The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/30/11 at 11:30 PM ET
Updated 8x at 10:39 PM: The Red Wings have re-signed Jonathan Ericsson, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie, but his asking price was a bit steep:
DET agrees to terms with Jonathan Ericsson. Numbers not confirmed but believed to be three years at around $9.75M total.
Update: Per the Sporting News’s Craig Custance:
Jonathan Ericsson deal not quite done but close.
Update #2: Here’s TSN’s report:
The Detroit Red Wings have agreed to terms with defenceman Jonathan Ericsson. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but it is believed to be a 3-year deal at around $9.75 million.
Ericsson, who was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on Friday, earned $900,000 last season.
Update #3: MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms:
The Detroit Red Wings have signed defenseman Jonathan Ericsson to a three-year contract that averages $3.25 million a season, a source told Booth Newspapers.
This is much higher than the Red Wings’ recent offer of slightly more than $2 million per season. But as quality free-agent defensemen were getting re-signed by their own teams, the market was thinning, increasing Ericsson’s value.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Ericsson earned $1.25 million in 2010-11, his second full NHL season.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland couldn’t be reached for comment, but he said earlier in the day that he was making progress with Ericsson and right wing Patrick Eaves, who were scheduled to become unrestricted free agents at noon on Friday.
Update #4: The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness also confirms:
A source has confirmed that defenseman Jonathan Ericsson has reached a deal to remain with the Wings.
The deal is three years for $9.75 million.
More details to follow.
Update #5: The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan confirms on Twitter:
Jonathan Ericsson back with the Wings. Eaves is getting closer, too.
Update #5: The Free Press’s Helene St. James also confirms:
The Red Wings locked up defenseman Jonathan Ericsson today with a three-year extension worth $9.75 million. The deal closed a little under 16 hours before Ericsson, 27, would have hit the market as an unrestricted free agency at noon Friday.
General manager Ken Holland told the Free Press over the weekend the sides were closed, and all that remained was to sort out a few details. Holland is also close to re-signing forward Patrick Eaves, while Drew Miller appears determined to test the market.
They also have Jakub Kindl under contract, and are prepared to give Brendan Smith, their first-rounder from the ‘07 draft, every chance to make the team.
Ericsson provides good size at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, though the Wings repeatedly push him to be more physical. He rebounded from a subpar 2009-10 with a very steady season that saw him reach a career-high 15 points and finish plus-8. He was an able penalty killer, and showed signs he can help out the power play on the back end if needed.
Ericsson’s $3.25 million salary cap hit (the same as what he’ll make each season) is more than Niklas Kronwall’s, but Kronwall is due a considerable raise when his contract expires next summer. The Wings have Ericsson penciled in as the No. 5 defensman for 2011-12, but he’s looked good when playing with Nicklas Lidstrom in the past, and this signing gives the Wings some breathing room as they approach free agency on Friday.
Update #6: More from Kulfan via Twitter, and he is, regrettably, right:
That’s a lot of money for Ericsson but given the climate in the NHL this week (and for sure tomorrow) the cap number ($3.25M) is about right
Not saying that Ericsson earning $3.25M is right. That puts him past Kronwall (until after next season).
Update #7: Here’s Kulfan’s report:
The Red Wings kept one player in the fold. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson has re-signed with the Red Wings on a 3-year contract. Financial terms weren’t immediately confirmed, but it’s expected the total will be just under $10 million.
Ericsson, 27, earned $900,000 last season.
Ericsson played in 74 games last season, scoring 15 points (three goals, 12 assists). He was plus-8, with 87 penalty minutes. Ericsson had three points (one goal, two assists) in 11 playoff games.
The signing leaves forwards Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller available. It appears the Wings are somewhat closer to an agreement with Eaves at this point.
The Wings are also negotiating with unrestricted free agent forward Jaromir Jagr.
Update #8: Per the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness:
As the free agency deadline fast approaches, the Wings have locked up one player and seem to be getting closer to a deal with another of their three unrestricted free agents. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson agreed to a deal late Thursday night, a source told The Macomb Daily. The deal is for three years and $9.7 million.
Wings general manager Ken Holland, who could not be reached for comment on the Ericsson signing, said Thursday they were making progress on Ericsson and with forward Patrick Eaves, but that nothing had been finalized.
“We’re still talking and I think we’re making progress,” Holland said. “But once you get to noon (today) it’s wide open for anyone to sign them.”
Detroit’s original offer to Ericsson, who made $1.25 million last year, was just over $2 million a season. His price tag rose as unrestricted free agent defensemen were taken off the market.
Holland added that Wings coach Mike Babcock is continuing to talk to assistant coaching candidates. He hopes to make a decision early next week.
“We’ve narrowed it down to a few guys,” Holland said.
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