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The Malik Report

Svoboda’s Jagr dangles continue (and Red Wings free agency talk)

I’m finding this one hard to believe, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dave Molinari:

Petr Svoboda, the agent who represents Jaromir Jagr, said late this afternoon that his client still has not received a contract offer from the Penguins. Svoboda did, however, confirm that he has spoken with Penguins general manager Ray Shero today. He added that he is engaged in ongoing discussions about Jagr, but declined to say with whom.

Detroit has publicly expressed an interest in signing Jagr, while the Penguins have been contemplating the possibility for more than a week. A third NHL club, believed to be Montreal, also is believed to be at least considering whether to try to sign him.

So he’s met with the Penguins, he’s talked to the Red Wings, and yet neither club has supposedly submitted a contract offer? Come on already…

Inline update: Per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi:

Jagr agent: We’ve exchanged a few things, will talk again tonite. ... Tomorrow afternoon maybe something will be done #jagrwatch
Numbers have been discussed btwn #Pens and #jagrwatch, but not final offer from #Pens. Talks to continue tonite. #tribpens

Update 5:05 PM: Also, with Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen off the market, MLive’s Ansar Khan looks at the Wings’ remaining free agent options on defense...

Who’s left for the Red Wings, who are seeking a top-four defenseman, a good puck-mover who can play the point on the power play, essentially replaced the retired Brian Rafalski?

The three-most prominent defensemen still available are Vancouver’s Christian Ehrhoff, Montreal’s James Wisniewski, Boston’s Tomas Kaberle and Washington’s Scott Hannan, who is more of a stay-at-home defender. These players will surely be seeking long-term deals north of $4 million per season.

Lesser-priced alternatives include Ian White (San Jose), Anton Babchuk (Calgary), Andy Greene (New Jersey), Steve Montador (Buffalo), Jan Hejda (Columbus) and Shane O’Brien (Nashville).

If the Red Wings opt to sign an older player to a shorter-term deal, the pool includes Ed Jovanovski (Phoenix), Roman Hamrlik (Montreal), Sammy Salo (Vancouver), Bryan McCabe (Rangers) and Brent Sopel (Montreal).

While the Sporting News’s Craig Custance offers this take on the top 25 free agents available, throwing a bit of a wrench into things:

1. Brad Richards, C, Dallas Stars

Refused to waive his no-trade clause to give a prospective buyer an early crack at signing him. He is, by-far, the best option available on July 1.

Potential destinations: Toronto, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Detroit, Philadelphia.
3. Christian Ehrhoff, D, Vancouver Canucks

Even with Bieksa’s deal, there might still be room in Vancouver if general manager Mike Gillis can unload Keith Ballard’s contract.

Potential destinations: Detroit, Buffalo, Vancouver.
6. James Wisniewski, D, Montreal Canadiens

Can produce offensively and plays with more of an edge than other offensive defenseman in this group.

Potential destinations: Detroit, Montreal, Columbus, Boston.
11. Radim Vrbata, F, Phoenix Coyotes

It would be in the best interests of both the Coyotes and Vrbata to get a deal done in the desert. He immediately helps any power play.

Potential destinations: Phoenix, Detroit, Los Angeles.
12. Ian White, San Jose Sharks

Played well for San Jose after being acquired from Carolina, but the Brent Burns trade might send him to the market.

Potential destinations: Detroit, San Jose, Toronto, Minnesota.
21. Ed Jovanovski, D, Phoenix Coyotes

According to a source, he won’t be signing with the Coyotes before July 1.

Potential destinations: Detroit, Colorado, Florida, Toronto.
24. Jonathan Ericsson, D, Detroit Red Wings

Regressed a bit following a breakout performance in the 2009 playoffs. The 6-foot-5 defenseman is just 27 years old, leaving room for development. As of Tuesday, he will still in negotiations with Detroit.

Potential destinations: Florida, Detroit, Minnesota.

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RWBill's avatar

Just shoot me now.  I don’t care anymore.

Posted by RWBill on 06/28/11 at 05:53 PM ET

Jordan_NOHS's avatar

BREAKING NEWS!! Jagr has a handshake deal, a 5-year $60M contract with the Panthers

Posted by Jordan_NOHS from Detroit, MI on 06/28/11 at 05:58 PM ET


this side show is getting out of hand

Posted by selke13 on 06/28/11 at 06:06 PM ET

cainer4wingsglory's avatar

I was initially in favor of bringing Jagr on, but it’s just getting tiresome now. He should’ve waited until now to express his desire to join the NHL and we wouldn’t have had to hear about this shite for two weeks. Either Pens fans or Wings fans will hate Jagr when this fiasco is done…

Posted by cainer4wingsglory on 06/28/11 at 06:09 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

George, I greatly appreciate all of the hard work you do bringing us all the wings news/info.

However, much like forsberg’s constant soap opra the past few years, I find the whole thing much ado about nothing.
In the end it doesn’t matter where he signs, because after all is said and done, jager cares about jager, and not about winning. That’s why he went to the KHL in the first place. He’s a cancer in the locker room and a nearly 40 year old one at that. Twenty bucks says he doesn’t even make it through the whole season before throwing in the towel. I believe Mr. Holland is much too smart to make this mistake. Good luck in pittsbugh.

Posted by Down River Dan on 06/28/11 at 06:11 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I keep thinking about how, very recently, Holland was talking about needing to make only minor tweaks to our roster, as long as Lidstrom returned.

Now… Two assistant coaches gone, Brian Rafalski gone, Salei not being offered a contract, Eaves, Miller and Ericsson all iffy, Ozzie and Draper questionable…

Yikes!  Is it going to be a major rebuilding year after all?

This waiting is excruciating.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/28/11 at 06:27 PM ET

Slumpy's avatar

Ehrhoff is a better fit in the Wings system than The Wiz imo. Would like that have The Wiz’s toughness though but think Ehrhoff skating the better way to go.
Sign with the pens already Jagr you drama queen.
Sopel or Babchuk if Ericsson gets greedy.

Posted by Slumpy from Under My Wheels on 06/28/11 at 07:03 PM ET


More and more I’m starting to think that the Wings are going to wind up offering short-term deals to either Jovo or Salo (both with injury concerns). I like Ian White, but not as Rafalski’s “big” replacement. To me Detroit will be considering the re-signings of Kronwall and Stuart after this upcoming season and won’t want to pay big money for a guy like Wiz or Ehrhoff….who, in my opinion really aren’t $4.5+ guys. If that winds up happening they’d damn well better go after Suter next off season. I don’t have any idea, though. I just have a gut feeling they aren’t going to pay for any of these remaining “big name” d-men.

Posted by godblender on 06/28/11 at 07:06 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

this side show is getting out of hand

It’s not the sideshow - it’s THE show.
Beside it’s the end of June, and it’s all we got.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 06/28/11 at 07:09 PM ET


With the cap floor going up, it turns already weak UFA crop into an even worse cluster-F for the Red Wings. Check this out: http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Travis-Yost/The-2011-UFA-Class-A-Supply-and-Demand-Nightmare/134/36724

Everyone can agree Eklund is an idiot - I don’t pay any attention to his rumors - and even most of his bloggers are idiots, but here is an article that just so happens to be on hockeybuzz which explains what I’m talking about.

Basically, even if it was just the big-market teams with money all looking to upgrade their teams through free agency, like it is most years, there would have been a much greater demand than there is supply, and prices would have been driven up. But now, because not only the usual suspects are looking to spend, but EVERYONE is looking to spend because even the smaller teams need to spend just to reach the salary cap floor, prices are going to go through the roof. You want James Wisniewski at 4mil per year? How do teams like the Florida Panthers even reach the Cap floor WITHOUT offering players like Wisniewski 6mil per year? There aren’t enough roster spots for teams like Florida to just offer 4mil to players like Wisniewski and reach the cap floor. They have to overpay by a lot just to reach the floor, which will throw the UFA market into even more of a craze.

The Cap Floor was announced before the draft, so Ken Holland should have seen this coming. This is precisely why he should have traded for say, a Brent Burns, when he had the chance. Brent Burns is on a deal that he signed years earlier, so this supply/demand craze of 2011 does not affect his cap hit. And that is the only way now to get impact players on fair cap hits. You have to trade for ones who were signed before all this madness with the salary cap floor began. Instead, the Red Wings are going to go out and sign a Wisniewski or Ehrhoff for probably at least 1 million per season more than Burns, even though they are nowhere near Burns’ ability. And what’s worse is the Red Wings did not just miss their best chance to improve their defense, they actually missed their chance to improve while simultaneously allowing their biggest rival to fill their #1 need, potentially the one need that has stood in their way of becoming an elite team. If you thought the Wings had a hard time with the Sharks the last two postseasons, wait until they play the version of the Sharks with two #1 defenseman, one of whom oozes Drew Doughty like talent in all areas of the game (except Burns is even bigger than Doughty while still skating as well as him and shooting even better). The team that eliminated the Red Wings two postseasons in a row just added a 26 year old All-Star All-World defenseman who will likely be with them for years to come, while meanwhile, all the Red Wings’ potential options for improving even half as much as the Sharks improved with Burns are running out (Bieksa, Pitkanen, Markov), because they are all re-signing. It’s turning into a really bad situation for Detroit.

I was looking forward to this offseason and this next season because it seemed like Ken Holland was finally going to get back into “time to re-load like crazy” mode, whereas it seemed like the Sharks were kind of stuck. Their GM has a fear of free agency (even back when free agency was much more helpful and fair than it will be this year), and who would be dumb enough to trade him another #1 defenseman? And for what? Setoguchi is overrated as hell. Their prospects pool is near empty. Even Pavelski is overrated. He fits perfectly into their structured system so he excels there, but he’s not really elite in any area that would help him to be a great player elsewhere (what I mean he’s undersized, not the fastest, not the quickest hands, not really a playmaker, not really physical, etc). If anyone was going to trade a legit top defenseman to the Sharks, I figured they’d at least ask for Couture (who is right now a 2nd line center, which is not fair value for a top defenseman. A #1 defenseman = an elite top line forward, not a 2nd line forward). And Doug Wilson is in love with Couture because he played for his ex junior team and all that, so Wilson wouldn’t trade him.

So I figured San Jose is kind of stuck with what they have. There aren’t many elite UFA defenseman, and even if there were, Doug Wilson hates free agency. And no one will trade an elite defenseman to San Jose because what they are willing to give up is not good enough to acquire an elite defenseman. And I thought even if an elite defenseman was available, many other teams need one even worse than the Sharks (Columbus, Dallas, Anaheim, many other teams). And if none of those teams stepped up, I figured Ken Holland would be smart enough to outbid the Sharks at all costs, because he wouldn’t just be filling a big need in acquiring a top defenseman, which has tons of value itself, but he would also be blocking a rival from filling their biggest need, which has huge value.

So I thought SJ was stuck, whereas Holland isn’t afraid of free agency, and Holland also had more cap room. That’s why I was excited.

But now, everything has gone opposite of the plan. The Red Wings were not as good as San Jose going into the offseason, so they would have had to improve MORE than the Sharks. But the opposite has happened. San Jose has improved way, way, way more than the Wings. And of course free agency hasn’t started, so you can’t really judge that yet, at least you wouldn’t be able to normally. But because there is no one out there who is even half the player Burns is, you can. Short of adding Brad Richards or some unforeseen blockbuster trade, the Red Wings cannot improve as much as San Jose has. And if Holland was really interested in a trade, he would have traded for Brent Burns.

Basically, it’s worst case scenario. No one can undo what has been done here. Burns is a Shark. It’s too late. It seems obvious now, trading Filppula, a prospect or two, and the 1st for Burns, given that replacing Filppula through UFA would have been so much easier than finding a Burns equivalent. You would block Burns from going to SJ, you would add a player who is miles better than Rafalski was last season who is making only 3.5 million, and you would have gotten rid of Filppula’s 3mil cap hit, and you could use that money and a little more to sign a Jussi Jokinen and a Belanger, or that money and a lot more to sign a Brad Richards. There are options out there who can fill Filppula’s 2nd/3rd line center position, but there is no one out there like Brent Burns.

I don’t see the Wings coming back from this. When I saw that trade on the screen at the draft, I felt like we’d been eliminated all over again. The last two years have sucked, and this year was supposed to be the year of promise, but I feel like we’ve already been eliminated this year now. Thornton, Marleau, Heatley, Clowe, Couture, Pavelski, Boyle, Burns… give their GM credit for Pavelski, Clowe, and Couture, who he drafted, and Marleau was drafted by that franchise years ago, but other than that, they just keep getting gifted elite talent by other teams. How can we compete with that?

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/28/11 at 07:13 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Just shoot me now.  I don’t care anymore.

Get in line.

Posted by monkey from Prague on 06/28/11 at 07:15 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/28/11 at 06:13 PM ET

I know what you’re saying, but I think you misjudge the Sharks.  They’re the San Jose Sharks.  I don’t care how often or how many times they eliminate us, until they actually win something they do not scare me.  They could sign Jesus, Dracula, and a T-Rex and they would still be chokers.

Posted by monkey from Prague on 06/28/11 at 07:21 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/28/11 at 06:13 PM ET

Is this really George Malik?

Posted by RWBill on 06/28/11 at 07:32 PM ET


Want a really interesting stat? Doug Wilson has not drafted a single 40 goal or 70+ point forward, or a 10+ goal or 50+ point defenseman. Not one. He’s been their GM since 2003 but he’s never drafted a single forward or defenseman of that ilk. In other words, he has never drafted a top line offensive forward, or a top two defenseman, ever.

Oh, and he’s never signed a player like that. He’s never drafted a player like that, and he’s never smartly identified an underrated player through free agency who has turned out to be that.

Yet, unbelievably, not counting Marleau because Marleau was already there when Wilson got there, Doug Wilson now has four of those types of players on his roster. He is incapable of drafting a top offensive player, forward or defense. He is either incapable, or not interested in, signing a top offensive player, forward or defense, yet he has four now.

How do you draft nothing but 2nd and 3rd line forwards, and depth defenseman, but turn all that into pure, All-Star gold, four separate times? He is getting GIFTS. Every trade is a gift. It’s no wonder they’ve beaten the Wings two years in a row, they keep getting elite players gifted to them on a platter. Even if half of them, like Heatley, give half-assed efforts, they’re still an elite team because they have so many of them! Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom may be better than Thornton, Heatley, Marleau, and Boyle, COMBINED, because Pavel and Nick are stars with character, who are complete players, but Pavel and Nick can’t be better than Thornton, Heatley, Marleau, Boyle, AND Burns, AND whatever other gift, you know?

If hockey was just five of our stars vs five of their stars, for instance, we would absolutely own them. Our quality of great players is so much better. The problem is EVERY SINGLE OFFSEASON Doug Wilson sends off some of his good-not-great mediocre players and prospects for a GIFT, ELITE player. He sends off non-elite players for an elite player, every offseason, and every offseason they get one more star. Our five best may be better than their five best, but if they’re always adding one more every offseason, eventually they’re going to reach more than five, and they have. If you put up our drafted players vs theirs, it’s not even close. Their top defenseman would be Vlasic, or maybe Doug Murray. The Red Wings problem compared to the Sharks is that Doug Wilson knows somehow finds some idiot every offseason to peddle off his middle-of-the-road players (Setoguchi, Michalek, or in our case, Filppula, Hudler) to in exchange for an ELITE player. And as season after season passes, those elite players start to pile up, and pretty soon you have an elite team. And if Doug WIlson and the Sharks were just amazing talent scouts, drafted amazing, and built this amazing team, I would be more okay with that, but I don’t think they deserve it. Not once has Doug Wilson ever drafted an elite offensive player, but now they’re an elite offensive team? It irks me wrong. Doug Wilson could have had Brent Burns in 2003, if he wanted. Doug Wilson had two first round picks ahead of where Burns was drafted, but he picked Milan Michalek and Steve Bernier instead, Bernier a complete bust, and Michalek a bust compared to his amazing draft class.

But does Doug Wilson have to pay for that mistake? Does his team suffer? No, he just goes out and gets the elite player he originally missed on because he was too stupid. There is no justice in that. Have a bad eye for talent? Fail, year after year, to draft elite players? No problem! Just send us some of the players you ~did~ select, and we’ll give you that elite player you’re missing.

That’s why the Sharks are a good team right now. The Wings have infinitely better home-grown talent, but the Sharks are better because Doug Wilson keeps receiving gifts. And can you blame him for receiving them? I can’t blame Wilson for that. I blame Holland for letting it happen. I heard that Doug Wilson met with Cliff Fletcher face to face for four hours before the draft (at the request of Doug Wilson). Fletcher said it was because Wilson is a great negotiator, and wanted to get him face to face to “take it to me.” My feeling is, where the hell was Ken Holland in this?You’re just going to let your rival keep adding?

Even if Holland didn’t want to pay to acquire Burns, he should at least have gone over there and talked to Fletcher. “Listen Cliff, you may think you like what Doug Wilson is saying to you, but how do you think the other GMs who have made awful trades with Doug WIlson felt right before they made them? You really think Setoguchi is what you think he is? He scored less points ON THE SHARKS, AS A FORWARD, WITH JOE THORNTON, than the DEFENSEMAN you’re giving up scored on your terrible team! I’m telling you, Setoguchi has padded stats! And Cliff, you’re considering this because you’re rebuilding, right? Well think about what that means. You’re making this trade so you can be good in five years. But Brent Burns is only 26 years old! #1. He could still be a great help to you in 5 years, and you’ll probably need a player like him if you trade him, and trust me, #1 defenseman are hard to find! And #2, even if you do end up trading him, if you trade him to the Sharks, he will be in your conference five years from now stifling your rebuild! Given that Setoguchi is overrated, I’m sure you can find an equal return, probably with a less overrated center piece, from an eastern team!”

I’ve lamented the Wings decline in proactivity recently, and this is the perfect example. Holland just let this happen. He is regarded with such respect among all the GMs. He is such a powerful figure within the league. If he went to Cliff, it might have done something. You don’t just sit in your chair and do nothing. Doug Wilson was the definition of proactive, sitting with Fletcher for four hours. Ken Holland did nothing. Now Jagr wants to return to the NHL, even though his speed has declined he would be one of the biggest and strongest forwards in the NHL, Holland wants him, but he’s not doing anything. I understand you don’t want to get the reputation that if a player holds out on you, you will up your offer, so that’s well and good. You don’t up your original offer. But you do what Pegula did with Regehr, you fly to see him. Be proactive. You tell him, I know you have nostalgia for Pittsburgh, but that’s the past. You have the chance to do something amazing here, with an amazing franchise, with a lot of players your age. You will fit in well here. And with Pittsburgh, even if you guys win, everyone will say it was because of Crosby and Malkin, not you. Whereas here, you will be the same age as Lidstrom. Everyone is going to say this team is too old all season long, and this is the place where you get a chance to cement your legacy, by being a MAIN piece in winning the Cup, despite your age. You will be relied upon more here. You are a piece we need. Your puckhandling just further adds to our puckcontrol game, and your size adds an element we lack. We are the perfect fit for you. We can’t give you more money because of the cap, but know that we want you here twice as much as the money we’re offering.”

Instead, Holland is sitting around, telling the media “we made our offer. *#$%@& him if he doesn’t want to come.”

That works for some players, but with Jagr there is the Pittsburgh element. Detroit is typically the top dog is free agent destinations, so you normally CAN sit back like that and wait for them to come. But Pittsburgh is clearly Jagr’s preferred destination simply because of his history. To overcome that and get him to sign with you instead of them, you have to adapt and do something a little different. But Holland isn’t. He’s doing the same old song and dance, except he’s being even less proactive than normal.

So Jagr is just another example. However, it pales in comparison to the Doug Wilson comparisons, and the Burns situation. Jagr is still a declining player any way you cut it. Brent Burns is a 6’5 smooth skating monster who has gone under the radar playing in Minnesota on a low scoring team. You’re not going to find a more dynamic or versatile all-around defenseman short of Drew Doughty, and Doughty wasn’t available. Burns was. But Holland just sat back and let the more proactive GM take him. The Wings used to be in the conversation for every good player that was available, through trade or through free agency. When a good player became available, the Wings were the automatic favorite. THEY were proactive. And wouldn’t you know, they were the elite franchise in the league. Now, I hate to say, they are not. People blame age, but it’s not age. Lidstrom just won the Norris. Datsyuk and Zetterberg are still great players. Rafalski is the one guy who’s age caught up with him, and he’s gone now, freeing up cap space to more than replace him. Age is no excuse. The options were/are out there to make this team the elite team in the league again. Ken Holland is just passing them by one by one. Brent Burns was one of the keys there. Like I said, you can’t go and redo that. He’s a Shark now. No one like him will be available again at least this year, maybe not for years to come. I can’t emphasize enough, it’s a 6’5 ballerina monster, it’s a 6’5 Rafalski, except he’s way faster than Rafalski, shoots way harder. Not only are players like that rarely available, players like that are rare, period. There are not even very many of them to be available. You’re looking at Chara, who is not the offensive threat Burns is, but who is obviously better defensively, and overall. There is Tyler Myers, who is not as good as Brent Burns yet, but who is still very young, and can fill out. Chris Pronger has the size, but has been hampered by injury, and he’s aging. Drew Doughty is the closest to Burns’ style, and is better defensively, but even he is not as big as Burns. Shea Weber is much more of a defensive guy with a very hard shot than he is an all-around offensive defenseman. He doesn’t skate anywhere near as well as Burns, or have his speed or puck-rushing ability. But he’s obviously a great overall defenseman. Keith Yandle is not as big or as good with the puck, but he’s obviously a great defenseman. And that’s about it. You ran out of names very quickly. Burns was available and easily gettable, and the Red Wings missed that opportunity. It’s gone. You move on to the next one. You can’t replace or make up for what you missed because that opportunity is gone, but you try to improve the team in other ways. The next big opportunity is Brad Richards. Jussi Jokinen is also available. If those are the two best UFA’s available, the old, elite, proactive version of the Red Wings would have signed both of them. The cap space is currently there to do that easily, so there is no excuse not to. The elite team signs the elite players available to them. These are those players. In fact, the elite version of the Red Wings might have even found a way to get Stamkos.

Whether it’s Stamkos or Richards or another star player through trade, the Red Wings need to stop sitting around and start adding in a major way. They already really messed up by not only failing to acquire Burns, but by letting him go to their big rival instead. It’s very unfortunate for us Red Wings fans because it’s further indicative of this new Red Wings philosophy of sitting around instead of adding. However, if a change of philosophy comes about in time (pre July 1), the Red Wings can still overtake San Jose. Brad Richards and James Wisniewksi, combined with better health this postseason, should put the Wings ahead of the Sharks, and everyone else. Jussi Jokinen is an excellent two-way forward as well, so depending on cap room (trading Hudler, for example), if you can do that, you do that too. Jagr brings a much needed element. Fly over to see him while there is still time and try to convince him to join. These are the things Ken Holland needs to start doing more of, or the team will keep declining.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/28/11 at 08:00 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

The only way Brad Richards will come to the Wings is if he feels he’s in a similar position as Hossa, but he won’t get as much as Hossa did. I just don’t see this happening. Defense has been the focus of Holland (supposedly) since getting ousted in May, and Holland has yet to pull the trigger on ANYTHING.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 06/28/11 at 08:07 PM ET



If we were talking about, “Im so scared the Sharks will win the Cup next year after they beat us,” then I understand what you’re saying. They’ve never won the Cup, so they don’t scare you when it comes to the possibility of them winning the Cup. I understand that concept. There’s a first time for everything but I understand that concept. However, we’re not talking about the Cup, we’re talking about San Jose eliminating the Detroit Red Wings again. And they HAVE eliminated the Red Wings before, so I am afraid of that. They just added another top pairing defenseman, and we lost one of ours. That’s a lot to overcome. It’s not impossible, but it takes more aggression to overcome than I’ve seen recently from Ken Holland.

For example, the Wings now have 16 mil in cap space without trading Hudler. if it were me, I’m trading Hudler to get up to 19 mil in cap space, and then I’m adding Jagr, Richards (those two should take up about 9-9.5mil in cap space of my 19 mil), Jussi Jokinen (12.5-13mil of my cap space), and Wisniewski (17mil of my cap space). That leaves me 2 mil left for a league minimum backup goaltender and to bring up Smith from the minors, and sign another cap minimum veteran dman, maybe an AHL guy, to be the #7 guy. That’s the best you can do from the free agent crop. However, if you want better than Wisniewksi for your dman, or you want someone as good as Jussi Jokinen who doesn’t cost as much, you need to make trades. To his detriment Holland has seemed so unwilling to use that route to improve his team. You have to be willing to use all three routes, the draft, free agency, and the trade market. Limiting yourself to just (drafting and) free agency is problematic, especially in a market like this.

Bottom line:

Datsyuk - Zetterberg - Jagr
Jokinen - Brad Richards - Franzen
Holmstrom - Filppula - Cleary
Bertuzzi - Abdelkader - Helm

Lidstrom - Wisniewski
Kronwall - Stuart
Smith - 500k


Bottom line is this fits under the cap at the projected rates for the free agents, and Jagr at two. If they ask for more, you have to sacrifice one of them. If Jagr signs with pittsburgh, that takes care of that. I believe adding Richards, Jokinen, and Wisniewksi is definitel yenough to overcome San Jose’s adds, and to overcome everyone else in the league. And since it’s possible, that’s what you do. You don’t hope to be completely healthy come the playoffs, or hope to be the best. You spend as much money as you can on the best players you can find, and in doing so, you ice the absolute best roster you can. And in the Wings case, that would be the best roster in the NHL.

Unfortunately, I don’t see Ken Holland doing any of this, at least his last two years as GM have been so uneventful, it’s hard to imagine him actually trying to really improve the team and add aggressively. I just hope I’m wrong.

As a side note, even if you can’t get Richards, you still have a chance. Wisniewski, Jokinen, maybe Cole, Fleischman maybe, you look at some of the second tier guys and find the best ones. I’m a big Fleischman fan because of his skill and hockey sense and passing, but how he will hold up physically in the playoffs, who knows. Joel Ward is maybe the opposite idea. But these are all possibilities, and you have to find the best ones and add add add add add. The Wings are not one player away here. Adding Wisniewski replaces Rafalski, it doesn’t improve the team over last year. It just replaces the hole and puts them back where they were, maybe a little better because Wisniewksi is healthier. The real improvement begins after you replace Rafalski. Maybe you upgrade the bottom D pairing over where it was last season. Hopefully Smith will be a part of that, but maybe you want to upgrade it even more. And then the forwards. Whether you add more size or more speed, both needs for the Wings, the biggest thing is just adding. Whether you add two skilled speedsters or two gritty power forwards, as long as they’re good players, either way you will have added a ton more depth. Those two guys push everyone below them down a line, increasing the lines below them while also increasing their line. There’s a trickle effect and it’s huge. My personal preference, if you can’t get the complete size/speed/skill/everything package, is size, or at least Jussi jokinen/Brad Richards type size, just people who have adequate size and grit to hold up to the rigors of a season, and be good players along the boards.

So that’s what needs to happen for the Wings to be the best team this season, and that’s what I’m worried Ken Holland is going to fail to do yet again. Hope I’m wrong. As for San Jose, that’s where they come in, if Holland fails again, the Wings fail, likely at the hands of San Jose for a third straight time.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/28/11 at 08:23 PM ET


This post is pretty inane and feels like it was written jointly by Brent Burns’ agent and the Shakrs marketing staff.  Brent Burns is an excellent player BUT…

The Sharks gave up a lot to get him AND…he’s a UFA after the 11-12 season, and WILL command $6M+ annually in his next contract playing with the Sharks as his numbers will get better.

The Wings can still add three of the following pieces WITHOUT trades: 

Wizniewski MON
Babchuk CAL
Ehrhoff VAN
Greene NJ
White SJ
Ericsson DET

Vrbata PHX
Bergenheim TB
Brendan Morrison CAL
Jokinen CAR
Ryder BOS

Does anyone seriously think Florida is going to be a player in Free Agency?  Only if they spend to the cap!  They have SIX! forwards signed.  And no starting goalie. 
Of course they have 25M to spend, but lots of pieces to add, as do Colorado, Phoenix, and Carolina.

Posted by BabaFett from Las Vegas on 06/28/11 at 08:28 PM ET

BrendonTO's avatar

It seems obvious now, trading Filppula, a prospect or two, and the 1st for Burns, given that replacing Filppula through UFA would have been so much easier than finding a Burns equivalent.

Short-term thinking there.  This is the Wings; there is no “window” in which the team needs to win.

I’d rather have Jurco and a solid D-man prospect for our first than throwing it into a trade for Burns, who has a concussion history and is a UFA after next year (aka the year of the new CBA).  So then we might lose Burns to free agency after giving up Flip (who we all know has ridiculous potential…I really think the Wings just need to move him to the wing to play with one of the twins) and a can’t-miss prospect in Jurco who could be giving the Wings Hossa-like play with Datsyuk-like puck skills in a 6-2 frame in a few years (sorry to add to the Jurco love-in but I really think he was the best prospect other than Nugent-Hopkins looking long-term).  If we don’t lose Burns as a UFA, we certainly overpay to keep him.

Grabbing Cam Barker makes way more sense; to me this is the one Kenny needs to jump on or he’ll regret it.  Hard to argue with the 3rd overall pick in 2004 just sitting there on waivers.  We also can’t forget that the Preds filed for arbitration with Weber, which means its likely he’ll be a UFA in a year.  Sure it could still get done long-term before then, but if so why haven’t the cap-friendly Preds locked up their franchise player already?  We can’t forget Kenny is the best GM in the game and will be watching that closely.  If we can’t get Weber, Suter would be a nice consolation prize.

Posted by BrendonTO on 06/28/11 at 08:29 PM ET



You may be right that Richards won’t come. I have no idea what Holland is planning. But the Hossa comparison, this is different in that the reason Detroit couldn’t sign Hossa long-term back then was Detroit didn’t have the cap space. This is entirely different as the Wings have 19 million in cap space right now with Hudler off the roster, and that will carry over to next year as well. Only Helm and Abdelkader are due raises (small) next year as forwards, and on the backend, Lidstrom may free up lots of cap space if he retires, otherwise he will be at the same price. Brad Stuart should cost about the same - if it’s a raise it will be small, and Kronwall will get a 1-2 mil raise. If Helm gets 1.5 a year, Abdelkader gets 1.2 mil (probably a little high), Stuart gets 4mil (high), Kronwall gets 4.5 (mid-estimate could be 4, could be 5), and Lidstrom stays at 6.2, that’s a 2.75 million raise in salary on the players.

So essentially, if the Wings have 19 mil in cap now with Hudler gone, they will still have 16.25 mil next season even with Lidstrom here, and 22.5 with him gone. So even if Richards is signed at 8mil per year cap hit, next yr the Wings will still have around 8mil in cap space WITH Lidstrom, AFTER everyone gets a raise who is due for one, and they’ll have 16mil without Lidstrom.

In other words, Richards doesn’t need to pull a Hossa at all. If he wants to come, the Wings can sign him to a long contract no problem. And I’m advocating that personally. I think in addition to him being a great player, something people might overlook is that he would allow Datsyuk and Zetterberg to play together, and he would create a 2-2 punch. Right now if Datsyuk and Z play together, either Franzen plays with them, and the 2nd line has no punch, or Franzen plays alone on the second line without an elite linemate. With Richards, that would all change. You have two elite forwards on both top lines, Datsyuk-Zetterberg, Franzen-Richards (or mix it however you like). That’s huge for me. I think Jagr would do similarly if he can still play. I think having a top 5 would be best. Even if Jagr isn’t the best by himself now, he might be perfect for Datsyuk and Zetterberg. I’m really hoping Holland just gets off his damn but for once and tries a little harder there! Jesus. I’m so disappointed in him right now.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/28/11 at 08:32 PM ET

awould's avatar

And since it’s possible, that’s what you do.  Not necessarily.

Your plan doesn’t seem to factor in long-term repercussions. There is no way you keep that team intact for more than a season or two before you end up constantly churning talent away due to salary cap issues.

I like that the Red Wings keep a steady hand and move cautiously. It has kept them at or near the top of the league for 20 years and there is no reason to change up now just because a couple other teams have made big moves or gotten lucky.

Posted by awould on 06/28/11 at 08:33 PM ET

Baroque's avatar

Grabbing Cam Barker makes way more sense; to me this is the one Kenny needs to jump on or he’ll regret it.  Hard to argue with the 3rd overall pick in 2004 just sitting there on waivers.

Except, well, he isn’t really all that good. Otherwise a high pick wouldn’t be sitting there on waivers.

We also can’t forget that the Preds filed for arbitration with Weber, which means its likely he’ll be a UFA in a year.  Sure it could still get done long-term before then, but if so why haven’t the cap-friendly Preds locked up their franchise player already?

Same reason that Detroit filed for arbitration with Filppula before signing him to a multi-year deal. Purely to ward off the possibility of offer sheets and gain some more time for negotiation. Weber is going nowhere - he’s the face of the Predators, their cornerstone, and he likes playing there very much.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 06/28/11 at 08:48 PM ET

Baroque's avatar

I’m really hoping Holland just gets off his damn but for once and tries a little harder there! Jesus. I’m so disappointed in him right now.

First, we have no idea how hard he is pushing for, say, Jagr. He’s apparently made an offer, who knows how many times he’s chatted with Jagr and his agent, and now it is up to Jagr to choose what he wants to do.

Second, nothing can be done publicly about ANY free agents until July 1st. So Holland CAN’T hold obvious negotiations with Brad Richards, or anyone else, because it’s against the rules. Until that day he is Dallas Stars property. He’s said he is going to test the market, but the market isn’t open for business yet.

If you are going to be upset with Holland for not “getting off his damn butt” then at least wait until after he’s allowed to get off his butt and officially negotiate. By being upset with him now you are blaming him for not doing what is against the rules to do now, and that’s just silly.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 06/28/11 at 08:54 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Rossi says Penguin offer is $1 million.

And Erhoff’s rights were traded to the Isles (‘cause I’m sure he’ll sign there ¬¬)

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/28/11 at 08:55 PM ET



“Does anyone seriously think Florida is going to be a player in Free Agency?  Only if they spend to the cap!  They have SIX! forwards signed.  And no starting goalie. “

No offense, I mean this with respect and just being factual, not to be mean, but this self-contradictory. The fact they have no starting goalie and six forwards signed is precisely why they will be a player in free agency. If they don’t sign Vokoun, they will likely sign a low to medium salary goalie, and then go big with forwards and defenseman. Dale Tallon was just on NHL Live saying as much with regards to the forwards and defenseman. The goalie part is just a guess.

The defenseman you listed, none of them are close to Burns in ability, and their salaries may get very inflated. Burns’ having 1 year on his deal didn’t seem to concern Doug Wilson. He’s positive he will get him signed. If San Jose can sign him, then surely Detroit could have.


“’d rather have Jurco and a solid D-man prospect for our first than throwing it into a trade for Burns, who has a concussion history and is a UFA after next year (aka the year of the new CBA).  So then we might lose Burns to free agency after giving up Flip”

I appreciate the thoughts. Just some notes about things you are overlooking: there was a study done recently that showed past concussions do not increase the risk for concussions in the future. Brent Burns is at no more concussion risk than any other player in the NHL, so it’s a non-factor. As for Filppula, much like Setoguchi in SJ, there is some overvaluing by Detroit fans, understandably. He has the potential to be a good second line player, but he’s still undersized, doesn’t have a good shot at all, and he’s not even an elite setup-man like Datsyuk. Also you looked over the part where I mentioned replacing him. That’s why it’s not short-term thinking. You can replace him with someone on a multi-year deal. Short term is one year. Multi-year is multi-year. I also suggested Brad Richards. Again, multi-year. If Lidstrom retires next year, I calculated in the raises for the pending free agents next year, and the Red Wings will have 22 million in cap room at the current cap limit. That’s enough for Brent Burns, Brad Richards, and more! Not to mention Brent Burns, and a Filppula replacement. Burns at 6 mill that you just mentioned would be less than Lidstrom is making now, so it would actually give the Wings slightly more cap space next year, not less. So it’s not short-term. I’m not sure where you got that but you must have misread my post.

“We also can’t forget that the Preds filed for arbitration with Weber, which means its likely he’ll be a UFA in a year.”

That’s out of sync with what everyone has been saying, from Nashville’s GM to insiders in the league. They are planning to lock him up long term. Shea Weber likes it in Nashville. This is unlikely, and certainly not something you can plan THIS offseason around. If you wait for next year, and then you don’t get Weber, and then you wait until the next year for someone else, etc etc, you can go on forever.

“We can’t forget Kenny is the best GM in the game and will be watching that closely.”

He used to be. Is he still? I’m not going to let him off the hook so easily as to let him live off the past forever. It’s time to get back to work. Doug Wilson has been the far better GM than him the last few years, and as a result the Sharks have overtaken the Wings. We’ll know that Ken Holland is the best GM in the league once more when the Wings are the best team in the league once more. Until then, he’s not.

“Grabbing Cam Barker makes way more sense; to me this is the one Kenny needs to jump on or he’ll regret it. “

He played poorly in Minnesota. The Wild couldn’t even find one team in the NHL to trade him too, which is why they are waiving him. If no one claims him, reports are they will buy him out. If the Wings want to sign him after that for less than his current cap hit (or get him on re-entry waivers if the Wild go that route), they can, but it’s not so simple as you’re putting it. He’s not a prospect. You can’t stick him in the minors until he fulfills his potential. You’d have to take on a one-way contract with a sizable cap hit if they just claim him like you’re suggesting, and he hasn’t played well recently. So far he’s a 3rd overall pick who hasn’t lived up to his billing. You can’t claim him just because he’s a 3rd overall pick. He’s not a good player right now. Maybe he would be with the Wings, but that’s a huge risk for a 3mil cap hit he’s on now, and for what? With that money you can go sign a known commodity from UFA who doesn’t bring that type of risk, and who has the same upside. If you could get him on a two-way prospect and develop him further, of course you would get him, but you can’t do that, so bottom line is it’s just trickier than you’re making it out to be, unfortunately.

Lastly, you state Tomas Jurco is an amazing prospect, and Holland was smart not to trade for Burns because he would have not been able to draft Jurco. First, as for Jurco being amazing, we don’t know that. Holland hasn’t exactly hit homeruns with his recent 1st round draft picks. But he does look talented. Second, and most important, you’re overlooking things again. Trading a 1st round pick for Burns does not keep you from getting Jurco. Jurco was drafted #35, in the second round. I understand the Wings traded their first round pick to move back and get that #35 pick, but that’s not the only way they could have gotten an early second round pick. Teams trade 2nds and 3rds for a higher second all the time. Detroit could have traded the 48th and 55th picks for an early second, maybe with a 4th or 5th from the next year thrown in, if I have to outline an overpaying scenario here for you to believe me. In other words, they could have gotten Burns, Jurco, AND a Filppula replacement through free agency. The only loss would have been a top prospect. And for all the talk about Jurco being amazing, he’s not a sure thing. What is a sure thing is Brent Burns, and he’s also quite amazing, and he’s also only 26, sort of still a bit of a prospect himself. He certainly can get even better, which bodes well not just for now, but for the f u t u r e. That’s why this isn’t shortsided. Brent Burns helps now AND THE FUTURE. Brad Richards helps now AND THE FUTURE (a few more years, anyway, but the same can be said about Datsyuk and Zetterberg - they’re not going to be all-stars at age 40, most likely, but they are signed that long because they will either retire before then, or their salaries will be so low that Holland can buy them out with very little cap penalty - Richards would be the same scenario), Wisniewski helps now AND THE FUTURE.

And the players you might sign, like Jovanski, who only help now, well you don’t have to give up anyone to get them, and you only sign them to a one year deal, so once they’re gone you just replace them.

Anyway, I understand the argument against Burns. It’s the same argument some teams made when their GM didn’t trade for Dan Boyle, even though they needed a top defenseman, and Doug Wilson did. Except Dan Boyle was actually coming off an awful season +/- wise with Tampa, so he was looking way worse than Burns, but even he turned out as a huge win for the Sharks. And now it’s the same thing. People think Setoguchi and Coyle is a big price because that’s what Doug Wilson does, he goes out in the media, he pumps up the value of his players (remember all that stuff all year about how Logan Couture was the best “three zone” player?). Heatley was Thornton’s linemate all of the season before last, and I bet they put Setoguchi on Thornton’s line the second half of last season specifically so they could up his stats so he’d have more trade value this offseason. That’s what they do over there in San Jose. They are good at making the whole league think their players are way better than they are. Ask Wild fans, they think they are getting a top line winger in Setoguchi. In reality, he may not even be a good all-around 2nd liner. He’s fast, he has a hard (not always accurate) shot, he’s not small (nor is he that big), and that is it. Period. One-dimensional, overrated player. Doug Wilson knows what he’s doing. He knows he just got a huge steal. I guess the argument can be made that the Wings didn’t have an overrated inflated-value player to use in a trade like that like the Sharks did, but the Sharks somehow manage to always have a player like that, so it’s not an excuse. The Sharks know how to spin and inflate the values of the players they believe they might want to trade, and the Wings don’t. Hudler may be a better player than Setoguchi in actuality, but he’s looked at as a salary dump right now, and Setoguchi, at a higher cap hit, is looked at like a really attractive asset. That’s spin. That’s San Jose being smarter than the Red Wings. And that’s a problem. Regardless, even without a Setoguchi type to use in a trade, the Red Wings still had Filppula, who would have worked. For a player like that, who will go to your rival if you don’t make it happen, you find a way, within reason. And it was certainly within reason. 2nd line player, late 1st, and a prospect for a top defenseman. That’s just what they cost, at minimum. And most importantly, you can replace the things you lost. I already explained how they still could have drafted Jurco, replacing a 2nd line center through free agency is much easier than finding a top defenseman, and a prospect can also be replaced through free agency, except you get one who is seven years later in his development cycle, and much better, and ready to contribute right away. Also, you have late round draft picks to replace your prospect, along with a whole new set, including a 1st, next year.

That’s my thinking. We’ll see what Holland does, and how everything plays out this season, how Burns does in San Jose, whether Doug Wilson made the smarter moves than Holland or not. As of this moment, my opinion is that he did, by a longshot. Brent Burns is an amazing player. Lot of people don’t know that. Yet.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/28/11 at 09:07 PM ET

BrendonTO's avatar

Except, well, he isn’t really all that good. Otherwise a high pick wouldn’t be sitting there on waivers.

For the price it would be worth it - playing for the Wild and playing for the Wings are two drastically different situations.  We grabbed Miller off waivers and that has worked out very nicely.

Same reason that Detroit filed for arbitration with Filppula before signing him to a multi-year deal. Purely to ward off the possibility of offer sheets and gain some more time for negotiation. Weber is going nowhere - he’s the face of the Predators, their cornerstone, and he likes playing there very much.

The fact that negotiations have reached this point is a bit of a red flag…this is Weber we’re talking about here, not Fil.  Don’t you think if you were Poile you’d have this thing done already?  Like, last year?  It’s not like giving him huge money would have pushed the Preds to the cap.  And when its your franchise cornerstone, payroll shouldn’t be an issue either.

Posted by BrendonTO on 06/28/11 at 09:09 PM ET



I know the UFA rules. What I meant by get off his butt was him doing nothing last season, basically, and nothing the year before, basically, and then most recently, the Burns trade that he just let happen. If you read my posts from earlier today I talked about how Doug Wilson went and sat down with the Wild GM for four hours before the draft, and Ken Holland didn’t. I also talked about how the new Buffalo owner flew to Calgary to talk to Robyn Regehr and convince him to come to Buffalo, when he didn’t want to at first. That’s being proactive. Holland hasn’t flown to see Jagr, which he could do. Holland didn’t sit down with the Wild GM and do any of the things I outlined. Even if he didn’t want to trade for Burns, he could have been proactive and maybe kept him from going to San Jose.

So no, lol, I’m not criticizing Holland for sitting on his butt THIS free agency, which hasn’t started yet. I’m referring mostly to the draft, the Burns situation, and the last two seasons, drafts, and free agency periods. And then to a lesser extent, not flying to see Jagr. Those are the things I’m referring to. He’s been very timid and passive while other GMs have been aggressive and proactive in improving their hockey clubs. Holland has not been those things, and his club has suffered as a result. And the results as a result have suffered ^:^

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/28/11 at 09:13 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

So… Paul just reported that Vancouver traded Ehrhoff’s rights to the Islanders.  It’s looking more and more like the Wings will be shopping in the bargain bin.


Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/28/11 at 09:16 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I have to admit I’m getting confused and a little frustrated.  San Jose, LA, Minnesota, Columbus - all have made trades to improve their teams.  The Wings have done nothing.  And it seems we can’t even get the players we already have re-signed!

(Is my anxiety showing?)

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/28/11 at 09:20 PM ET



“Your plan doesn’t seem to factor in long-term repercussions. There is no way you keep that team intact for more than a season or two before you end up constantly churning talent away due to salary cap issues.”

This is your preconceived misconception. It’s an assumption, really. ‘Well you can never add big contracts like that and keep your team together.’ You just assume that, whereas I have actually looked at the numbers. You can absolutely keep your team together. The Red Wings have three players with 6 mil or more cap hits. The San Jose Sharks have four, and that was last year, when the cap was much lower. This year, they also fit that under the cap, on top of spending 5.8 million on goaltending, twice as much as the Wings will. Oh, and they still have 8 million in cap space. That is absolute proof. The Blackhawks, this season, when the cap was much lower, had 5 players making big money (Hossa was 5.5 or something I believe, not 6, but everyone else was over 6).

This is proof that even when the cap was much lower, you could have more big, star player contracts on your roster than the Wings currently have. Now the cap is much higher, so you can do it even easier. And those other examples aside, although they do prove it, I didn’t even look at those. I looked at the Wings, because that’s what matters most, and they will have 22 mil in cap room next year if Lidstrom retires. Do I have to go year after year? Who exactly on this roster is going to take up all that cap space the year after that, or the year after that? The 22 mil next year is factoring in raises for Kronwall, Stuart, Helm, and Abdelkader. All the big players are locked up. There is plenty of room. Here, i’m looking at capgeek now. 22 mil in cap room next year, the year after that, it’s Filppula and Cleary who need raises (only two players), unless both of them improve their play and production drastically, they won’t be making much more than that, and they certainly won’t be taking up 22 million. The year after that it’s Datsyuk. That’s 2014-15. Four seasons away. And he’s already on a 6.7 cap hit. Is that going to go up to 10 million when he’s 34 or 35? It’s obviously going to stay in that range.

Those are the numbers. Those are the facts. The Wings can add Richards and Wisniewski with room to spare. This is why you can’t run a team based on assumptions. I’m looking at the numbers, I’m sure Holland is too, so I’m sure he knows the caproom is not an issue in adding these guys. If he wants them, and they want to be Red Wings, he can have them without problem. It’s just a question of does he really want them?

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/28/11 at 09:24 PM ET

BrendonTO's avatar

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/28/11 at 08:07 PM ET

Thanks for the reply and fair enough - the reason I said short-term was because we’d be losing a valuable pick (with no guarantees to move up in the 2nd round…need to remember the re-building teams that had those early 2nd round picks), Fil who is not exactly old (and certainly not under-sized?) for a potential 1 year defenceman.  I guess I agree with the others on here that Burns is not as amazing as you feel he is (though his size would have certainly been nice).  As far as prospects go, Jurco+Wings’ system is a pretty good bet.  Tatar is doing great in the AHL.

Considering we just saw Richards and Carter get traded from Philly, maybe Kenny is working on a trade we would have never thought of.  And Bogosian is still unsigned as well…

Posted by BrendonTO on 06/28/11 at 09:24 PM ET

monkey's avatar

And Erhoff’s rights were traded to the Isles (‘cause I’m sure he’ll sign there ¬¬)

Fleecing the Islanders for draft picks.  This is considered a sport in some circles, primarily in North America.

Posted by monkey from Prague on 06/28/11 at 09:24 PM ET


PS Awould:

One of those three players with 6mil or more caphits I mentioned, Lidstrom, will be retiring in the near future, so if you’re concerned about the future, the Wings will only have two players on 6mil or > caphits, compared to 4 for the Sharks now (5 if they re-sign Burns), 5 for the Hawks now (basically, Seabrook is 5.8), inching closer to 6 next year when they re-sign Sharp.

The Sharks are having absolutely no problems with the cap or having to “turn away talent” with 4 players making over 6 million, and 5 next year. The Hawks had some this year with 5, but now that the cap has gone up they’re fine, and they should be fine next year closer to 6 with Sharp re-signed. But if the cap stays the same next year, having 6 players making close to or over 6 million, it will put them close, maybe closer than you’d want to be.

So that would be sort of the ceiling for the Wings. You don’t want to have more than 6 players making around 6mil against the cap. Even 6 might be too much. Maybe 5 is the max, depending on who is the GM.

The Red Wings are at 3 now, and they will be at two next year likely, when Lidstrom retires. So it’s like i’ve been over in the last post, Richards takes them to three, two short of 5, which is the worry line. In other words, they’re not even close to “having to turn away talent” with Brad Richards on their team.

So there you go. Facts vs Assumptions. Always a good lesson. Important, too. One of my professors had a whole lesson plan on that back in school.

Posted by Johnson22 on 06/28/11 at 09:30 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Richards takes them to three, two short of 5

My favorite line since “I’m a freaking pharmacist” and “He spells his name is”.

(wrong blog?)

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/28/11 at 09:37 PM ET


Johnson22, what if there’s a big cap rollback after next season?

Posted by RyanVM on 06/28/11 at 09:41 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Ken Holland rarely makes the “Win Now” move that some people go for and this is often criticized as a lack of agression.  His style comes off to many in the public as stodgy and boring.

He has a plan, the whole staff has a plan, and they have stuck to it for a while now.  Cap or no cap they have made the Finals three times in each of the past two decades with two Cup wins each decade.

They are not built to win now, they’re built to win, and in the cap world (Gary’s World)  Holland will not make a move unless he thinks it fits both in the short term and the long term.  That’s why he is not going to go over budget to keep Ericsson, it is why he is not going to keep Draper if it means losing a young player, and it is why he is not going to sign some new guy to a deal that will handcuff his ability to retain core players in the future. 

Brent Burns is a good player, but so is Devin Setoguchi.  The Sharks needed to get better on defense, and they did, but they lost a significant forward to do it.  Detroit’s depth at forward is exceptional, but they need to get better on defense- who will be scarier if Detroit does get better on defense while maintaining their depth up front?  Free agency is an unknown, to be sure, but Ken Holland has, time and again, come through in that period, and I for one see no reason to doubt him.

The Sharks, in my view, did not improve, they went sideways.  But we will see how things go.  That’s why they play the game.

Posted by monkey from Prague on 06/28/11 at 09:41 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/28/11 at 08:37 PM ET

All your base are belong to us.

Posted by monkey from Prague on 06/28/11 at 09:42 PM ET

monkey's avatar

It is not unthinkable for the Red Wings to make an offer to Brad Richards.  As Ken Holland himself has said, there is more than one way to build a team.

Posted by monkey from Prague on 06/28/11 at 09:44 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

All your base are belong to us.

Speaking of it (??), is A2Y holding another July 1st Live Blog this Friday? I’m reading (gawd knows why) HossWatch ‘09, it’s fuching depressing.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/28/11 at 09:50 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Johnson22, what if there’s a big cap rollback after next season?

An agreement to roll back the cap would inevitably include a clause to roll back existing salaries as well.

It’s just a question of does he really want them?

That is not the only question.  Do those players want to play for Detroit?  Can they get more money somewhere else?  There are 29 other teams out there.

Posted by monkey from Prague on 06/28/11 at 09:55 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/28/11 at 08:50 PM ET

Ahhhh, the memories.  What is so depressing about it?

Posted by monkey from Prague on 06/28/11 at 09:56 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.


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