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Red Wings pre-free agent period quickies: off we go

As Paul already posted, the Red Wings have indeed sent a parcel of front office personnel to Toronto to make their offer to Zach Parise (can the Wings afford what Nick Kypreos reports is a demand for a $12 million signing bonus from Parise’s representatives? Yep), and this news from the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan shouldn’t surprise you, either:

Not a shocker and totally expected…..Hudler to test the market according to Ken Holland.

What do the Wings hope to accomplish today? According to the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, they want to make a Rafalski-like splash:

In 2007, Detroit signed defenseman Brian Rafalski, after he spent seven seasons with the New Jersey Devils. This year the Wings’ wise list includes the top two free agents in the unrestricted pool – Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter and New Jersey forward Zach Parise.

“When we signed Brian Rafalski for $30 million for five years, we probably had 15 minutes to make the decision,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “We didn’t know what the money was going to be and we didn’t know if he was going to be available. On June 30 he was going to re-up with New Jersey at the time, but he hits the market and we contacted his agent on noon July 1.”

Detroit also kept in touch with the agent for defenseman Mathieu Schneider, who had played the last three-plus seasons with the Wings.

“We had Schneider on our list along with a couple of other guys, but we decided to sign Brain Rafalski,” Holland said. “There is no blue print. There is no master plan. It’s be prepared and make a decision when you have to make a decision.”
“At noon we’ll contact all the people we have interest in and then the rest of it is experience, instincts and preparation,” Holland said. “There are relationships and information gathering that eventually lead to a decision. Whether it’s to sign someone or not sign someone.”

Again, Holland doesn’t believe that the Wings “have as many holes” as others might believe, but they’re going to move as swiftly as possible in less than an hour:

“You touch base with as many as you can right off the bat because if you wait on the first people on your priorities then you’re behind on the others,” Holland said. “You just have to know what’s going on. You have to be ready to make decisions.”

And the Red Wings’ players will be keeping score at home, if you will, with Kyle Quincey and Jimmy Howard telling the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff that they’re well aware of their team’s desire to pursue Parise and Suter:

“That’s the rumour I’ve been hearing,” Red Wings defenceman Kyle Quincey, as of July 1 a restricted free agent himself, said of the Suter talk. “Obviously, he’s a great player and that would be real exciting.”

Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard has past experience playing alongside Parise and wouldn’t mind another chance to do so. “Zach and I played together world juniors and under-18s, so I know Zach and he’s a great player,” Howard said. “It’d be great if we were able to get him. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of factors that come into play with his decision.”

Howard also teamed with Suter and was equally excited about the possibility of adding him to the Detroit blue-line corps. “Both of them are class acts, they’re stand-up guys and they work hard,” Howard said. “They’ve got a lot of pride in what they do.”

Though he’s only viewed them as opponents, Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg readily added his name to the pro-Sutter and Parise camp. “They’re good players, great players and seem like two really good guys, too,” Zetterberg said. “They’d be a good fit in here. We’ll just have to wait and see where they decide to go.”

The Wings will likely also be in the market for a veteran depth goaltender, since the only netminder with any significant NHL playing experience behind Howard is Joey MacDonald, whose 2011-12 campaign was scuttled by back woes. Among those who fit this mold on the market right now, the best choice would be Scott Clemmensen. A Florida Panther last season, Clemmensen, 34, has carved out a stellar career as the prototypical back-up goalie.

“He’s a very low-maintenance player,” Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said of Clemmensen. “He comes in and he puts his work in at the rink. And when he gets the tap on the shoulder, he responded very well for us

I know that Ken Holland said the following to the Free Press’s Helene St. James...

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland as he prepares to improve team via free agency “We don’t believe the sky is falling.”

But there’s nothing wrong with acting so boldly that, should the sky fall, you’ll be ready.

Update: You won’t get much out of this as it’s in Swedish, but here’s Nicklas Lidstrom and his pal and former coach, Curre Lundmark, being feted at Vasteras, Sweden’s Cityfestivalen:

Update 32: The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan confirms that the Wings sent front office types to Toronto to make their pitch for Parise.


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RWBill's avatar

Nick can still speak Swedish? 

During his press conference he was as stressed as I’ve ever seen him, revealing a very slight accent.

Posted by RWBill on 07/01/12 at 01:28 PM ET


Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! This will be interesting. The article from njlive.com says he wants $12 million in bonus TWICE

“According to Nick Kypreos of SportsNet, Parise will ask for a $12 million signing bonus immediately to protect him from a possible labor stoppage, as well as another $12 million bonus on July 1, 2013.”

Posted by Bugsy on 07/01/12 at 01:32 PM ET


Oh, I hope George is right that anything before noon can be (not will be) shot down. This sounds about impossible. $12 million BONUS x 2?

Posted by Bugsy on 07/01/12 at 01:39 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Oh, I hope George is right that anything before noon can be (not will be) shot down. This sounds about impossible. $12 million BONUS x 2?

Posted by Bugsy on 07/01/12 at 11:39 AM ET

I don’t know how bonuses and all that crap factor in to the salary cap.  Looking at what Mr. I paid for Prince Fielder, let’s not let this get in the way.

Posted by RWBill on 07/01/12 at 01:42 PM ET


I don’t know the cap, but this was the tweet before the 2 bonuses tweet:

Nick Kypreos ‏@RealKyper

Those asking SB do count against cap. His cap hit will be far less over entire contract. Yr 1 of 12M/2M salary guarantee’s Parise lockout $

Posted by Bugsy on 07/01/12 at 01:44 PM ET


Looks like they really going for it. Would love to see both but am resigned to one and building with other elements. Screw that…..go go Mr I….

Posted by Wbclimb from Az on 07/01/12 at 01:52 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

If you can pay someone big cash up front and lower the cap hit at the same time, then Mr. I should get all over that.  Vinnie was getting paid $10M but I think cap hit was $7.  That may have just been the Zetterberg front loaded approach.

Posted by RWBill on 07/01/12 at 01:53 PM ET


They may have front-loaded Crosby’s contract:


Crosby #‘s starting to surface. The first 3 years are at $12M. He will make close but below $11M AAV the first 9 years of 12 year deal. ‪#TSN

Posted by Bugsy on 07/01/12 at 01:54 PM ET

RorSchach's avatar

Oh shit.. It’s game time!

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 07/01/12 at 02:00 PM ET


Bring it.

Posted by godblender on 07/01/12 at 02:03 PM ET


...and by “it” I mean a dump truck full of cash.

Posted by godblender on 07/01/12 at 02:04 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Here’s the NHL Network’s stream of TSN’s “Free Agent Frenzy”: http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=616

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/01/12 at 02:09 PM ET


Posted by Bugsy on 07/01/12 at 11:32 AM ET

Good.  Do it.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/12 at 02:10 PM ET


By the way, almost all of the info I was getting originated from ESPN insider, and I chased it down. Gradually, though, I’ve opened for myself the twitter windows for these people (like George likely does right now) so I can see it myself first, and keeping ESPN Insider open.

Posted by Bugsy on 07/01/12 at 02:18 PM ET


Ok, does this mean Suter is Monday? That they are going to respect Suter not visiting

Pierre LeBrun ‏@Real_ESPNLeBrun

Wings owner Mike Illitch, GM Ken Holland and head coach Mike Babcock will be among Detroit contingent headed to Newport office today

Posted by Bugsy on 07/01/12 at 02:25 PM ET


One more tweet (the Vancouver NHL writer via Craig Custance) , so I hope it’s accurate, about potential backup goalie:

Kevin Woodley ‏@KevinisInGoal

So are Dallas Stars RT @CraigCustance: DRW intrigued by him as Jimmy Howard backup MT @Real_ESPNLeBrun J. Gustavsson going to market.

Posted by Bugsy on 07/01/12 at 02:35 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.