The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/28/11 at 02:15 PM ET
Updated 4x with a very belated Lidstrom interview at 2:48 PM: According to MLive’s Ansar Khan, while the Red Wings await Jaromir Jagr’s decision as to whether he’d prefer to play for Detroit or Pittsburgh, the team’s having a harder-than-anticipated (at least by fans) time of attempting to re-sign Jonathan Ericsson and especially Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller because the latter pair of players want to be more than fourth-liners, and that’s not going to happen in Detroit:
“Part of it is money, part of it is opportunity,” Holland said. “They think they can have a bigger role with other teams.”
The Red Wings have 16 players (11 forwards, four defensemen, one goaltender) signed for a salary-cap hit of $47.6 million (the cap is $63.4 million). That doesn’t include rookie forward Cory Emmerton, who is out of minor league options and must make the roster or risk being claimed off waivers. It also doesn’t include defensemen Brendan Smith and Doug Janik.
Smith will have every opportunity to make the team in training camp and the preseason but still can be sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins without waivers. Janik is on a one-way contract, and the club would like to keep him on the NHL roster as a depth player. If he is sent back to Grand Rapids and clears waivers, he’ll remain there all season because he’s subject to re-entry waivers, meaning if he were claimed on re-entry the Red Wings would be responsible for half of his salary and the cap hit.
“If we don’t sign anybody (their own free agents), we’re in great shape, cap-wise,” Holland said. “The biggest issue is the 23-man roster. I’m comfortable either way, getting some of our guys signed or having (more) cap space (to explore the market).”
In terms of the negotiating bottom line…
“Lots of talk, but nothing’s happened,” Holland said. “The deadline is noon Friday (when free agency starts). There’s lots of time to continue to talk.”
Khan provides an update on Mike Babcock’s attempt to fill out his shoulders with two assistant coaches as well:
“I’m leaving it in his hands to bring some people to me that he feels comfortable with,” Holland said. “He’s interviewed lots of people—met a few people at the draft (this past weekend). There’s so many good people. I think Mike is struggling with giving younger people an opportunity or going with veteran people, someone who’s done the job before.”
So what now for Christian Ehrhoff? With Kevin Bieksa returning to the Canucks’ fold, agreeing Monday to a $23 million, five-year deal, contract talks continue between Vancouver and the Ehrhoff camp. The German defender can become an unrestricted free agent Friday.
A source told ESPN.com there has been an offer and counteroffer between the Canucks and veteran agent Rick Curran.
The general ballpark for Ehrhoff is somewhere between Bieksa’s new deal and the one signed by Dan Hamhuis last July 1 (six years, $4.5 million per season). But don’t look for Ehrhoff to take less than either player.
Does it get done before Friday? It might. Then again, the Detroit Red Wings are sitting there with money to spend and a need for a top-four defenseman ...
• I actually agree with the Chief—if Cam Barker’s available, he’d be a good pick-up;
• In charitable news, per the Port Huron Times-Herald and the Free Press:
Thirty-two teams teed off Monday in the 12th annual Shawn Burr Foundation Celebrity Charity Golf Classic at St .Clair River Country Club.
The event raised money for the foundation, which benefits local charities. The amount of money raised is not yet known.
Each team was paired with a celebrity, many of them former hockey players.
There were some current players in attendance, however, as Detroit Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi played with one of the groups. Port Huron native and 2010 Dallas Stars draft pick Jack Campbell was also one of the celebrities in the outing.
Among the others were former Red Wings Burr, Dino Ciccarelli, Dave Lewis (coach), Dennis Hextall and John Ogrodnick. Other former NHLers included Craig Wolanin and Pat Peake.
Former members of Port Huron’s professional teams in attendance were Jon Hillebrandt, Bobby McKillop, Kraig Nienhuis and Jon Finstrom.
Frank Beckman, the play-by-play man for Michigan football games and radio host on WJR, also was on hand.
The outing was preceded by a luncheon, which featured a speech by Mitch Albom.
Update #2: Via NHL Gossip on Twitter, Vancouver’s AM 1130 reports that Ehrhoff and the Canucks are talking, and per the Sporting News, well…This is crazy talk, but I’d love to see the Wings trade for Semyon Varlamov;
• Of note from the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman’s “30 Thoughts”:
4) A couple of things to remember as free agency begins. First, teams can go over the max by 10 per cent (that’s $6.43 million during the offseason). Second, all bonuses count immediately against the cap next season (whether they are reached or not), and that’s how some lower-spending teams will hit the floor.
So that means any bonuses the Wings would pay to Jagr would count against the cap…
11) Half the league is convinced the Flyers are going after Brad Richards - hard. (I’m still wondering about Detroit making a run at him, especially since Valtteri Filppula appears available in a trade.)
19) Mike Babcock told The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell that the Sharks getting Burns was “a gold medal pick. I’m pissed off.” The biggest concern about Burns? His concussion history. That scared a couple of teams. But not the Sharks, who are really going for it in 2011-12. Curious to see who the Sharks go after to plug the vacancy left by moving Devin Setoguchi.
23) Message received: The Detroit Red Wings want to be a bigger team.
• As an FYI, if you glanced at Pro Hockey Talk’s James O’Brien’s list of players receiving qualifying offers, the Wings are going to hold on to Jordan Pearce, Logan Pyett and Francis Pare, but they have not tendered qualifying offers to Jamie Tardif or Sergei Kolosov;
If you’re interested in where the Griffins’ alums have scooted to, the Griffins’ website provides an Alumni Tracker;
• And the Detroit News’s Ursula Watson reported on Sunday that Chris Chelios, Eddie Vedder and John Cusack engaged in a late-night batting practice at Comerica Park on early Sunday morning, and the News posted a photo gallery from the event.
Update #3: Nice call from the Hockey News’s Darryl Dobbs, handicapping Tomas Jurco’s “upside”:
Tomas Jurco, Detroit
The Detroit organization takes its time with prospects, but it’s done right. Jurco is less of a risk now, but more of a wait. His upside will fall somewhere between two other prospects who are on the cusp: Jan Mursak and Tomas Tatar.
Update #4: If’in you’re interested…WJR is terrible about updating its Mitch Albom show page with interviews, so here’s a very belated interview with Nicklas Lidstrom from last Wednesday:
Still no deal with Red Wings and Jonathan Ericsson but told the two sides are still talking.
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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.