The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/06/13 at 02:42 PM ET
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.”
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