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St. James reports that the Red Wings may use trades, buy-outs to ease roster crunch

The Free Press's Helene St. James reports that the Red Wings' management plans on easing its roster crunch by making some pre-draft or pre-free-agency trades (the Wings have $10.6 million in Capgeek-estimated cap space, but they're going to spend $4 million-plus re-signing Joakim Andersson, Jakub Kindl, Gustav Nyquist and Brendan Smith, and they may need to spend up to $3 million to re-sign Damien Brunner), but if the team can't move bodies, it may buy out Mikael Samuelsson, Todd Bertuzzi or Carlo Colaiacovo--and she also reports that each and every one of the NHL's 30 teams can make cap compliance buy-outs at any time from 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final ends until July 4th, the day before unrestricted free agency begins this summer!

The No. 1 buyout candidate is Mikael Samuelsson, who was a non-factor this past season, felled by one injury after another. He's got a year left at $3 million, money that could be well used towards funding a top-six forward.

There's a hurdle, though: As of now, Samuelsson isn't healthy, and that makes him ineligible to be bought out. General manager Ken Holland said earlier in the week that Samuelsson has been told by doctors seen in the past two weeks that surgery is not required for the latest injury, which involved a sore pectoral muscle/shoulder. The best the Wings can hope for is that Samuelsson heals in the next 10 days, though it doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to see that for the player, there'd be motivation to fight against being cleared.

The no. 2 candidate is defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, who will make $2.5 million next season. Colaiacovo was pushed down the depth chart when Danny DeKeyser joined the group in March, and right now, the six regulars figure to be DeKeyser, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Brendan Smith, Kyle Quincey and Jakub Kindl, with Brian Lashoff as the seventh guy.

There's also been murmurs about Todd Bertuzzi, who has a cap hit of $2 million, but here's why I'd keep him: While Bertuzzi was sidelined Feb. 7 by nerve pain in his back and right leg, he gritted it out and returned in the playoffs. Furthermore, he's one of the team's biggest forwards, and he goes to the net. This will be needed next season, when the Wings move to the more physical Eastern Conference. There's also this: Bertuzzi is a shootout artist. The Wings went 1-4 in shootouts after Bertuzzi got hurt last season.

The Wings don't need to buy out any one because they're $10 million below the salary cap. They're going to look to make a trade before the June 30 draft, but if that doesn't work out, buyouts could fatten their piggy bank before free agency.

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I don’t see why Cola wouldn’t fetch something in a trade. He played decently during his few games in the playoffs which I think said something about his professionalism and skill to step in like that when he’d played so little during the season.

Plus, he’s cheap.

If Sammy’s cleared he’s gone (I hope).

Posted by AZWinger on 06/22/13 at 01:41 AM ET


Well conspiracy cuts both ways…

Detroit could always pull a Philly and shelf Bert of LTIL for the start of season if they need room. Same with Sammy if he is not cleared. They could trade him and can’t they still use a regular buyout - his contract is so small and short it not much of a cap hit. I would think Emmerton might be gone flipped for a low conditional pick.

Posted by paul k on 06/22/13 at 08:40 AM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

2 things make all of this speculation infinitely less accurate ...

1) How eager is Brunner to test the FA market ??  Does he dip his toes into the water or does he give in to the Big Red Machine and re-sign ??

2) Will Darren Helm’s back cooperate ??  Will he be a healthy participant ??

For sanity’s sake, KH will sign and keep as many forwards as he can as long as he can just to make sure he’s got healthy bodies.

If I had to guess right now ... Colaiacovo looks to be the #1 candidate for the buy-out option.  With Sammy’s health issue, don’t be surprised if he starts the season on the LTIR list. If Helmer’s back doesn’t fix itself, he could be there too. opening the door for a Cleary re-signing.  They may not have the luxery of being able to trade Emmerton because they may need him in the faceoff circle if Helm is on the shelf.

Going through the process of elimination in order to figure out which forward(s) may be trade bait .... all I can come up with is either Eaves or Miller.

Obviously, Datsyuk and Zetterberg stay ... Abdelkader finally blossomed offencively so he stays ... Franzen, Bertuzzi and Andersson are big bodies so they stay ... you’d be committing job suicide if you trade Nyquist or Tatar.

Assuming they re-sign Brunner and neither Sammy or Helmer look like they’ll be available at the start of training camp ... that leaves us with a choice of Tootoo, Emmerton, Eaves, or Miller to be traded.

They’ll keep Tootoo for his physical play, Emmerton stays for the reason stated above (Helm substitute) leaving us with Eaves & Miller.

Are they valuable enough on the PK to eliminate them from the trade list too ??

So ... how much fun was it being Ken Holland for a few minutes there ???

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 06/22/13 at 03:23 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

Didn’t they just resign Miller?

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 06/22/13 at 03:43 PM ET

Hockeytown Wax's avatar

yep ... sign & trade ... nothing wrong with that.

And in the “hmmmmm…..” category

Would it be in the teams best interest to trade the rights to negotiate with Filppula to Pittsburgh for the right to talk turkey with Pascal Dupuis ???

Posted by Hockeytown Wax from West Bloomfield, Mi. on 06/22/13 at 03:47 PM ET


someone mentioned this on another post perhaps but i’ll say it here:

we obviously have lots of forwards. many of these forwards (specifically prospects) we won’t have room for as things go along. if free agent signings are rarer for impact type players, then trading is the way to go.

so why not trade Tatar? he’s probably at his highest value right now (after MVP Calder Cup run) and he will most likely be only working on the 3rd or 4th line for at least the next two years. i know, i like him too. but this dream of trading players like Kindl/Emmerton/pick for someone like Yandle is ridiculous. if we want to trade for someone good, we have to give up something good.

let me say this: would you rather trade Nyquist, Tatar, Jurco, Pulkinen, Jarnkrok, or Andersson? which is a known quantity? potential upside? thoughts?

Posted by alexotw on 06/23/13 at 11:38 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.