The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/04/12 at 02:11 PM ET
Updated 13x at 2:42 PM: Suter says it was the Wings, Wild or Preds for him: Per the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo:
The Wild has landed its blue-chip defenseman and is working toward landing the big fish, blue-chip forward as well.
After an impressive maneuver Tuesday to get itself in front of free-agent Ryan Suter, the Wild has agreed to terms on a 13-year contract with defenseman Ryan Suter, sources say.
But the Wild’s not done in its attempt to shake a hockey-mad market into a frenzy.According to sources, the Wild was working on agreeing to terms with Minneapolis-born Zach Parise on a 13-year deal.
If successful, and it appears as if it will be, Parise and Suter are forming a star-studded tandem that can come to Minnesota and perhaps help alter the fortunes of a franchise that has missed the playoffs four consecutive seasons.
And from Craig Custance:
Red Wings have been notified they’re out of Parise hunt.
Red Wings have been notified by Zach Parise camp that they are out.
And Ted Kulfan:
Wings out on parise
Update: Per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
Zach Parise has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Wild
Update #2: Duh, from Chuck Pleiness:
There will be no celebrating on the Fourth of July for the Detroit Red Wings as prized free agent defenseman Ryan Suter has signed with the Minnesota Wild.
More work lies ahead for GM Ken Holland as he tries to reload on the blue line after the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart this offseason.
Duh, part 2, from Pleiness:
There will be no celebrating on the Fourth of July for the Detroit Red Wings as prized free agent forward Zach Parise has signed with the Minnesota Wild.
This comes right after it was announced defenseman Ryan Suter inked a deal with the Wild as well.
GM Ken Holland may be working the phones this holiday to come up with Plan B to keep the Wings a contender this season and into the future.
Update #3: From ESPN’s LeBrun:
Deal is $98 million over 13 years for Parise
More from LeBrun:
Ryan Suter also got same $98 million over 13 years with Wild
Update #4: From St. James:
Losing Ryan Suter is pretty devastating to #RedWings. He was heads above any other UFA D available. Options now are Carle, Colaiacovo.
Losing Zach Parise far less significant. #RedWings have numerous options up front. Will look to sign Shane Doan, still trade talks for Nash
Here’s St. James’ article:
The Red Wings lost out on their no. 1 target of free agency, as elite defenseman Ryan Suter opted to sign with Minnesota. The Wild also won the services of forward Zach Parise, a prized forward to whom the Wings had tendered an offer as well. The Wings made a 13 year, $90 million offer to Suter, who they saw as the best option to transition from a defense that has lost Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart this off-season.
With Suter off the market, the next-best options are defensemen Matt Carle and Carlo Colaiacovo. The Wings made a two-year offer to Sami Salo on Sunday, but he ended up signing with Tampa Bay.
Carle, 27, isn’t a great shut-down guy, but he’s reliable in his own end and has topped 30 assists in each of his last two seasons. He’s coming off a four-year, $13.750 million contract (average salary cap of $3.4 million), and, though it’d be a high price to pay, given the dearth of quality defensemen available this summer he probably will command $5 million a season.
Colaiacovo, 29, could be had for less money (he is coming off a three-year contract with an average salary cap hit of $2.125 million), but he’s a risk as he’s been fairly injury prone, missing more than 50 games over the past three seasons with various ailments. He’s got decent offensive skills, which could be further developed from playing in Detroit’s system, but it’s doubtful the Wings would want to commit much term to him.
The other possible route is to trade for someone. Right now, there are five defensemen under contract for next season, headlined by Niklas Kronwall. The others are Jonathan Ericsson, Ian White, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl, and the team is working on re-signing restricted free agent Kyle Quincey.
Kronwall is bonafide top-four guy who is good in all areas. The Wings will keep pushing Ericsson to become a shut-down defenseman. Ian White’s production dropped off last season after he lost Lidstrom as a partner, but he’s pretty solid overall. Smith is considered a high-end talent, and will be expected to push for a top-four role. He’s a smart, puck-moving defenseman, albeit prone to risky maneuvers as he’s still adjusting to NHL level.
Kindl has been the seventh guy now for a while, and this is his make-or-break season, as he’s in the last year of a contract. Quincey was acquired around the trade deadline, and while he struggled to adjust, the Wings are hoping he’ll have a bounce-back season after being with the team from training camp.
The Wings weren’t nearly as gung-ho about adding Parise, as they are much better stocked up front and have more options as far as making further changes. They will turn their pursuit now to unrestricted free agent Shane Doan, and will also continue to discuss trading for Columbus superstar Rick Nash.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Suter, who played for the Nashville Predators last season, has agreed to a 13-year deal with the Wild and that Minnesota was nearing an agreement with Parise.
But Bob McKenzie of TSN in Canada said on Twitter that Parise has also agreed to terms with the Wild.
That’s a blow to the Detroit Red Wings, who made offers to both players and sent owner Mike Ilitch, general manager Ken Holland and advisor Chris Chelios to Madison, Wis., Tuesday to meet with Suter in person.
Kevin Allen of USA Today reported that Parise informed the Red Wings today they were out of the running for his services.
From the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:
It looks like defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Zach Parise did want to play on the same team — just not the Red Wings.
The two most coveted free agents appear headed to the Minnesota Wild, the hometown team of the Minneapolis-born Parise, and not far from Suter’s Madison, Wis., farm.
Parise notified the Wings, general manager Ken Holland said, at approximately noon Wednesday of his decision. Suter is set on signing with the Wild, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
Now the Red Wings must come up with a Plan B.
The loss of Suter, in particular, is a huge blow to a team that is looking to replace the retired Nicklas Lidstrom.
The Wings will now have to pick through what remains on the free-agent market — former Philadelphia defenseman Matt Carle is a good possibility — or try to swing a trade for a defenseman such as Phoenix’s Keith Yandle or Calgary’s Jay Boumeester.
Update #5.5: From St. James:
Interesting: Wild now have $28 million for 2012-13 tied up in 4 players in Suter, Parise, Koivu and Backstrom.
Programming note: I will NOT be covering the Suter/Parise press conferences. I will be covering what the Red Wings do and how the Wings react. The Wings are my team, and Suter and Parise are not Red Wings. The end.
Update #6: And this is why the Wings will go after free agents—they have no leverage and teams will want to fleece them for defensemen, as Helene St. James suggests:
For those speculating #Redwings trade for Shea Weber: Just picture what Central Division rival Nashville would want in return.
There’s always possibility #Redwings trade for a top-four defenseman, but prices will be high because teams know they need one.
Update #6.5 From ESPN’s LeBrun:
Just chatted with Ken Holland, ``We feel good about our offers to both Suter and Parise. They were very competitive. Now we move on.’‘
Update #7: LeBrun in text form:
Red Wings Ken Holland said he tried his best to sign UFAs Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, who both signed Wednesday afternoon with the Minnesota Wild.
“We feel good about our offers to both Suter and Parise. They were very competitive. Now we move on,” Holland told ESPN.com.
Holland said he was at least glad the Wings could fly into Madison, Wisc., Tuesday and meet with Suter to make their pitch. Holland was joined by Wings owner Mike Illitch, team exec Chris Chelios and head coach Mike Babcock.
Meanwhile, Predators GM David Poile said on a conference call that he was incredibly disappointed in losing Suter. He said he made a 13-year offer. A source tells ESPN.com it was for $90 million. Poile said he never got a chance to match Suter’s offer from Minnesota, which also disappointed him. Poile says now the focus is on trying to replace Suter in free agency or via trade, and by furthering contract talks with captain and RFA Shea Weber.
Update #8: Many MSM’ers are predicting the downfall of the Wings, Pro Hockey Talk’s Jason Brough isn’t, yet…
When Nicklas Lidstrom retired at the end of the season, a massive hole opened up on the Detroit defense that nobody could be expected to fill. However, of all available free-agent defenseman, Ryan Suter had the potential to fill it the most.
That the Red Wings had the cap space to sign the 27-year-old, and it was believed Suter wanted to play close to his home in Wisconsin, made Detroit the favorite to get him. But they didn’t. So, what do they do now? Because they also lost Brad Stuart to San Jose.
As it stands, the Wings’ top four consists of Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey and Ian White.
Young guys with potential include Jakub Kindl, 25, and Brendan Smith, 23.
All in all, it’s not terrible.
But clearly Wings GM Ken Holland isn’t sold on his current group or he wouldn’t have so aggressively pursued Suter.
UFA defensemen Holland could target include Matt Carle and…Matt Carle.
Looking at the trade market, Jay Bouwmeester could possibly be had from Calgary. The smooth-skating 28-year-old is overpaid by a couple of million bucks, but Detroit has cap space to spare and there’s only two years left on his contract.
Expect to hear Shea Weber’s name in trade speculation as well. Now that the Predators have lost Suter, what are the chances Nashville can keep its captain past July 1, 2013, when he can become an unrestricted free agent? Once GM David Poile stops punching holes in the wall, he’ll have to at least consider moving Weber and start rebuilding (again).
Update #9: the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan offers alternatives:
With defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Zach Parise off the free-agent market, what will be the Red Wings’ next move? Here are some available free agents and players that might be available via trade:
Shane Doan, Phoenix, center: Fine power forward who would fill a need, but is waiting to see how the Coyotes’ ownership situation is resolved. He never has shown inclination to leave Phoenix throughout his long career.
Alex Semin, Washington, left wing: Has top-end offensive skills and displayed chemistry with Pavel Datsyuk at the recent world championships, but has been criticized for lack of effort and inconsistency.
Matt Carle, Philadelphia, defense: Mobile defenseman played all 82 games with the Flyers last season with four goals and 34 assists while averaging 23 minutes. Will be heavily pursued by teams now with Suter off the market.
Rick Nash, Columbus, right wing: One of the premier power forwards in the game, Nash scored 30 goals last season and has scored as many as 41 in his career. But would the Blue Jackets trade within the division? Doubtful.
Bobby Ryan, Anaheim, right wing: For some reason the Ducks continue to shop the young 31-goal scorer who has a manageable cap number ($5.1 million) and is in demand by many teams.
Jay Bouwmeester, Calgary, defense: The Flames could be in the need to drop a salary or two, and Bouwmeester and his $6.68 salary cap number may be expendable. Averaged almost 26 minutes, plays well defensively, never has been a big offensive force.
Keith Yandle, Phoenix, defense: The Wings and several other teams had discussions at the draft about this offensive defenseman (32 assists, 43 points).
Update #10: Ken Holland, elegant, simple, per the Free Press’s Helene St. James:
#Redwings GM Ken Holland on Ryan Suter to Wild: “His wife is from Minny. Grandparents are nearby. We lost out to family. Can’t beat family.”
Update #10.5: More from St. James:
#RedWings will take a breath now, evaluate what’s still on market. IMO they’re not going to overpay just to land somebody else for defense
Update #10.6: St. James again:
As for up front, #RedWings till take a run at Shane Doan if he’s willing to leave PHX. They’re still interested in Rick Nash.
Update #10.7: Even more from St. James:
#RedWings weren’t close on money for Zach Parise. Weren’t going to cough up average cap hit of $7.5 million for him.
Will be interesting to see what #Wild do now - half of $70 M cap in 5 players. They’ll try to move Dany Heatley, but will they succeed?
Update #11 from St. James: This is why the Wings won’t trade for Rick Nash:
Like I’ve written before, for #RedWings to get Rick Nash, would take comb. of Filppula, Franzen, prospects like Smith, Nyquist, plus picks.
#RedWings cannot afford to trade D Brendan Smith.
Update #11.5: And surprise, from St. James, listening in on the Parise-Suter conference call:
Zach Parise says it was between New Jersey and Minnesota.
Update #11.75: From the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:
Holland feels family was key, big reason for Parise and Suter. Felt very comfortable with offers to both, primarily Suter
Update #12 from Kulfan:
Didn’t sound like Holland was going to jump that quickly into FA pool or trades…FA pool has been picked over pretty well
Update #13: Well, take some solace in this, from Dmitry Chesnokov...
Suter - Detroit is a great franchise; I met with them; they have a great thing going there; they were right up there till the end.
Suter on Red Wings: “They were right there until the end as well.”
So for Suter, it came down to Nashville, Detroit and Minnesota
And St. James:
Ryan Suter: “Detroit is a great franchise. They’ve got a great thing going there, everybody knows how much success they’ve had.”
Ryan Suter on #RedWings: “They were right there till the end.”
And here’s the money, folks, from Rich Chere...
Parise’s contract is front-loaded: $12M, 12M, 11M, 9M, 9M, 9M, 9M, 9M, 8M, 6M, 2M, 1M, 1M
And the bonus structure, from ESPN’s LeBrun:
So both Parise and Suter each get $25 million in signing bonuses: $10 M payable now, $10 M payable July 1, 2013 and $5 M on July 1, 2014
That $10-M bonus payable now is protected from any possible rollback or lockout…
Combined with $2-M base salary in each of first 2 years, that’s $12 M total compensation in each of first 2 years
Update #13.5: From St. James:
To clarify why I don’t think the Wings have afford to trade Smith: He’s top-4 material, and they are low on D after losing Lidstrom, Stuart
Wings plan on Brendan Smith being regular next season. Doesn’t matter how little he played last season. He’s part of their future.
Update #14: From the AP’s Larry Lage:
Confirmed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter both got 98 million in 13-year deals. #RedWings GM Ken Holland declined if he offered more or less.
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