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‘The other guys’ wait on their Red Wings futures

So we know, per the Free Press’s George Sipple, that as the Red Wings’ front office has returned from the scouting combine in Toronto, Ken Holland will get down to the business of negotiating contracts for the unrestricted free agents whose services he wishes to retain, and the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan provides us with a late-Saturday-early-Sunday column analyzing the comments made by said free agents regarding their futures, painting the team’s grinders and support players in a sympathetic light.

While it appears to be a 50-50 proposition as to whether the Wings can afford to retain Jonathan Ericsson’s services, especially after the Blues’ silly-money re-signing of Roman Polak, Ericsson would prefer to return to the Wings...

“There are options,” said Ericsson, when the team split for the summer after losing in the playoffs to the San Jose Sharks. “But I really like it here.”

As do two all-but-slam-dunk re-signings in Drew Miller and Patrick Eaves…

“There is a lot that goes into it,” said Miller, talking about what the summer is like for any hockey free agent. “I definitely want to see what Detroit thinks. For sure everyone would like to play for the Red Wings in their career. I liked being here the last couple of years. I feel like it’s a place where I fit in and play a role here.”

Said Eaves: “I really like it here. I’m sure it’ll iron itself out. I wish I knew (how it’ll turn out). But I’m sure it’ll iron itself out.”

Joey MacDonald also wants to return, even if it means playing on a two-way deal, if the Wings will have him…

“Definitely this is where I want to be,” MacDonald said. “I got to spend most of the year here, got an opportunity to play and played pretty well. We’ll see how it goes.”

And as for Ruslan Salei? Two weeks ago, or even five days ago, I would have said that there’s no way that the Wings would want him back, but between Rafalski leaving and Ericsson’s iffy status, I could at least see the Wings bringing Salei back to partner up with Jakub Kindl if they lose Ericsson:

Salei signed late last summer with the Red Wings, and kept his family back in Southern California (his wife was pregnant). He saw the family on two trips through Anaheim and a few other open spots in the schedule.

“That was tough,” said Salei, who would change things next season if the Wings choose to bring him back. “We’ll see what happens, but I think if I were to sign here, my family would move here with me. I would definitely consider that.”

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Comments

Avatar

You think even with the club wanting to bring up Smith, the wings look to keeping Ericsson?

Posted by DMN on 06/04/11 at 11:21 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I think that the Wings would prefer to re-sign Ericsson and bring Smith along as a call-up or the team’s #7 defenseman if he beats Doug Janik out for a spot in training camp. If not, I think the Wings more or less have to sign a bargain bin replacement. I can’t see the Wings feeling fully comfortable with Kindl, Smith and Janik as their #5/6/7 guys.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/04/11 at 11:46 PM ET

thethirdcoast's avatar

I would much rather see Salei back for another year at $1-1.25m while the Wings look at alternatives versus 5 more years of Ericsson at $2.75 to $3.5 million a year.

Posted by thethirdcoast from Algiers, DZ on 06/05/11 at 11:36 AM ET

RWBill's avatar

And as for Ruslan Salei? Two weeks ago, or even five days ago, I would have said that there’s no way that the Wings would want him back

That seemed to be what I read in the papers, but didn’t understand it, especially with the loss of Rafalski and uncertainty about Lids.  I don’t think they’ll consider Salei until Lidstrom lets them know, but I never understood the “Salei won’t be back” writings in the MSM.

The Wings could lose Lids and Ericsson as well as Rafi, and even if there were some shortcomings to Salei you’d like to keep at least a known quantity around if you lose 3 Dmen.  Maybe the franchise doesn’t view him as ideal, not many are, but at least he has known characteristics that would help the Wings identify those things they wanted in the rest of the Dmen to acquire.

Posted by RWBill from Brush Street cruising with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/05/11 at 01:57 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I would much rather see Salei back for another year at $1-1.25m while the Wings look at alternatives versus 5 more years of Ericsson at $2.75 to $3.5 million a year.

Posted by thethirdcoast from Rottenchester on 06/05/11 at 10:36 AM ET

Winner winner chicken dinner.  I will be horrified if the Wings saddle themselves with Big E long term, especially if it’s over $2.25.

Posted by RWBill from Brush Street cruising with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 06/05/11 at 02:01 PM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Posted by thethirdcoast from Rottenchester on 06/05/11 at 10:36 AM ET

nailed it.  and I imagine if Salei had his family around this go-round we’d probably get an even better and certainly more focused Salei.  Can’t keep the puck in at the blue line on a hard-around to save his life but definitely better in his own zone.  He’s not a top3 D man but he’s a solid 4/5 guy.  Would hate to handcuff ourselves with an ericsson signing, must be nice to be 6’5” and not have to earn your paycheck.. get paid on potential

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/05/11 at 05:01 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

must be nice to be 6’5” and not have to earn your paycheck.. get paid on potential

NBA and NFL have guys like that littered throughout every team.  Methinks there’s something to be learned there.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 06/06/11 at 10:15 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.