonald, again, these guys have zero leverage. If he doesn’t get the Red Wings backup job, he may be out of an NHL job altogether. Where do you think he’d rather play, the AHL for 100k, or in the NHL, on the Red Wings, for 600k? Again, it’s not an absurd suggestion. It’s an obvious, logical suggestion. And when you suggest a logical suggestion is not only wrong, but absurd, and indicative of not knowing hockey at all, that’s what ends up being absurd, and it makes you look like you’re just trying to be disagreeable.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/03/11 at 03:11 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

JJ, as for your claims on the caphits themselves, you think Lidstrom is more likely to make 6 million than 5… What I’ve read from most other people is they expect he will take a discount. If he’s coming back, it’s not going to be for the money, it’s going to be to win a championship. Doesn’t mean he’s going to take 500k, he still will want to add a good number to his bank account, but 5 million seems entirely reasonable to me, and most I think agree with that. To say it’s more likely he makes 6 million is incorrect. He may end up making 6 million, but it’s certainly not more likely.

$6M is a discount from $6.2.

I have heard no claim from anybody that has a realistic expectation to know one way or another anything about how much Lidstrom is going to make.  I shared my opinion of the likelihood.  I believe it’s more likely that Lidstrom will make $6M than it is that he’ll make 5.  My opinion here is not incorrect, it just happens to be one that you don’t agree with based on a nebulous group that also has no real basis for their opinions.  If more people agree with you than agree with me on Lidstrom’s cap hit, that still won’t alter anything.  The majority of Wings fans weren’t even considering Marian Hossa as a candidate in free agency until Holland had signed him.

To think your reasons are more valid than mine, I just don’t understand that way of thinking by anyone

This is a very complex thought process that I feel you didn’t let yourself get into because you were too busy being defensive about somebody who sees things differently.  Your failure to understand my thought process is exactly that… YOUR failure.

If Chris Osgood can’t play 20-25 games, I don’t want him as the Red Wings’ backup.  I want a backup that can play enough games to keep Howard fresh enough for the playoffs next season.  Osgood is a red herring in this entire discussion.  Throw his name completely out the window and consider ANY OTHER goaltender.  Do you want the Red Wings’ primary backup playing a paltry amount so you can save a bit of cap space?  If so, you and I have a very large gap in the considerations regarding what’s best for this team.

Please stop pretending like we’re all shooting down your ideas because of some misplaced jealousy or “people of the cave” mentality here.  You have made a lot of assumptions and jumped to a lot of conclusions in your posts.  You’re not a misunderstood genius, you’re simply acting like a dickhole.  Even when I try to give you credit for something, you respond by talking down to people. 

And when you suggest a logical suggestion is not only wrong, but absurd, and indicative of not knowing hockey at all, that’s what ends up being absurd, and it makes you look like you’re just trying to be disagreeable.

Do you want to know what’s logical?  Look at Capgeek and goaltender spending.  You know what?  Don’t bother, I just did.  The AVERAGE spending for a backup goaltender in the NHL is $1.12M.  There are only three teams in the entire league that spend as low as $600k or lower on their backups.  Pittsburgh is one the only one of them that’s not a mess (Calgary and Carolina are the other two).  Looking objectively at Pittsburgh, they’re goddamn blessed that they have Brent Johnson signed for as low as they do.  If he weren’t locked into that contract for another two years, you can bet your ass he’d be getting more than $600K on the open market. 

To assume that you’re going to or even SHOULD have a $600k backup shows an EA GM-level of thinking. 

What ends up shooting down your idea is that you’re building the room for Brad Richards (the lynchpin of your entire time spent here enlightening us) by undercutting your talent, saying “adios” to quality guys, assuming that a guy who’s going to command whatever he wants is going to lock himself in to a long-term deal that will likely end up paying him beneath his career earnings potential while also giving a deal to a free agent that the Red Wings have only given to home-grown talent, assuming that the end of the current CBA is going to be absolutely no problem for the future of any team’s spending capability, and otherwise pretending that rainbows shoot out of your butthole.

Reread the entire thing as people not telling you that your idea is “bad”, just that it’s “unreasonable”

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/03/11 at 03:49 PM ET

Avatar

I’m going to simplify this for everyone.

With 9 forwards (Hudler gone), 3 defenseman, and Jimmy Howard, the Red Wings have 38 million in cap already spent, with 24.5 million in cap space. Not too much, but we’ll try to make do.

Hudler gone means one top-9 forward needs to be added to replace him. The other 3 forwards needed are two 4th liners, and the 13th forward (Emmerton or Mursak). With Rafalski gone, one of the four defenseman needed needs to be a top 4 defenseman. The other three need to be a #5, #6, and #7 (Kindl). The goaltender needed is a back-up goaltender, since Howard is already signed as the starter.

So to fill all these needs, there is 24.5 million in cap space. But first, Lidstrom needs to be re-signed. He will take 5-6 million in cap space. That leaves 19 million in space left. The two fourth liners needed will take up between 1.5 and 2 million in space. 19 - 2 = 17 million left in space. The 13th forward, Emmerton, will take .5 million. 16.5 million in cap space left. The #5 defenseman will make 1.1 million, the same as Salei made this season. 16.5 - 1.1 = 15.4 mil in cap space left. The #6 defenseman is Brendan Smith, and he makes .875. 15.4 - .875 = 14.5 million. The #7 defenseman is Jakub Kindl, and he makes .833 against the cap.

That’s 13.7 million in cap space left, with 12 forwards signed, 6 defensemen signed, and a starting goaltender. Since I’ve been using high estimates for everyone so far to appease all the readers who hate good ideas from other people, we’ll say Chris Osgood or Joey Macdonald gets 1 million to be the backup goaltender.

13.7 - 1 = 12.7 million in cap space remaining. 12 forwards signed, 6 defensemen signed, two goaltenders signed. In real life, there would likely be a few more million left. But it doesn’t really matter. Like I told you guys in my earlier posts, even in the worst case scenario, you can sign two star free agents.

Well, there you go. 12.7 million in cap space, you already have 12 forwards, 6 defenseman, and your two goaltenders. All you need to fill out the roster is one forward, and one defenseman.

That’s one 6.7 million dollar forward, and one 6 million dollar defenseman.

That good enough for you?

7.5 million per year on Brad Richards (cap hit), 5.2 million on Joni Pitkanen.

8 million per year on Brad Richards, 4.7 million on Joni Pitkanen (or whoever).

This is the worst case scenario I was talking about. You guys didn’t understand the concept of the worst case scenario while I outlined the normal/realistic scenario, so now I’ve outlined the worst case scenario. Eaves, Miller, and Osgood/Macdonald are all overpaid here, with Eaves and Miller both on raises compared to this season. (You could find 4th liner UFAs just as good for 600-800k). Oh, and Macdonald, rofl. I had no idea he was making 550 last season. J.J, jesus man, you must feel stupid now. “Suggesting that the backup goaltender in your scenario who will play 20-25 games will only make 600k makes me think you don’t know anything about hockey.”

You’re right man, Macdonald only made 550 last season, not 600. Oops!

Also, Lidstrom is slotted in here at 5.5 million. He will likely get closer to 5.

Bottom line, you all said the Wings wouldn’t be able to afford a Brad Richards after signing Lidstrom, but I’ve shown here, CONCLUSIVELY, not only can they sign Richards, even overpay him, they can also sign a top pairing defenseman, or even two top 4 defenseman.

Brad Richards 6.5 cap hit, first #4 defenseman 3 mil cap hit, 2nd #4 defenseman 3 mil cap hit = 12.5 million.

It’s close getting three players in there in this worst case version of my plan, but it’s possible. However, in real life, Holland should be able to do much better than this.

Brad Richards 7 mil cap hit, #3 defenseman 4 mil cap hit, upgraded gritty 3rd liner 1.5 million cap hit = 12.5 million.

These are all things that could be done even in the worst case scenario where most the returning free agents get overpaid, and there are plenty of other things you could do as well. The bottom line is at worst, Ken Holland will have 12 million + in cap space to sign just two players. That means he can sign two elite players, and signing two elite players is what makes you a much better team.

SO WHY ISN’T HE PLANNING ON DOING THIS?

That was the initial question I asked. I assumed everyone here had the same level of base knowledge I did about how much cap space he has, which is why I asked you all the question about why he doesn’t seem like he’s planning on making good use of it. Instead of answering, you all started arguing about how he doesn’t really have that much cap room. I explained why he does, using realistic numbers, but you all kept arguing. Now I’ve really laid it out with overshot numbers so that there can be no denying the facts any longer. So maybe now we can evolve a little, go from arguing the facts behind the question to accepting them, and actually discussion the question, which is a very interesting one.

You hear that? I’m looking to have an intelligent conversation about the Wings offseason. If you’re out there, someone, anyone, reading this, maybe you don’t have an account because you’ve seen everyone else who posts here, but you’re not alone, I can assure you. The person alone here is me. I’m the only one of my kind commenting here it seems. So please, make an account, respond to this, and we can talk the offseason. I’m interested to hear what you have to say. You don’t even have to respond to the thicker ones.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/03/11 at 03:53 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

J.J, jesus man, you must feel stupid now. “Suggesting that the backup goaltender in your scenario who will play 20-25 games will only make 600k makes me think you don’t know anything about hockey.”

You’re right man, Macdonald only made 550 last season, not 600. Oops!

Because McDonald played 20 games, right?

I’m going to be very interested to see what Ken Holland actually does versus what your cloud-cuckoo-land level of thinking feels.

Or are you also smarter than Ken Holland?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/03/11 at 04:12 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

You hear that? I’m looking to have an intelligent conversation about the Wings offseason. If you’re out there, someone, anyone, reading this, maybe you don’t have an account because you’ve seen everyone else who posts here, but you’re not alone, I can assure you. The person alone here is me. I’m the only one of my kind commenting here it seems. So please, make an account, respond to this, and we can talk the offseason. I’m interested to hear what you have to say. You don’t even have to respond to the thicker ones.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/03/11 at 02:53 PM ET

Speaking to people this way is not a good way to spark a conversation.  I have no desire to discuss anything with someone who obviously believes that their opinion is better than mine, or the other members here.

You asking people to make an account when you are not logged in seems rather odd.  If you feel so isolated here, perhaps you should look for other sites that better suit you, and were you feel more integrated.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 06/03/11 at 04:13 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

And of course, I meant “where you feel more integrated.”  I really wish we could edit posts sometimes.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 06/03/11 at 04:14 PM ET

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“My opinion here is not incorrect, it just happens to be one that you don’t agree with based on a nebulous group that also has no real basis for their opinions.”

Again, you think anyone who doesn’t share you opinion has no real basis for their opinion, whereas you do have one for yours. That’s not “MY” failure. This is exactly the phenomenon I pointed out. I told you most people agree with the 5 million estimate for Lidstrom. Did I say they were nebulous? No, I just said they were people that shared my opinion. You came up with nebulous all by yourself. How? You don’t know these people. You don’t know their reasons for agreeing with my estimate. Nope, all you know is that they disagree with you. And that’s how you came up with nebulous. See what’s happening here? That is YOUR failure, YOUR prejudice, YOUR ignorance, and YOUR narcissism.

“Chris Osgood can’t play 20-25 games, I don’t want him as the Red Wings’ backup.”

You don’t get to decide how many games he plays before you re-sign him. You don’t have a crystal ball. This is a ridiculous comment.

I also included Macdonald as a backup option. He’s only making 550k this year, therefore re-signing him for 600k next year is a completely reasonable suggestion. I’ll take whoever is wiling to sign for the minimum if it means having the cap space to sign Brad Richards. You should look in the mirror. I’ve given you a way to add Brad Richards and Joni Pitkanen to the team, and all you can focus on is the backup goaltenders and 4th liners.

“There are only three teams in the entire league that spend as low as $600k or lower on their backups.”

You forgot your team, the Detroit Red Wings. And I did not say the average NHL backup goaltender cost 600k, I said Osgood or Macdonald would. It is Ken Holland who has said he plans to re-sign Osgood if Osgood wants to come back, otherwise he’ll sign Macdonald. The reason the average backup goaltender costs more than 600k is because the average backup goaltender is better than either Osgood or Macdonald. But Ken Holland seems to think the backup goaltender’s ability level isn’t very important (and he’s right), so he’s happy sticking with either Osgood or Macdonald, probably because they cost less. What the average backup makes has nothing to do with what the Red Wings will pay. The average NHL team probably spends 4 million on goaltending every season, whereas the Wings have always spent much less. That’s because they don’t value goaltending as much as other teams. Why would the backup goaltender be any exception? God, it’s like I’m talking to an infant. Osgood is old, passed his prime, and injury prone, and has zero leverage in contract negotiations. Macdonald probably has a choice between the Wings and the AHL. Signing one of them to 600k is as simple as “I’m willing to spend 600k on my goaltending, so whichever one of you would like to play with the Red Wings next year for that number is the one who will be our backup next year.”

As for the CBA running out, if the Wings were worried about that, they wouldn’t have given out any contracts that last passed the 12-13 season (let alone big contracts).

“What ends up shooting down your idea is that you’re building the room for Brad Richards (the lynchpin of your entire time spent here enlightening us) by undercutting your talent, saying “adios” to quality guys.”

Brad Richards is a talent. Chris Osgood is utterly replaceable (and it doesn’t even have to be through free agency, he’s actually utterly replaceable with another Red Wing from this past season, Joey Macdonald). Patrick Eaves is utterly replaceable, but I was kind enough to fit him in anyway. Same with Drew Miller.

In fact, I haven’t undercut anything! What are you even talking about?

THE TEAM IS THE ~EXACT~ SAME, EXCEPT BRIAN RAFASKI RETIRED, SO I REPLACED HIM WITH PITKANEN, AND BRAD RICHARDS REPLACED JIRI HUDLER (OH NO! DOWNGRADE!).

If a younger, much healthier Pitkanen can be only as good as an aged, injured Rafalski (he’ll be better, actually, because of Rafalski’s health), then my worst case proposal comes down to Brad Richards vs Jiri Hudler.

Hmm… who is better? I bet you think it’s Hudler. That would be a J.J thing to say.

In my realistic proposal it’s Pitkanen and Rafalski canceling each other out, and Markov/Ehrhoff/Bieksa/Brewer/whoever AND Brad Richards vs Jiri Hudler.

Other than upgrading the team immensely with the Richards over Hudler upgrade, and upgrading the defense, I’ve managed to keep the rest of the team exactly the same.

That’s the whole reason it’s such a great idea. If I’d suggested trading Datsyuk to make room for Richards, that would be a bad idea. It wouldn’t accomplish anything. It would just make the team worse. The whole point is I’ve managed to add really big pieces while losing ZERO big pieces, by, in fact, not losing any pieces at all besides Jiri Hudler.

Before you fire back another insipid post, please, re-read these a few teams, and maybe you’ll get it. The roster is exactly the same, except Richards instead of Hudler, and either Pitkanen, alone, or Pitkanen and a second high-end defenseman added. (I guess you could say he replaces Salei, but Salei will be gone regardless because his contract has run out, unless you were to re-sign him, which you wouldn’t need to with Pitkanen and another high-end defenseman signed, and Smith making the team).

My idea is fool-proof, exact, and a very good idea. Let’s discuss it. You’ve tried poking holes in it over and over again, and I’ve explained over and over and over again why you’re wrong, why there’s no holes in it to pick at in the first place, why you’re missing the point, blah blah blah. I finally outlined the worst case scenario very clearly, so now there can be zero doubt. Everything you need to know is in that worst case scenario post. Like I said, the idea is a good one, there’s nothing to argue about it. I will discuss the idea with you as it stands, but I’m done correcting your misconceptions. You keep trying to argue each contract #, when it doesn’t even matter. You can add 500k to one player’s contract, subtract 500k from another’s, it doesn’t matter.

You can change all the numbers, I can still make it work with at least Brad Richards and Joni Pitkanen, without losing anyone on the Wings besides Jiri Hudler. And that’s why it’s such a good idea. Big additions, very little subtraction. Either you can accept that someone else had a good idea, and we can all discuss it like intelligent people, or you can’t, and I’ll discuss it with the people who can.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/03/11 at 04:18 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

I’m going to be very interested to see what Ken Holland actually does versus what your cloud-cuckoo-land level of thinking feels.

Or are you also smarter than Ken Holland?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/03/11 at 03:12 PM ET

I swear I’ll stop spamming soon!  Ken Holland will keep his cards closer to his chest than usual, I think, this off-season.  I am looking forward to being dazzled by his choices later this summer.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 06/03/11 at 04:18 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Please calm down and keep the personal jabbing to a minimum here. The playground lady will send you to the timeout wall of shame!

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/03/11 at 04:20 PM ET

Avatar

“Speaking to people this way is not a good way to spark a conversation.  I have no desire to discuss anything with someone who obviously believes that their opinion is better than mine, or the other members here.”

I have no idea who you are, or how intelligent you are. I was talking about J.J and the others who blatantly misunderstand everything I write. My opinions aren’t better than his, my logical, deductive reasoning is. I am writing in numbers here, in math, in logic. I don’t have problems with his opinions, just his inability to understand the most basic points. I feel like I’m teaching a five year old his times tables, and no matter how many different ways I painstakingly explain the concept, he just refuses to understand it.

So to come here now and say you have no desire to discuss something with me, well if you’d had any interest in discussing it with me, you would have already. Jumping in only once I’ve done something that makes you “not want to discuss something” with me just means you never wanted to to begin with, but now you’ve found an opportunity to berate me, so you’re speaking up. I’ve simply expressed my frustration. If you want to pretend to base your opinion off me on that, that’s your prerogative. But if people like J.J are going to troll and be narcissistic here, I’m going to call a spade a spade. He wasn’t just thick to me, he was thick in an outwards fashion, about everything outside of himself. He even called some anonymous people nebulous. “They’re not me, and they don’t agree with me, well that’s because they’re nebulous.” “Who’s nebulous?” “Well, them!” “But who exactly?” “Them!” “But who is ‘them’?” “Well.. I… WELL THEY’RE NOT ME!”

If you’re really dying to berate something, berate that sophomore narcissism, not me.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/03/11 at 04:27 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

ENOUGH.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/03/11 at 04:29 PM ET

Avatar

“Please calm down and keep the personal jabbing to a minimum here. The playground lady will send you to the timeout wall of shame!”

Thank you! I don’t understand why you don’t just ban people like him. But at least you’re saying something.

Honestly, I don’t mind the personal jabbing. I would just like to have an intelligent conversation, but he understands nothing, and disagrees with everything. He doesn’t think we should sign Brad Richards because we might not be able to afford Chris Osgood if we do. It’s ludicrous. And then of course when I say as much, I’m the bad guy who thinks my opinions are better than everyone else’s.

Yes, my opinion that having Brad Richards is more important than having Chris Osgood IS the better, correct opinion in this instance. Luckily for J.J, with my overall idea, we can have both, so it’s not an issue. But he doesn’t understand that either.

Thanks for speaking up George. I’ve said my ideas here. I thought I could maybe find a nice place to discuss them, but obviously this isn’t the best forum for discussions, so I’m just going to leave my posts here and stop responding for a little while. At least those looking to read about the offseason will be able to find them here and read them, and maybe someone will even want to discuss them at some point.

Have a good one guys. Enjoy the weekend. Get out some. Especially you, J.J. You seem like you need it.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/03/11 at 04:35 PM ET

Avatar

Sorry I dont see your posts until after I post mine, George, and I thought you just meant him. I guess you want everyone to stop because you know he’s not mature enough to stop until everyone else does. That’s a good idea but I have to go regardless. Later everyone smile

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/03/11 at 04:37 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.