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St. James provides an update regarding Red Wings’ roster situation

Updated 3x at 3:47 PM: The Detroit Free Press's Helene St. James follows up a very busy Friday with a fantastic update regarding the Red Wings' roster moves to come, first updating the respective statuses of Damien Brunner (who Ken Holland stated was "going in a different direction" during the Alfredsson/Weiss presser) and Daniel Cleary...

The Wings had talked many times with Brunner, but his asking price of $3 million to $3.5 million per season for two-to-three years was more than the Wings were willing to give a one-dimensional player with one NHL season to his credit.

Cleary remains likely to return, at a rate of around $2.5 million to $2.75 million per for three years, but the Wings need to get someone off their roster of forwards, first. Alfredsson and Weiss have put Detroit at 14 forwards, a number that will grow by two when restricted free agents Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist get new deals.

And, regarding the Wings' roster crunch in terms of forwards (the Wings have to get under a 23-man roster by the end of the exhibition season, and carrying 7 defenseman and 2 goalies = room for 14 forwards), their 50-man roster limit and their cap situation (Capgeek estimates the Wings standing at $2.307 million below the $64.3 million cap, but the team can exceed that cap by 10% during the summer, so add $2.307 and $6.43 and you get $8.737 million, more than enough to re-sign RFA's Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Brendan Smith...even if Cleary re-signs)...

Well, it ain't gonna be pretty.

This is where being able to buy out Mikael Samuelsson would have helped. The Wings debated it, but Samuelsson could have fought being a compliance buyout because even though he doesn’t need surgery for the pectoral muscle injury that ended his season, he could still claim he isn’t fully healthy — and injured players cannot be subjected to buyouts.

So, what’s left is trading someone. Candidates are Samuelsson (hard to think anyone would take him, though) and Jordin Tootoo (Mike Babcock didn’t use him late in season and into the playoffs). Patrick Eaves might be in play, because the Wings re-upped Drew Miller, and the two bring much the same to the table. Cory Emmerton is on the bubble, but he’s needed for now as insurance in case Darren Helm has another setback in his recovery from a sore back.

Regarding Brunner, as I stated overnight, I'm taking his departure kind of personally as a fan, and I get the feeling that Neil Sheehy, his agent, convinced Brunner that SOMEone would pay him $4 million.

Update: This has nothing to do with nothing, but the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness offered the tale of one Stephen Weiss, who had a hard time dealing with the nickname "Weisserman" while playing for the Plymouth Whalers (and this is part of a longer article):

“The comparisons at that age were a little scary,” Weiss said. “But I think it came from playing a two-way game and being responsible one both sides of the puck and that’s something that I take a lot of pride in.

“The Red Wings were always a team I looked at growing up,” Weiss continued. “I always dreamt of playing for the Wings one day. And to have them interested in me and to have that opportunity is just awesome. Words can’t really express that right now.”

Weiss played three seasons with the Whalers, averaging nearly 75 points a season. His best season was 2000-01 when he scored 40 goals and had 47 assists in 62 games.

“Playing up against the best players and trying to shut them down and also being accountable offensively too, I think that’s where those comparisons came from,” Weiss said. “Obviously, we’ve had pretty different careers to this date, but it’s neat to come back to a city where I’ve played before and used to watch the Wings and watch Steve play there before, and wondered about maybe playing for that franchise one day.”

Weiss will get to do just that at least for the next five seasons after inking a deal on the opening day of free agency Friday for $4.9 million a season.

“It’s kind of surreal, but I’m not coming there looking to be anything that he was,” said Weiss, who averaged nearly 30 goals in three seasons with Plymouth. “I’m going to play my own game and do what’s asked of me and just try to help the team win in all of our games and listen to the guys who have been there before.”

Update #2:

Update #3: If you care, Valtteri Filppula attended Teemu Selanne's annual charity tennis tournament on Saturday. As such:

1. Iltahleiti posted a Finnish-language video interview with him;

2. He told Ilta Sanomat that he's heading to Tampa Bay to take a big role with the team;

3. And he praised Jokerit Helsinki's decision to move to the KHL for the 2014-2015 season in an interview with MTV3.fi.

Also:

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Comments

John W.'s avatar

Why would you re-sign Cleary when it means you have to get rid of someone who has an actual future?  Cleary is one bad day, knee-wise, away from his career being over.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 07/06/13 at 02:50 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Braydon Coburn (from a team over the cap in the Flyers) IF he’s a top 3 defenseman, is the kind of defenseman that still might be worth inquiring of, with the rumors of the Flyers trying to dump his $4.5 M salary to Edmonton in June. My hunch is an excess forward and Quincey might not be enough, either give up a younger forward, put Smith in place of Quincey, or give up pick(s) in that scenario.

Good article by James.

If Brunner’s agent has him convinced $4M is out there,  oh brother.

Posted by Bugsy on 07/06/13 at 03:01 PM ET

Avatar

Why would you re-sign Cleary when it means you have to get rid of someone who has an actual future? 

Totally agree.  Cleary’s a wasted roster spot for this Wings team.  No Weiss, no Alfredsson… I consider it.  With those guys?  See you later, Buckets.

And because I’m always about planning ahead… holy cow are the Wings set up great for 2015, contract wise.  Alfredsson, Sammy, Bert, Q, and Eaves all fall off and maybe only one will be back.  Two tops.

Emmerton, Dekeyser, and Tatar are all RFAs.  Emmerton’s probably gone anyway.

The only two UFAs I think Detroit is even going to remotely care about keeping are Alfredsson and Ericsson and they’ll have 5 dmen locked up already, along with D, Z, Weiss, and Franzen as a really solid core top 4.

And Detroit’s about two years away from Jarnkrok and/or Pulkinnen and/or Jurco and/or Shehean.

I love how Holland sets up his rosters.  Love it.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/06/13 at 03:11 PM ET

Avatar

The Wings had talked many times with Brunner, but his asking price of $3 million to $3.5 million per season for two-to-three years was more than the Wings were willing to give a one-dimensional player with one NHL season to his credit.

Huh? Where is this $4 million figure that people keep mentioning coming from?

If Detroit wasn’t willing to go $3mil on Brunner for 3 years but are going to give Cleary ANY dollar amount for ANY term, particularly 3 fuc*ing years…

Fu*k it. Bring Cleary back so that we have to work some kind of losing trade to get roster compliant. That makes complete sense.

Posted by godblender on 07/06/13 at 03:11 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Kindl-DeKeyser/Lashoff 7th

That made my head hurt.  In the last several games of the past season, Uncle Mike had repeatedly said, “I want someone to own that sixth spot.”  Dekeyser, with emerging top-two skills, is gonna try to compete for the sixth spot?

grrraaarrrr…

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 07/06/13 at 03:17 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

I hope Mikael Samuelsson enjoys getting booed at home.

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 07/06/13 at 03:22 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

George, do you think the Wings have enough “extra” assets at forward to trade for a decent defenseman? 

Also, to ask a stupid question, if they don’t sign Cleary wouldn’t they have the cap space to sign Brunner at a number closer to what he’s asking?  I agree with John W, Cleary is too much of a risk. 

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 07/06/13 at 03:28 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

At this point, I don’t think that the Wings want to part with a Jarnkrok, Jurco or Mrazek, who teams would ask for in return for a top-four defenseman. That’s just my opinion, however. The cap issue is tricky regarding someone like Edler.

And if Brunner comes back to the team, that’s one thing. The way Holland’s framed it, he’s going elsewhere, period.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 07/06/13 at 03:31 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I hope Mikael Samuelsson enjoys getting booed at home.

I doubt that will be the case, at least not on a very large scale basis.  Wings fans in general are not nearly as toxic as those that frequent this place.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/06/13 at 03:31 PM ET

maltby18's avatar

Disappointed in Brunner.  If he wanted a damn payday, take another 1 year deal and wait until the cap goes up, Bert and Sammy are off the books, and get paid. 

Sammy won’t get booed, he’s spending the season on LTIR.

Posted by maltby18 on 07/06/13 at 03:43 PM ET

Bugsy's avatar

Getting some tweets why Red Wings want Daniel Cleary back. Here’s one big reason: Mike Babcock loves him.
— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) July 6, 2013

For those who earlier in the year who noted Babcock essentially saying the acquisitions weren’t sticking with the team, note that Babcock is essentially getting people he wants now, from the sounds of it (Alfredsson for example, with Babcock’s gushing).

Posted by Bugsy on 07/06/13 at 03:52 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

We all know how loyal Red Wing management is to its players, and for them to not give Cleary a 3 year tells me his knee must really be fuched up and his next big hit could be his last.

They’re really pushing this “kids first” mantra and sprinkling in a little veteran flavor to balance things out.  Kronner on D plus Datsyuk Zetterberg Alfie and Bert up front is more than enough wisdom to carry them to the cup.  Will we miss Cleary as a person ?  Yes ... miss him as a player ??  I don’t think so.

Brunner is a ‘tweener’.  Late 20’s, 1 abbreviated NHL season, good speed, nice hands, hot & cold running offence, not much defence, not much body checking ... he’s another Hudler really and I don’t blame them for not barfing up more than a 2 year contract @$2.5 each.  Maybe his best choice is to go back to Switzerland and try again next summer when Bert & Sammy come off the books… and he learns to back-check.

They still haven’t addressed the need for a big forward that’ll stand in front of the net & cause trouble (ie replace holmstrom) and they didn’t get a defencive defenceman with a bad attitude so, there is no doubt in my mind more stuff is going to happen besides shedding a couple of forwards to make roster size.  There will be a specific reason behind Ken Holland’s next move or 2 or 3.  I hate to say it but, unless another team cooperates, we’ll probably have to wait until training camps start and someone needs an injury replacement.

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 07/06/13 at 04:02 PM ET

Avatar

They still haven’t addressed the need for a big forward that’ll stand in front of the net & cause trouble

They just did…resigned Cleary. Hooray!

Posted by godblender on 07/06/13 at 04:09 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Brunner is a ‘tweener’.  Late 20’s, 1 abbreviated NHL season, good speed, nice hands, hot & cold running offence, not much defence, not much body checking ... he’s another Hudler really and I don’t blame them for not barfing up more than a 2 year contract @$2.5 each.  Maybe his best choice is to go back to Switzerland and try again next summer when Bert & Sammy come off the books… and he learns to back-check.

I hate the comparisons to Hudler.  Brunner was fast.  Hudler was slow. Brunner started to come on defensively at the end of the season when it became obvious that was what would get him ice time.  He wasn’t exactly good defensively but he put effort into it and had the speed and smarts to backcheck.  Hudler never committed to it.  Brunner is a shoot-first goal scorer; Hudler was always a too-cute-for-his-own-good pass-first guy.

The two players are nothing alike in their skillset EXCEPT for being offensive minded on a team where that’s rare and not equipped for physical play on a team where that’s extremely common.  And Brunner hasn’t yet shown his preference for being licked by women of questionable morality.  I guess that’s another difference.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/06/13 at 09:24 PM ET

Avatar

Totally agree. Sammy’s a wasted roster spot for this Wings team.  No Weiss, no Alfredsson… I consider it.  With those guys?  See you later, Buckets.

And because I’m always about planning ahead… holy cow are the Wings set up great for 2015, all will be back. 

Emmerton, Dekeyser, and Tatar are all RFAs.  Emmerton’s probably gone anyway.

The only two UFAs I think Detroit is even going to remotely care about keeping are Sammy and Sammy and they’ll have 5 Sammys locked up already, along with Sammy, Sammy, Sammy, and Sammy as a really solid core top 4.

And Detroit’s about two years away from Sammy and/or Sammy and/or Sammy and/or Sammy.

I love how Holland sets up his rosters.  Love it.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/06/13 at 03:11 PM ET

Posted by howeandhowe on 07/08/13 at 04:22 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.