Kukla's Korner

The Malik Report

Red Wings overnight report: More on Lidstrom’s return and the Wings’ roster moves to come

Early on Monday morning, the Red Wings officially announced that Nicklas Lidstrom would return for his 20th NHL season, signing a one-year, $6.2 million contract. I had asked Paul to text message me and/or call when the Nick news came about ten days ago, and while Expressen’s Gunnar Nordstrom tipped Lidstrom’s hand for him, I popped up with a start when my cell phone’s text message alert jingled me from a restless night’s worth of sleep and got to work.

Relieved. Unbelievably relieved. As Ken Holland suggested and columnists pointed out during the mid-day and evening crops of columns, the Red Wings’ off-season renovations hinged upon the fulcrum that was Lidstrom’s future, and as Ken Holland suggested to the Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson, the Wings can weather the storm that is Brian Rafalski’s sudden retirement, but losing both Rafalski and Lidstrom, well…

“If we had lost both (players), it would have been devastating to our blue-line ... these are two elite puck-moving defencemen,” said Holland, who is likely paying his captain about $6 million for the one season.

As it turned out, Lidstrom simply wanted to have everybody in the fold and decide whether he was ready to fully commit to the off-season work that’s involved in preparing physically and mentally for an NHL season, and he probably made his final decision this past weekend with his family in tow for, as Nordstrom noted, a vacation in California. Lidstrom simply wasn’t going to return if he wasn’t fully committed to playing and didn’t believe that he could still compete at a still Norris Trophy-caliber level

“At my own age, I still have to get motivated. It gets tougher every year. After the playoffs, you’re drained and mentally fatigued. You have to find the fire again,” said Lidstrom. “I can’t just show up and play 15 or 20 minutes. If my level drops off and I’m a sixth or seventh defenceman, I probably wouldn’t be playing. I admired Chelly (Chris Chelios), who was still playing in his high 40s. His ice time dropped, but he accepted it because of his love of the game. If that happened to me, I wouldn’t have as much fun. I do have expectations. I usually play against the top lines with a goal of shutting them down. I’m used to playing 23-25 minutes, night in and night out. Two seasons ago, I thought I should have played better and, this past season, I wanted to prove I could still be an impact player. Getting nominated again (for the Norris) is a great feeling and it proves I can still be a top guy. If I’d taken a step back, it might have been a different decision today.”

Lidstrom said the Red Wings “really wanted me to come back because they were losing Brian ... I knew Raffi was on the trainer’s table a lot but it never crossed my mind that he’d hang them up.

“But even though they wanted me to return, I had to know in my own mind that I had the motivation to start working out for the long season. You start working out in June and, when you get older, you have to work even harder. You cut any corners.”

Now that Lidstrom’s locked in, Ken Holland will get down to the business of attempting to retain Jonathan Ericsson (who could get more money elsewhere), Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller, and I can’t emphasize enough how many times over the past two or three weeks that he’s suggested he plans on “exploring options” which include making a trade to upgrade his roster.

Even with a huge chunk of change to spend on the free agent market due to both Rafalski’s retirement, the cap’s increase to $63 to $64 million and the fact that Holland won’t inform Kris Draper and Chris Osgood whether they’ll return until after he’s surveyed the market (per Capgeek.com, you’re looking at $1.583 million for Draper and $1.416 million for Osgood), and James Wisniewski or Christian Ehrhoff clearly the team’s targets to replace Rafalski on July 1st…

The free agent market is quite thin everywhere except on the goaltending front, and even going into a potential lockout year, it’s entirely possible that the Brooks Lachs of the world will be massively overpaid as GM’s dole out bucks and long-term deals like there’s no tomorrow, with the bidding getting particularly fierce due to the market’s lack of depth.

The Wings have obviously been in contact with and have done their homework on Jaromir Jagr, but between the fact that he’s still seeking out teams to wine and dine him (Pittsburgh on Monday, and depending on who you believe, the Canadiens, Rangers and/or Capitals are either in the mix or have lost interest) and, as Pro Hockey Talk’s Matt Reitz and the Hockey Writers’ Mike Colligan suggest, Jagr possibly courting as much salary as possible to off-set his purchase of a 70% stake in his hometown team, Kladno HC (iDnes.cz and CTK report that the sale’s officially official today), it’s Jagr’s motives which seem suspect.

So while you, me and the Red Wings breathe a huge sigh of relief, as the Free Press’s Helene St. James notes...

“I’m very excited Nick has decided to come back for the 2011 season,” teammate Danny Cleary said. “I think I can speak for the entire Red Wing nation in saying this: Nick is our captain, our best defenseman, our leader. He’s the guy that drives the bus for us. He had a great season last year and is up for another Norris Trophy, so, at age 41, he’s not slowing down. I look forward to receiving tape-to-tape passes from Nick again. Thank God for that.”

And the incomparable Lidstrom won’t rule out continuing to play (St. James eloquently explains why Lidstrom remains the team’s best player at 41)...

Pavel Datsyuk is the most talented player on the team—he’s in the top three in all of hockey—but it’s still Lidstrom whom the Wings can least afford to lose. Nobody else calms the bench the way Lidstrom can. Nobody else is harder for opposing superstars to try to outmaneuver. Take Datsyuk out of the lineup, and the Wings can shuffle their forwards and still field two very powerful lines. Take out Lidstrom, and there’s no hiding it.

General manager Ken Holland said Monday he didn’t even want to think about a lineup without Lidstrom. That reality is, of course, in the future. But it’s avoided for now. Lidstrom was asked three different ways Monday whether 2011-12 will be it, but, with Lidstromian consistency, he answered the same way each time:

“I take it year by year,” he said, “because I want to make sure that I’m motivated, that I can still play at a high level. That’s why I’ve taken it year by year the last couple of years. At my age, I have to be motivated to play. I can’t just show up and play 15-20 minutes. I have to be motivated. If I’m motivated, I have fun, too. And I have to have fun, too, otherwise I wouldn’t be playing.”

The Wings haven’t missed the playoffs since Lidstrom joined them in 1991-92. He often has talked of how he came here from his native Sweden not knowing what to expect, not knowing how long he’d be here. Twenty years later, he’s still building on his legend, superlatively.

Lidstrom reminded the press that he expects his team to maintain the same standard of excellence that he requires of himself, as the Detroit News’s Bob Wojnowski suggests...

“I’ve never had any doubt in my mind they’ve tried to put the best product on the ice, and that helps my decision,” said Lidstrom, who has won four Stanley Cups here. “Rafalski leaving was a big surprise to me, and I knew they wanted me to come back even more. As you get older, you have to work out even longer to stay in shape. I wanted to make sure I had the motivation and the commitment.”

With Rafalski out the door, Draper and Osgood likely done, two assistant coaches to hire (the Hockey News’s Ken Campbell reported that Ken Hitchcock turned Mike Babcock’s offer to join the team down, making it all but inevitable that Bob Boughner and/or Pete DeBoer will fill out Babcock’s shoulders by the time the Wings’ pre-season starts—did I mention that the Wings released their pre-season sked on Monday?), and in my estimation, Eaves and Miller likely to return, but Jonathan Ericsson an even bet to either remain with the Wings or test the free agent market knowing that he can score a career-best payday, Jan Mursak and Cory Emmerton out of waiver options and Doug Janik’s contract shifting to a one-way deal, the Wings are a team in flux, and Holland faced a significant challenge in keeping the team up to Lidstrom’s and his own standards.

Wojnowski’s take as to Holland’s to-do list reads as follows…

Because Canadiens defenseman James Wisniewski is a right-handed shooter, he could be a decent target when the free-agent market opens July 1. Another possibility is a bold trade for a younger defenseman, such as rising Thrashers 20-year-old Zach Bogosian. The Red Wings aren’t sure if they’ll re-sign 27-year-old Jonathan Ericsson.

“Obviously, teams know we have a need on defense and we have cap space, so I’m getting calls now I didn’t really have in the past,” Holland said. “We’re looking to be active. We have some money to spend, but we don’t want to spend for the sake of spending.”

The Red Wings make it easy for players to fit in, an atmosphere created long ago by the Ilitches and Jimmy Devellano. They also make it hard for players to leave.

Right now, veterans Chris Osgood and Kris Draper are anxiously wondering if they’ll be back, and those will be excruciating decisions for Holland. Both represent the spirit of the Red Wings and serve as valuable mentors.

Somehow, the Red Wings must change a bit without changing too much. They’re only two seasons removed from a second straight Stanley Cup Final appearance, and I think everyone saw in the Bruins’ Cup run how narrow the margin for success can be. One of these summers will be the last for Lidstrom, and then the team really will change. But until then, appreciate it as long as it keeps happening. Nick isn’t done, and neither are the Red Wings.

The Detroit Free Press went so far as to post an 11-image gallery of potential free agent targets (including Marty Turco, Johan Hedberg, Tomas Kopecky, Tomas Kaberle, Ed Jovanovski, Kevin Bieksa—though I can’t imagine the Canucks letting him go—Andrei Markov, who’s all kinds of scary after two successive ACL reconstructions that didn’t take, and Joni Pitkanen, who the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff suggested via Twitter does not have fans in the Wings’ front office; and the Detroit News went with a 20-image Lidstrom gallery instead)...

And St. James weighed in with her take on the Wings’ situation, noting that Brendan Smith might duke it out with Janik for the right to play alongside Jakub Kindl…

In addition to Lidstrom, who agreed to a one-year deal worth $6.2 million, Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart and Jakub Kindl are under contract. Prospect Brendan Smith, a first-round pick from ‘07, will be given “every opportunity to make our team,” Holland said, and minor-leaguer Doug Janik is going to get a look, too. Holland is in talks with Jonathan Ericsson, but Ericsson might opt to test the open market when free agency begins July 1. The Wings are going to be eyeing that market, too, although Holland is taking calls from colleagues regarding possible trades.

“We’ve obviously got Brian Rafalski’s cap dollars, so we plan to try to be aggressive on July 1,” Holland said. “We’d rather have Brian Rafalski back for the ‘11-12 season, but Rafi has different priorities in his life. We’re looking to be active on July 1, but at the same time, we’re not just going out there looking to spend a bunch of money.”

Some of that money might go toward forward Jaromir Jagr. The Wings have told Jagr’s camp they’re interested at the right price and are waiting for Jagr to decide what he wants to do. He’d get more money if he stayed in Russia, and it’s believed he’s also in talks with Pittsburgh. It certainly doesn’t hurt the Red Wings’ cause that Jagr now knows he’d be fed pucks by Lidstrom as well as Pavel Datsyuk.

St. James believes that Wisniewski’s the favorite defensive target, too, but her “x factor” is Ed Jovanovski…

One of the guys the Wings like is Canton’s James Wisniewski, best known to Detroit fans for accusing Tomas Holmstrom of throwing a “gutless” elbow during the 2009 playoffs, when Wisniewski was with Anaheim. Wisniewski split last season between the Islanders and Canadiens. He’s only 27, and while at 5-feet-11 he doesn’t tower, he’s what coach Mike Babcock would call a “thick body,” a 200-plus pounder who is tough to move. And he shoots right, something the Wings lack with Rafalski gone and Patrick Eaves only a maybe to return.

Other potential unrestricted free-agent defensemen include Christian Ehrhoff and Kevin Bieksa of Vancouver and Tomas Kaberle of Boston. Phoenix’s Ed Jovanovski, a native of Windsor, is 34, but the Wings would rather sign him short-term than overpay for a younger guy.

“We’re committed to putting the very best team on the ice to try to compete and be a playoff team,” Holland said. “As we’ve seen the last couple of years—once you get in, it’s wide open.”

The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan handicaps the Wings’ probable moves by duly noting that Holland plans on spending his money wisely, and that Ruslan Salei isn’t totally out of the picture…

Holland said he’s continuing to negotiate with Ericsson, while a decision to offer a contract to Salei will be made in the next 10 days. Doug Janik has a one-way contract next season, and could be the seventh or eighth defenseman.

The one addition from within the Red Wings organization could be rookie Brendan Smith.
...
The first step for Holland could be via trade. With the draft this weekend, trade talk could be heating up.

“We’ve received a few calls over the last week or so,” Holland said of potential trade opportunities. “Teams out there know we have a need on defense and we have cap space.”

Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula are two assets Holland could dangle in a possible trade.

On the free-agent market — considered down by most experts — some defensemen that could be available July 1 include Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, Christian Ehrhoff and Sami Salo, Montreal’s James Wisniewski (Canton), Carolina’s Joni Pitkanen, and Phoenix’s Ed Jovanovski (Windsor).

And not expecting the Free Press’s Evil Drew Sharp to offer his suggestions by straddling the gloom-and-doom line (hey, I don’t have blind faith in Ken Holland, either, but three Cups in thirteen seasons, four Stanley Cup Final appearances and five Western Conference Final appearances ain’t bad):

Holland can’t ignore the Wings’ long-term future just to keep Lidstrom happy and motivated for another season. Rafalski’s retirement gives the Wings an extra $6 million under the salary cap, but Holland can’t recklessly throw money at veterans just to create a buzz that the Wings are back after successive second-round playoff exits to San Jose. It’s a balancing act. The Wings will be active when free agency begins in 10 days, but they cannot be dollar-foolish. Lidstrom trusts that Holland will find the proper mix of youth and experience.

“We don’t want to spend money for the sake of spending and holding press conferences,” Holland said.

It didn’t cost the Wings much money to bring home Mike Modano last summer, but it was considered a big deal. Big enough to lure owner Mike Ilitch from the shadows for a news conference that framed Modano as the potential missing piece to a long Stanley Cup run. Remember Ilitch’s “Cuppy! Cuppy! Cuppy!” line from that afternoon, responding to a question about the importance of the signing?

But Modano had nothing left.

The thought of luring Jaromir Jagr to the Joe after a three-year hiatus from the NHL has spurred plenty of interest, but can he really help next season? Or is he another Hall of Famer reduced to career fumes by the time he gets to Detroit?

Holland is breathing a lot easier with Lidstrom coming back, but it doesn’t make his job of keeping the Wings at an elite level any easier.

My eyebrows actually rose halfway up my forehead (which extends to about an inch above my ears on the back of my head thanks to my solar panel) when Paul posted this tidbit from the Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo, because this rumor’s become so persistent that it seems like an inevitability now:

Some trade scuttlebutt around the NHL as the draft approaches:
...
• Detroit: Could be dangling Jiri Hudler and/or Valtteri Filppula for a puck-moving defenseman to replace retired Brian Rafalski

I’m going to go back out on my typing monkey’s limb here. Hudler, I could see—his cap hit is $2.78 million and he’s in the last year of a contract that pays him, again, via Capgeek, $3 million real-world dollars, but Filppula’s flat $3 million cap hit belies two years at $3.5 million per season in real-world dollars left on his deal, and, put simply…

You don’t create a hole in your roster to fill another, at least unless you’ve got somebody lined up to play as the team’s second-line center when Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk play on the same line. If you look at Capgeek’s free agent finder, which only lists players as “forwards,” you see quite a few wingers, but not many natural centers (Tim Connolly? Tomas Fleischmann?). Unless agents have been talking in hypothetical, yes-no questions like, “Player X is available at Y dollars for Z years, are you interested?” with agents, or he has a center lined up alongside a defenseman, I don’t see the point of moving him, and I don’t see the appeal of having to pay someone who averages 40 points $7 million over two seasons. In that sense, even with Hudler’s struggles accounted for, he’s the more desirable player right now.

Sooner than later, we’ll have our answers, and as we know via DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose, it’s not just, “In Kenny we trust”:

During the Wings’ organizational meetings, the team’s amateur scouts obviously finalized the list of players they’re going to target this Friday and Saturday in St. Paul, but the team’s pro scouts (from Mark Howe to Kirk Maltby, Jim Nill, Ryan Martin (he may be the team’s capologist but I would suggest that you consider him to be the team’s other assistant GM), Babcock and the one member of the coaching staff who remains with the team, video coordinator Keith McKittrick, all weighed in with free agent and trade picks and pans, so the team will make decisions on the draft floor, over the next ten pre-free agency days and on July 1st and thereafter as a management team.

We can also assume that the management team has discussed Lidstrom’s inevitable retirement, so if I may be blunt, I think that the fact that Mitch Albom weighs in with grumbles and gripes about the Wings’ imminent post-Lidstrom demise are...Leftovers from when Steve Yzerman retired and Brendan Shanahan left for New York—and his final comments mar a very solid column:

Lidstrom is the Red Wings’ captain, the man who inherited Steve Yzerman’s stripes. I must say, when he first took over, I wondered if he was too passive, too humble, too quiet for the role. But two years after donning the “C,” Lidstrom led the Wings to the 2008 Stanley Cup in a six-game battle with Pittsburgh. The following year, it was a seven-game Cup final, that one ending in defeat.

Lidstrom clearly has the respect of the locker room, while allowing stars like Datsyuk and Zetterberg to have their due influence. No one’s ever been jealous of Nick. How many players can you say that about?

So the Wings are lucky on a lot of levels today. But Lidstrom admitted he is not Chris Chelios, he doesn’t want to go on forever, doesn’t want to play “15 or 20 minutes a night.” He wants to be productive, top notch and have fun—and for him, having fun is being productive and top notch. He wants to stay at the crest of the wave.

He has done it longer than most, but no one does it forever. So enjoy the news. Enjoy the year. But if I’m the Wings, I’m prepping my best replacement right now. Or next summer could well be a bummer.

The Wings are preparing, and while Lidstrom cannot be replaced, just as Yzerman could not, to suggest that the Wings won’t be able to recover from his eventual departure is…short-sighted. Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart, Brendan Smith, Jakub Kindl, probably Brian Lashoff and whoever the Wings sign this summer (Or make a trade to acquire? Or sign in the summers to come?) will be expected to fill the void by committee, and down the line, the Wings have high hopes for Ben Marshall and Adam Almqvist.

Thankfully, we don’t have to cross that bridge for another year, if not two or three, because Lidstrom has at least one more season’s worth of a hockey future to carve into the ice, and for the moment, that is all that really matters.

Also of Red Wings-related note: If you missed, it, per MLive’s Ansar Khan, here’s the Wings’ pre-season schedule:

Sept. 21—at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

Sept. 22—vs. Philadelphia at London, Ontario, 7 p.m.

Sept. 23—vs. Philadelphia at Joe Louis Arena, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 25—vs. Chicago at Joe Louis Arena, 4 p.m.

Sept. 28—at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

Sept. 30—vs. Toronto at Joe Louis Arena, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 1—at Toronto, 7 p.m.

Oct. 2—vs. Pittsburgh at Joe Louis Arena, 4 p.m.

• I’ve mentioned Wojtek Wolski as a possible target for the Wings should he be bought out by the Rangers, but I need to emphasize that, via the New York Daily News’s Jesse Spector, the Rangers are considering buying out Wolski but have not done so as of yet. Sorry!

• He isn’t a Red Wing anymore, but the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts penned a fascinating article in which former NHL disciplinarian Brian Burke, colleague Joe Nieuwendyk and one Scotty Bowman offer new NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan a little advice as to how to survive the most thankless job in the NHL;

• Jonathan Toews offered a classy comment to the Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc, suggesting that his fellow Selke Trophy finalists deserve serious pats on the back:

“In my opinion, (the Selke) is one of the underrated awards,” Toews, 23, said. “Everyone wants to see who wins the Hart (for MVP) and all these different big-name awards going to the big-time points scorers. But to be in that category with two guys like (the Canucks’) Ryan Kesler and (Red Wings’) Pavel Datsyuk is a big honor. It would be exciting to win that award. I feel like to a certain extent I deserve it, but you have to give credit to those two guys too. In their own way they deserve it as well.”

• Bookmark it for later, methinks: Hakan Andersson spoke to Aftonbladet’s Victor Melander about the Swedish-born players eligible for the 2011 Entry Draft;

• If you were ever wondering how one applies for a Red Wings-sponsored school assembly, here’s the page which explains what the Wings and the Alumni Association do and offers application forms;

• I’m almost almost there in the get-to-camp fund…




• And I want to conclude by clarifying the topic I addressed on Monday night: I’m not asking anyone to engage in anything less than passionate discussion and disagreement, but the name-calling stuff and personal attacks aren’t cool. You’re allowed to suggest that someone’s opinion is invalid, but to call the person silly, stupid, etc. for holding their opinion is a no-go.

Pretty please, please, please just try to treat others as you’d like to be treated. We’re informed fans talking about hockey here, and there’s no hierarchy. If you want to toss, “That’s stupid and you’re stupid” comments toward anyone, I’m paid to deal with your slings and arrows as well as your constructive criticism.

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink
 

Comments

 1 2 >       Next »

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Sorry about the previous, George.  Time differences being what they are…

down the line, the Wings have high hopes for Ben Marshall and Adam Almqvist.

Not forgetting who they might snag Friday or Saturday.  There are some decent blueliners in our range.

But for the immediate future, am I the only one who’s concerned about Wisniewski?  Sure, he could be a hometown return, and he’s a good player, but that team-worst -18 (on a lousy Islanders team, no less), bothers me.  We’re all talking about him, but nobody’s mentioning that, while he has bounced around quite a bit, he’s a paltry +5 on his career.  There’s not much chatter about Ehrhoff—I think everyone is assuming Vancouver will overpay to retain him—but with our cap situation being what it is, we could be in the running for his services.  Sure, he had an aberrant -12 for San Jose a couple of seasons ago, but he’s been steady for the rest of his career.  While we can’t replace Raffi, we can try to get the best available…

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 06/21/11 at 09:04 AM ET

monkey's avatar

From an earlier post:

I know that A2Y was a free-for-all comments-wise,

Why are you discussing Abel to Yzerman in the past tense?

Posted by monkey from Finland on 06/21/11 at 09:35 AM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

Geat question monkey - I was thinking the same thing. The Malik repot and A2Y are the ‘Ying and Yang’ for us RedWing fans.

Posted by joedaiceman on 06/21/11 at 10:10 AM ET

monkey's avatar

I’m hoping it was just a typo.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 06/21/11 at 10:19 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Why are you discussing Abel to Yzerman in the past tense?

Just back from a late lunch, and I found myself wondering the same thing after reading that just before.  I have found that all the comments sections on A2Y are locked…

...Which is a shame, Monkey, because I was going to say, if you think the Zacapa 23 Años is something, you should try the Havana Club 15 Años…Oh wait, you can’t because of the embargo.  Trust me, it’s this whole other world…but then, what do I know, I only developed this taste for rum earlier this year in the Caribbean.  So forget what I just said.

I was wondering if the way it was referred to had anything to do with the locked comments sections…

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 06/21/11 at 10:19 AM ET

monkey's avatar

Just back from a late lunch, and I found myself wondering the same thing after reading that just before.  I have found that all the comments sections on A2Y are locked…

Portents of doom.

Which is a shame, Monkey, because I was going to say, if you think the Zacapa 23 Años is something, you should try the Havana Club 15 Años…Oh wait, you can’t because of the embargo.  Trust me, it’s this whole other world…but then, what do I know, I only developed this taste for rum earlier this year in the Caribbean.  So forget what I just said.

The Cuba embargo went way past stupid many years ago.  If you can’t beat ‘em, trade with ‘em.  Fidel can’t live forever anyway. 

In any case, thanks for the tip, I’ll put it on my list.

Posted by monkey from Finland on 06/21/11 at 10:33 AM ET

Avatar

Any watch fox news this morning? They interviewed Master Chief Bill Houlihan (spelling) about the USS Vinson returning to port.

Posted by wingsnut25 from Cheboygan, MI on 06/21/11 at 10:41 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Just back from a late lunch, and I found myself wondering the same thing after reading that just before.  I have found that all the comments sections on A2Y are locked…

Don’t worry about that, that’s because it’s old post. Paul said that, to allow anonymous commenting, he would have to shut down comments on posts older than a month.

And Lola just tweeted she saw The (Master) Chief on TV.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/21/11 at 10:42 AM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

Good morning, George.
It would be terrific to hear from the chief about now.
I went to about eight games last year (from Grand Rapids), but I will be determined to get to JLA a bit more this season, which will almost certainly be TPH’s grande finale, and I want to enjoy his play in person as much as possible.

Posted by Rdwings28 on 06/21/11 at 10:42 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Master Chief Bill Houlihan (spelling)

I knew he was a witch! Does he float?

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/21/11 at 10:45 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

I knew he was a witch! Does he float?

Only if he weighs the same as a duck

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/21/11 at 11:08 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

Healing In The Orient
by IwoCPO on 05/20/11 at 10:13 PM ET
Comments (87)

Does anybody else see what’s wrong with this? It just stinks of wrong; there must be some way to fix this.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/21/11 at 11:16 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I don’t engage much in the speculation about which players the Wings should target, but I find myself really hoping that Brendan Smith makes the team.  I’d like to see a couple of young guys - Kindl and Smith - take their places on the roster and start getting some NHL experience in anticipation of the transition away from the Lidstrom era that is going to occur in another year or two.  Also, why not let them learn from the best?  So if you have Lidstrom, Stuart, Kronwall, Kindl and Smith, you only have one big hole to fill.  I’m assuming here that Ericsson is gone because I have a feeling he thinks he’s worth more than he is.  Let Janik be the 7th defenseman. 

It is interesting to me that Holland is considering going with 13 forwards and 8 defensemen this year.  Maybe that leaves room for Salei to return if he wants to.  I don’t know why everyone assumes he’s gone.  I thought he did a very good job for the Wings this past season and I think I recall reading somewhere that he said if he re-signs with the Wings, his family will move to Michigan.

Posted by MsRedWinger from Flori-duh on 06/21/11 at 11:35 AM ET

Ajax19's avatar

I think I am in the minority of people who actually likes the idea of Jagr joining the Wings.  I think it would be fun to watch. 

The Modano thing didn’t work out, but Jagr isn’t Modano.

And as to the using Hudler’s struggles shifting from the KHL back to the NHL as evidence that Jagr might have similar difficulties, I have to say Jagr isn’t Hudler.  The only things they share in common is a nationality, the fact that they are both hockey players and played in the KHL and NHL.  That’s it.

I am not worred about his ego either.  I assume that if the Wings do end up signing him that both Babcock, Holland and Co. did their due dilligence and are comfortable with his effort and personality.  The Wings have a strong, comitted locker room.  One ego, even the size of Jagr’s, wont disrupt that.  As noted here, Fedorov had a huge ego too, and he won a Hart Trophy, led the Wings in playoff scoring while he was on the team and won three Stanley Cups.  I think the organization can handle ego.

I would see Jagr as an upgrade over Holmstrom, Hudler and Bertuzzi.  He’s old, but still is a big body and can cycle the puck down low.  Given the dearth of quality free agent forwards who can add some scoring to the forward ranks, I think it makes sense.

Given the cap space the Wings have, I don’t think they will be mortgaging the future or anything like that.  The biggest concern is that Jagr takes up a roster space that could be used by someone who might be hear for the longer haul.  But who?  If there is a compelling name out there, I would definitely listen. 

If the Wings were some how able to move Hudler for a pick or prospect and replace him with Jagr that would be an upgrade.

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/21/11 at 12:22 PM ET

Avatar

the star tribune in minnesota has an interesting article about a 26 year old, right-handed shooting, 6’5 all star defenseman that is apparently available…..

http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/124166023.html

hmmm…..

Posted by nazz on 06/21/11 at 12:24 PM ET

Avatar

Maybe that leaves room for Salei to return if he wants to.

I read that he wasn’t happy towards the end of the season to be rotating with Ericsson and Kindl, so I can’t imagine he’d be happy to return knowing at the beginning of the year that he’d be rotating with three other guys instead of two.

And as to the using Hudler’s struggles shifting from the KHL back to the NHL as evidence that Jagr might have similar difficulties, I have to say Jagr isn’t Hudler.

You’re right.  Hudler is much, much younger and he had a hard time re-adjusting to the NHL game after one year whereas Jagr has been gone three years and is, like, 12 years older than Happy.

Given the cap space the Wings have, I don’t think they will be mortgaging the future or anything like that.

Maybe, maybe not.  If they do decide to go with 13 forwards and one of them is Jagr, then they’re taking a year of Jagr over the possibility of an entire career of Eaves or Miller, because one of them is likely to not be re-signed.  Now, while I really like both Miller and Eaves and would ideally like to keep them both, I can understand having to pick someone else over one of them.  I would, however, be more comfortable if they picked someone relatively young that they can sign to a multi-year deal, rather than an aging enigma coming back for one last kick at the can after playing in an inferior league for the past three seasons.

Of course, a lot of this also has to do with the fact that I’ve never liked Jagr and would really prefer not to see him wearing a Wings sweater.

Posted by Garth on 06/21/11 at 12:45 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

You’re right.  Hudler is much, much younger and he had a hard time re-adjusting to the NHL game after one year whereas Jagr has been gone three years and is, like, 12 years older than Happy.

Jagr is also 12 times the player Happy ever was, is or will be.  Hudler is a borderline top 6 forward who, at his peek, scored just over 20 goals and had 57 points.  He is 15-20 goal player.  I don’t think there is much of a need to go over Jagr’s various accomplishments. 

I would take a 39 year old Jagr after 3 years in the KHL over a 27 year old Hudler after 1 year the KHL every day of the week and twice on Tuesdays. 

I will admit, I am lower on Hudler now than any other point in his career.  His playoff performance was attrocious.  He was a negative factor out therem, a liability.  The only thing memorable he did in the playoffs was concus Dan Cleary and he blocked a shot and the puck got lost in his pads.

<i>I would, however, be more comfortable if they picked someone relatively young that they can sign to a multi-year deal…<>

Yes, that might be ideal.  But who?  And for how long and what money? 

In ideal world, there would be that player out there and he’d be a perfect fit, but the available UFA forwards are not the ones you would find in an ideal world.  If the Wings were able to sign, say, Brooks Laich to a reasonable, long term deal (unlikely to happen) and did so instead of signing Jagr, I would be thrilled with it. 

Given the current realities, I don’t think signing Jagr is a bad idea.

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/21/11 at 01:05 PM ET

Avatar

I would take a 39 year old Jagr after 3 years in the KHL over a 27 year old Hudler after 1 year the KHL every day of the week and twice on Tuesdays.

Please don’t assume that I want Hudler anywhere near the Winged Wheel next year.  I would love nothing more than for Holland to deal Hudler for half a bag of pucks just to get his contract off the book.

And yes, I would absolutely take Jagr over Hudler too, but I would also take many, many current NHLers over either of them.  I don’t want either of them playing for Detroit.  Same goes for any older player who’s currently in the KHL and might want to come over.  The only exception would’ve been Nabokov, and that’s only because he was going to be the backup to Jimmy and he would absolutely be an upgrade over Osgood.  Even then though,  I would prefer Detroit pick up someone like Ty Conklin rather than give something up to get Nabby back from the Islanders.

Regarding Jagr, we’re talking about a guy who the shitty Rangers didn’t want and in order to continue his career at the money level he wanted, had to go to the KHL.

I would question his motivation for coming back and I absolutely question what he can do in the NHL after having the relatively unchallenging KHL.

I would love to see evidence of an aging, veteran player who went over to the KHL then came back to the NHL and played at the level he was at before he left, but I can’t think of anyone who has done that, so the only comparison is Hudler.  I read about how he was doing in the KHL, that he was playing very well and I, likemany Red Wings fans, was excited to see what he’d bring with him when he came back.  Now, a year later, I find it very difficult to get even cautiously optimistic, never mind excited, about bringing in someone who has spent multiple years in the KHL.  Especially a 39 year old player.

Also, I question the type of veterans Holland has been bringing in lately.  In some ways bringing in Dallas Drake and having it pay dividends was an unfortunate thing because now people seem to think the secret to winning is bringing in an old guy, but none of the old guys have had the intangibles that Dallas Drake brough with him.  Most of all, aside from Brad May who just never had the skills to begin with, every vet they’ve brought in these past few years has been on the downslope, cast aside by their team and didn’t have the hunger that a guy who goes his entire career without a Stanley Cup has.  Hey, let’s just throw a dart at the board and bring in that veteran presence.  Sure, Modano had a freak accident, but from the beginning he was waffling about retiring, then he had to get back into shape and then he had to adapt to the Wings’ game and just as he was starting to do that he had his accident.

I said it before and I’ll repeat it: I would be very cool with Holland extending him an invite to camp to see if he can compete and then sign him once he’s proved that his conditioning and drive are still there.  That’s not going to happen though because there are going to be teams that will offer him big money to play for them.

There are a handful of guys I would jump at over getting Jagr.  Short list, in no order?  Brad Richards (won’t happen, but still…), Simon Gagne, Michael Ryder, Erik Cole, Tomas Fleischmann, Brooks Laich, Joel Ward.  Any of those guys for a couple years or longer-term for the younger ones, off the top of my head.

Posted by Garth on 06/21/11 at 01:33 PM ET

Avatar

And for the record, in the KHL, Hudler and Jagr both scored just under a point per game (.9483 for Hudler, .9116 for Jagr) so let’s not pretend that an old Jagr is 12 times the player Hudler is.  The evidence would suggest otherwise.

Posted by Garth on 06/21/11 at 01:40 PM ET

awould's avatar

You’re allowed to suggest that someone’s opinion is invalid, but to call the person silly, stupid, etc. for holding their opinion is a no-go.

That’s silly!

Has anyone here ever used the word “silly”. Douchebag seemed to be a favorite in that long Lidstrom thread. And jackass. Anyways, after reading this I’m gonna start calling people I disagree with a “silly douchebag”.  smile

Posted by awould on 06/21/11 at 01:58 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Simon Gagne, Michael Ryder, Erik Cole, Tomas Fleischmann, Brooks Laich, Joel Ward. 

As with all UFAs it’s all about length of the contract and the per year cap hit (I don’t really worry about the actual dollars, since I am not the one footing that bill.)

As noted above, I would love to see Brooks Laich on the Wings.  Given that he’s likely the second most desirable UFA forward (after Richards) in a rather weak crop of free agent forward, I think he’s going to end up getting paid more than he’s worth.  Overpaying for talent and bad contracts are the quickest way to cripple a team.  Laichs is a great player, but I fear he’ll be priced out of his talent range.

I’ve always liked Tomas Fleischmann, but I really don’t know much about his injury/condition that sidelined him for most of last year and the knock on the Fleischmann is that he doesn’t show up in the playoffs (5 points in 22 career playoff games).  As we all know, with the Wings it’s all about playoffs.

I’ve never been a big fan of Michael Ryder.  Too streaky and too one dimensional for my tastes.

I have always liked Eirk Cole.  I like how he plays with a physical edge and can produce.  He has seemed to struggle outside of Carolina (see, the Edmonton year) and has some injury wear and tear, but I’d be happy with Erik Cole in a Wings uniform.

Joel Ward is intriguing.  The guy was a beast in the playoffs this year.  However, he’s never scored more that 13 goals in a regular season.  So, the question is:  Was his performance in the playoffs a player finally coming into his own (at age 30) or just one of those fluky glorious playoff runs that happen to random players sometimes?  A tough call to make.  His value will never be higher and it’s always risky to “buy high.”  Is he a 3rd line grinder or a top six power forward?  How much do you pay him?

Still, my ideal scenario is that the Wings trade Hudler, thus freeing up another roster space, allowing a free agent and Jagr to come.

Just because I like the idea of Jagr coming doesn’t mean that I think his presence on the Wings makes or breaks this season.  I think it would a lot of fun to watch him out there with Datsyuk and Zetterberg and I am intruiged to see what, if anything, he has left.  He looked great in the Olympics, until getting creamed by Ovechkin. 

I kind of feel about Jagr the same way I did about Modano.  If he signs… Great.  It adds a little something to the season.  If not…  So be it.

As for Brad May.  I don’t think he qualifies for this discussion.  Brad May is not part of the veteran presence line of players,  Brad May belongs to the prestigious line of players who have won the Detroit Red Wings Annual “Brad Norton Tough Guy” Award.  Winners include:  2006-07: Brad Norton, 2007-2008: Aaron Downey, 2008-2009: Aaron Downey/Darren McCarty, 2009-2010:  Brad May.

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/21/11 at 02:06 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

Jagr is too old, slow, and washed up.  He was when he left the NHL.  Hudler needs to be traded.  He provides nothing to this team except taking up space (cap and on the ice).  He is too small, inconsistent, and a poor skater.  His only asset is stickhandling and that only shows up once every 10 games or so.  Don’t bring back draper or osgood.  They are done.  Veterans that suck do nothing for the club.  See if larsson will come back from sweden to back-up as I know he had a option to leave after the 1st year.  Let Ericsson go.  He never progressed with his potential.  Awful at times in giving the puck away and just doesn’t have the hockey sense.  Way overrated.  Wings only need 1 top-four defenseman and they are fine for now.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 06/21/11 at 02:15 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I would see Jagr as an upgrade over Holmstrom, Hudler and Bertuzzi.

Upgrade over Happy? Most likely.

Upgrade over Tuzzi? Probably, but doesn’t have the nuclear deterrent Tuzzi brought in…oh…5 games over the last 12 months?

Upgrade over Homer? Hell no. Homer can dig pucks out of the corners like no one’s business. Think Jagr can take the abuse Homer does for 70 games a season and still pot 40 points?

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 06/21/11 at 02:16 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by Garth on 06/21/11 at 11:40 AM ET

Good stuff on both posts.

I’m at the point now where I have a tough time defending the notion that this the most important summer the franchise has had in 20 years.

And I must confess, I’m nervous about this 13 and 8 situation and what that means for the roster this season.  More specifically, what it means for these next four weeks.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/21/11 at 02:21 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Upgrade over Homer? Hell no. Homer can dig pucks out of the corners like no one’s business. Think Jagr can take the abuse Homer does for 70 games a season and still pot 40 points?

Nobody will ever be an upgrade over Homer at what he does in front of the net.  As far as I am concerned he’s the best ever at that role.  I’ve never seen anyone as his equal in that regard.  Once you get him out of that area, however, he’s far less valuable.  I certainly don’t want to get rid of Homer or think that anyone should (or really could) replace him in his role, but as a more complete winger… I think it would be an upgrade.

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/21/11 at 02:26 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Comparing Jagr to Holmstrom is like comparing a police pursuit cruiser to a SWAT van.  They do completely different things.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/21/11 at 02:27 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

I don’t engage much in the speculation about which players the Wings should target, but I find myself really hoping that Brendan Smith makes the team.  I’d like to see a couple of young guys - Kindl and Smith - take their places on the roster and start getting some NHL experience in anticipation of the transition away from the Lidstrom era that is going to occur in another year or two.  Also, why not let them learn from the best?  So if you have Lidstrom, Stuart, Kronwall, Kindl and Smith, you only have one big hole to fill.  I’m assuming here that Ericsson is gone because I have a feeling he thinks he’s worth more than he is.  Let Janik be the 7th defenseman.
Posted by MsRedWinger

I am with you on this, and have been since the Wings were eliminated by SJ.

You cannot develop young defensemen leaving them in the 5th and 6th role.  They need 15+ minutes per game to find their groove.  Bringing in a Vet so you can leave the youngsteres on the 3rd line is a total waste.  Eventually you give up on ‘em and they shine on another team.  Kindle and Big Rig played great when the extra ice time was forced on them by injuries or early exits this season.

Jagr is a dead issue…he is poison and the Wing brass know it…whatever is said publicly can be quite different than what is said behind closed doors.  It would be in the Wings best interest if everyone thought they were in the running for Jagr, driving the price up for that foolish desperate team that signs him.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 06/21/11 at 02:32 PM ET

awould's avatar

I’m not a fan of bringing in Jagr. I’m not a fan of any band-aid approach that will bring in a guy for a season. It will just make it harder to keep up chemistry and continuity once they leave.

Right now, they need to plan like this is Lidstrom’s last year. So that means in 2012, they will start a season without Lidstrom for the first time in 20 years. It isn’t the time to have to worry about filling other holes too.

So any talk about players who are old, like Jovonaski and Jagr, who can come in and play one last glorious season of hockey for the vaunted Red Wings is good for a movie but bad for reality. We don’t need more veteran presence, we need a youthful spark. This team has more veteran presence than nearly any other team in the league. What is Jagr going to teach anyone that Datsyuk can’t? How is Jovonaski going to teach anyone when he’s busy learning from Lidstrom? And what would he teach them anyways, how to throw dirty elbows and be overrated? He’s a poor man’s Sergei Gonchar, who is a poor man’s Lidstrom. This veteran presence thing is BS.

I would like to see them bring in Wisniewski for 5 years. He’s a righty, he’s tough and he’s coming into his prime right now. He’s a local boy who will fit right in with Kronwall and Stuart. And he’ll bring an edge that the Detroit D has been missing a little bit.

I also like Brooks Laich. He’s the same age as Filppula but currently is paid $1.2MM less and produces 10-20 more pts per season. He’d fit in well and he’s a big guy. Sign him for 3 years.

Trade Hudler for some mix of prospects and draft picks, or a cup of coffee. Sign a serviceable backup goalie FA. Cut Osgood and Draper (that hurts to say). Ericsson for $2MM or cut him. Give Brendan Smith a season with Lidstrom to start his NHL career; bring up a couple of young guys. The future is now.

Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Holmstrom
Laich-Filppula-Franzen
Bertuzzi-Abelkader-Cleary
Eaves-Helm-Miller
Mursak-Emmerton

Lidstrom-Stuart
Kronwall-Wisniewski
Kindl-Smith
Janik or Ericsson

Posted by awould on 06/21/11 at 02:56 PM ET

Avatar

You cannot develop young defensemen leaving them in the 5th and 6th role.

I think the ideal situation would be to have Lidstrom, Kronwall and Stuart on separate pairings with Kindl, Smith and whoever we sign/trade for, so that we can get the younger guys accustomed to our system while having three reliable pairings that can divide up the ice time pretty much evenly.  That way, when Lidstrom hangs them up, we’ve got a stable corps that will be able to bring in one guy and ease him into the sytem.

Posted by Garth on 06/21/11 at 02:56 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Posted by awould on 06/21/11 at 12:56 PM ET

The third line and reserves that you have listed are frightening on defense. 

It is inevitable that Nick’s ice time and resposibilities are going to continue to get pulled back.  We cannot expect those extra minutes to get dumped on to Kronwall/Stuart (who will both likely be hurt at some point) with a bunch of rookies and a journeyman (Janik, who let’s face it) that wouldn’t be playing on 85% of the other teams in the NHL.

I think getting that #5 guy is an absolutely huge priority, and it needs to be something more than what Salei brings to the table.  Jovo is the guy I’m thinking of right now.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/21/11 at 03:06 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

For all the talk about Jagr being old and we need fish young talent.. next year is the last year of the current EBA. That young talent will want money and years.  Going older allows you short term flexibility and I think they’re going to try to make sure they don’t have to unload 25mil in contract to get back under cap if it were to go down which it probably will.  EBA is probably a huge cog in wings plans for the future and how much flexibility to leave

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/21/11 at 03:22 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 06/21/11 at 01:06 PM ET

I agree, the third line is scary. I’m thinking they’d likely shuffle those lines up some to mitigate that problem - leave that to the coaches. But the reality of the situation is they need to start developing these guys and getting them onto the roster. There is never a great time to do that but my thinking is that it’s better to do that with Lidstrom leading them than next year when he’s gone. The team will benefit in the long run and a guy like Smith will benefit greatly from playing alongside him for even one season. And really, Mursak is already on the team, so the only addition is Smith. Janik isn’t great (or even good) but he’s no rookie so they know what they have with him.

Jovo is a waste of skates for Detroit. All this does is push my scenario one year later but with the added problem of playing these young guys with no Lidstrom. So then next year they have to “replace” Lidstrom and fill the spot vacated by Jovo. And please don’t talk about a long-term deal for Jovo, he’s in the process of washing up so we don’t need some old guy who has managed two full seasons in the past eight on anything but a year deal. And also, when you bemoan how Kronwall/Stuart will be injured at some point - which is very possible - you then suggest adding some other guy who is more likely to be injured as the solution. I don’t follow the logic.

Posted by awould on 06/21/11 at 03:23 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/21/11 at 01:22 PM ET

To me, this is the only good rationale behind going after an old guy for a one year deal.

Posted by awould on 06/21/11 at 03:24 PM ET

Avatar

We don’t need more veteran presence, we need a youthful spark.

Ding ding ding.

The problem with getting old guys is that we’ve got old guys who will be hanging them up soon.

We’re likely going to be replacing Lidstrom, Homer and Bert next year, and to sign another older player to a one year contract means yet another roster spot to fill next year, as well as the guys we have who are going to have to be re-signed, like Stuart, Kronwall, Helm and Abdelkader.

On top of that, there is some solid talent out there this summer, and to sign Jagr to a one-year deal this year means losing out on getting any of those guys for a longer term.

I’d love to pick up a solid guy and sign him for a couple years rather than sign a Jaromir Jagr, who is no more of a guarantee than anyone else on the market and have to go out AGAIN next year to do the same thing.

Posted by Garth on 06/21/11 at 03:38 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I think the ideal situation would be to have Lidstrom, Kronwall and Stuart on separate pairings with Kindl, Smith and whoever we sign/trade for, so that we can get the younger guys accustomed to our system while having three reliable pairings that can divide up the ice time pretty much evenly.

I absolutely agree with Garth. Assuming the signing of Wisniewski (in large part because he’s a right-handed shot), I could see these pairings…

Lidstrom-Wisniewski
Kronwall-Kindl
Stuart-Smith
Janik
(Ericsson is gone)

Janik isn’t great (or even good) but he’s no rookie so they know what they have with him.

I disagree about Janik’s level of play, awould. He aquitted himself very well in his 7-games with the Wings. He’s a more-than-capable 7th guy.

And I see a problem with your forward lines as well. If the Wings sign Laich (which I’d love to see), I think Fil is gone (along with Happy). That would leave lines that look more like this…

Franzen-Datsyuk-Holmstrom
Laich-Zetterberg-Bertuzzi
Eaves-Abelkader-Cleary
Mursak-Helm-Miller
Emmerton

Having said all of that, I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be the year that Tick Tock pulls off some major deal (like a trade for Bogosian). The thought of losing both Nick and Rafi in one season seems to have scared him a bit, so he seems to be more open than he was a month ago to shaking things up a bit.

The next two weeks will definitely be fun.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/21/11 at 04:38 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Chief…

http://youtu.be/-q-i3Q-HFNM

Is on Fox News?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/21/11 at 04:39 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be the year that Tick Tock pulls off some major deal

I’m getting the same vibes. Flying under the radar theres been talk of Minnesota looking to trade Brent Burns for offense. I don’t know much about Burns, but he’s a big RH D-man, and we’re looking to move some forwards. I wonder if that’s a possibilty.

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 06/21/11 at 04:55 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

To clarify:

1. I was talking about A2Y in the past tense because Bill’s been busy. He’s home now and A2Y will get back up when he’s ready. As far as I know, Bill’s catching up with the fam after seven months at sea.

2. I have no idea why the posts are locked. That makes no sense to me—but as Herm said, the anonymous posting option. after a certain period of time—it’s usually a month after the post is made—so maybe that’s the issue.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/21/11 at 04:58 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by OlderThanChelios on 06/21/11 at 02:38 PM ET

Janik is a capable 7th guy. Which makes him a not-very-good defenseman, in my opinion. A guy of his age and experience who is a 7th D man is barely in the league. Every season, he has to beat out rookies for ice time. And what I meant was that he will acquit himself well, he isn’t likely to make those rookie mistakes, so they know what they’re getting with him. But he ain’t getting more than 12 minutes of ice time (if that) and he won’t play more than 45 games. He isn’t great and he’s barely good, but he’s there’s a place for him.

I don’t see why signing Laich, who is a FA, means we lose both Hudler and Filppula. Getting rid of Hudler is required, probably, but it’s also desired. There is no reason they’d have to trade Filppula too, they have room under the cap this year. If that becomes a problem next season or after, make the decision then.

But it likely won’t because after this season both Holmstrom and Bertuzzi are FA and it is very likely one or both will not be back. That’s nearly $2MM pe. Also, both Kronwall and Stuart are UFA after this season too and I’m sure we’d all like them both back. Kronwall is an imperative and he’ll require at least $5MM. This summer is huge but I have a feeling next summer will be bigger. So might as well keep Filppula on the roster and save him for next summer if we need to dump some salary and make room for the young guys and raises for the core D. I’m a fan of Filppula but he’s not on my list of untouchables.

Posted by awould on 06/21/11 at 04:58 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

On top of that, there is some solid talent out there this summer, and to sign Jagr to a one-year deal this year means losing out on getting any of those guys for a longer term.

I believe this is where our views diverge.  I don’t think there is a lot of solid talent out there this summer.  And the little of it that is out there will be over priced.  And given the various key pieces of that will be UFA’s next year - Lidstrom, Stuart and Kronwall - I’m very nervous about reaching and overpaying for some middling talent for a longer term deal that will have negative implications down the road.

If the Wings can sign Laichs, Cole, or, maybe, Gagne to a longer term deal at a reasonable salary, then I’d take those guys over Jagr.  I am not sure if that’s possible and it’s not Holland’s way to over spend for guys. 

He got his little “Tick-Tock” nickname around these parts because everyone was freaking out about how Holland sat around and did nothing during the early days of free agency while other teams were signing free agents left and right to foolish contracts.

Posted by Ajax19 on 06/21/11 at 05:12 PM ET

 1 2 >       Next »

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Malik Report

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.