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Savage & Pleiness: Red Wings make pitch to their UFA band-aid, offer Colaiacovo a 2-year deal

Via RedWingsFeed, it appears that Red Wings GM Ken Holland isn’t going to wait until the increasingly likely lockout ends to begin shoring up his roster. According to MLive’s Brendan Savage and the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness, the Wings aren’t going to go into September without at least ensuring that the team’s made some sort of move to shore up their undermanned blueline:

The Detroit Red Wings could be close to signing free-agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo. A source told MLive.com that the Red Wings have made a two-year offer for about $2.5 million a season.

Colaiacovo, 29, is a good skater and puck-mover with some offensive ability, having averaged 27 points a season the past four years with the St. Louis Blues. He shoots left and can play the point on the power play.

His biggest issue has been his health. He hasn’t played more than 67 games in any season.

Colaiacovo (6-1, 200) isn’t the top-pair defenseman the Red Wings were seeking after losing Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (signed with San Jose), but he is one of the few viable options remaining in what was a weak free-agent market.

MLive.com first reported the Red Wings’ interest in Colaiacovo on July 3. Detroit initially offered a one-year deal, but Colaiacovo was seeking a three-year pact.

The sides might compromise on a two-year deal. Colaicovo earned $2.5 million last season. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has been in constant contact with Colaicovo’s agent, Pat Morris, this week.

If the Red Wings sign Colaiacovo, they would likely would be done on defense since they would have seven NHL defensemen.

The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness confirms, but offers a different cap figure:

The Wings have made an offer to Carlo Colaiacovo according to a someone within the organization. Detroit has offered him a two-year deal worth $2.7 million a season.

It’s just one more defenseman the Wings have tried to add this offseason.

Earlier this month, a source confirmed that Detroit has been in contact with the Calgary Flames about trading for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.

The Wings are in need of a top four defensemen, which there are none left on the open market and therefore a trade may need to be made in order to fill that void.

The Wings had a distinct game plan once free agency started after losing Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (trade). hey made pitches to the unrestricted free agent defenseman Ryan Suter. After losing out on him the Wings turned their attention to signing restricted free agent Shea Weber to an offer sheet. Weber however chose to sign an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers and it was matched by the Nashville Predators. The Flyers offered Weber $110 million over 14 years.

The Wings currently have six defensemen under contract — Niklas Kronwall, Ian White, Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl. The Wings are $13 million under the salary cap.

Colaiacovo, who was drafted 17th overall by Toronto in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, has been bothered by injuries that has hindered his career.

Despite his injury status, given the available crop of defensemen still out there—Pavel Kubina, Jaroslav Spacek, Michal Rozsival, Milan Jurcina, Cam Barker, Chris Campoli, Matt Gilroy, Brett Clark, Jim Vandermeer, Sean O’Donnell and Colin White are all “possibilities”—Colaiacovo is the most talented and the most likely to thrive in the Wings’ system. His injury history is a huge concern, but under the CBA we’re working with until September 15th, they’re enough of a concern to make him a sub-$3 million defenseman, and given the contracts handed out this summer, if the Wings can snag him for an Ian White-style discount, a left-handed Ian White ain’t bad.

The Sports Forecaster offers the following take on the 6’1,” 200-pound Toronto native:

Assets: Plays a sound positional game and rarely gets beaten one-on-one because of his good skating ability. Has plenty of offensive know-how and puck-moving skills. Can also be an asset on the power play.

Flaws: Has had a hard time avoiding the injury bug at the NHL level. Can make mistakes in his own end, and lacks the durability to play a consistently physical game.

Career Potential: Solid all-around defenseman, when healthy.

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What an ass raping this off-season has been and continues to be.

Posted by godblender on 08/24/12 at 01:48 AM ET

awould's avatar

2 year deal. ok. I’d rather have a ham sandwich though.

Posted by awould on 08/24/12 at 01:58 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Holland bet it all on the package that went to Minnesota. We’re effed.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 08/24/12 at 03:18 AM ET


If anybody in the Wings organization thought Kindl could play, they wouldn’t make this move.  What we have here is a ‘Kindl is a 7th dman for us’ situation.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 08/24/12 at 07:24 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Now not only is this team full of bottom 6 forwards, Hollands trying to fill the team with 3rd pairing defensemen as well.  The only thing that will save this season is a lockout.

Maybe we’ll get lucky and Colaiacovo won’t want to play here either.

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 08/24/12 at 09:07 AM ET

Russian Rocket's avatar

Now not only is this team full of bottom 6 forwards, Hollands trying to fill the team with 3rd pairing defensemen as well.

Or as we like to call it here… The Pittsburgh Model.

Posted by Russian Rocket on 08/24/12 at 09:25 AM ET


grin I for one think , Colaiacovo would be a great addition for the Wings. he’s all upside in what he’d be bringing to the table. His size and abilities and experience can only help especially with his effectiveness on the second unit of Our power play. He’s got the quickness and level-headeness to be really good for a long time.His first step is reminiscent of Segei Federov’s .Quickness is tantamount to success!! Our Wings have made the playoffs for the last 20 years because of slick additions by Our GM. If Kenny can pu;ll this one off, I BELIEVE we’re on Our way to the Conference Finals at least. Most pundits of the game have expressed concern; that, since the departure of Lidstrom and Stuart ; that, we’re not even gonna make the playoffs. What do you think ? I for one ;think, they’re wrong,way way wrong! Smith and Kindl are gonna be real good for us this year. These two got that intangible quality that can’t be taught( Hockey Instinct).They both have It; plus, if Mr. Holland succeeds in acquiring Colaiacovo Our D-men will once again lead the league in scoring; also, every team will be forced to change their game plans accordingly ; because , I believe will also lead the league in defense too.Colaiacovo brings responsibility AND scoring .He has the quickness and hockey sense; that, will only ADD to Our defensive capabilites. Am I disillusioned Nah! What do you think? ...rayzredwing grin Detroit native living in Santa Barbara ;willing to move back to Detroit cuz I just love the Red Wings !!Lets hope the season starts on time.

Posted by rayzredwing on 08/24/12 at 12:28 PM ET

awould's avatar

What do you think? .... Posted by rayzredwing on 08/24/12 at 11:28 AM ET

I think you’re the most optimistic fan I’ve seen in a long time. And I bet you can’t wait for Spring 2013 when peace finally comes to the middle east.  wink

But I hope you’re right!

Posted by awould on 08/24/12 at 12:47 PM ET


If anybody in the Wings organization thought Kindl could play, they wouldn’t make this move.  What we have here is a ‘Kindl is a 7th dman for us’ situation.

It’s no surprise.  They already said it once when they traded for Quincey, when they knew that Stuart was leaving but also thought that Lidstrom was probably going to be playing.

I don’t think anyone thought they were just going to sign a scrub to be the 7th guy and put so much responsibility in the hands of Kindl, Ericsson, Smith, Quincey and White.

If Kenny can pu;ll this one off, I BELIEVE we’re on Our way to the Conference Finals at least.


Posted by Garth on 08/24/12 at 12:59 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I can’t wait to have Rocky Colavito on the team… “Don’t knock the Rock”. cheese

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 08/24/12 at 01:57 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I can’t wait to have Rocky Colavito on the team… “Don’t knock the Rock”.

Posted by calquake on 08/24/12 at 12:57 PM ET

The Big 7.  Stretching it out between every pitch.

Posted by RWBill on 08/25/12 at 03:04 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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