The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/04/11 at 11:53 PM ET
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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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.