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TSN’s McKenzie: Red Wings re-sign Ericsson

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.

Also:

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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Comments

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The Meal's avatar

Boston’s PP is not Detroit’s PP (regardless of who the back-end PPQB is).  Maybe it’s Russian-five-colored glasses, but I think Kaberle would be a productive performer playing for Babs’ squad.  I don’t think it’s fair to cherrypick +/- numbers from an Eastern Conference team’s playoff run and extrapolate to what he’d look like with #40, #13, #96, #55 on the ice or #93, #51, #11 and #23 out there with him.

Numbers are a convenient crutch, but they don’t tell the whole story.

Posted by The Meal on 07/01/11 at 01:50 AM ET

Avatar

TOI/G 22:00
PPTOI 2:30
PKTOI 2:00
G 10
A 20
PIM 50
+/- +7

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 01:53 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

TOI/G 22:00
PPTOI 2:30
PKTOI 2:00
G 10
A 20
PIM 50
+/- +7

Posted by Garth on 06/30/11 at 11:53 PM ET

Real hard to argue with that.

Are we ok going over 50 PIM if a bunch of them are fights for sticking up for his teammates?

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/01/11 at 01:57 AM ET

Chris in A^2's avatar

What are the numbers that you expect to see from Ericsson for a $3.25M cap hit?

I don’t know the number, but I expect either the guy that forced his way onto the roster in 2009 that was decent in his own end, moved the puck well and made good plays in the offensive zone or the player that showed up for about 20 games last year and shut down his side of the ice.  For 3 million dollars there better be no lebda pinches, no forwards skating around him and deking him out of his jock , consistant good outlet passes and a career ending concussion to Correy Perry in a fight.

Posted by Chris in A^2 from Nyquist Puck Control on 07/01/11 at 01:58 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Holy hell, really?  E52 had better show us Wings fans some serious justification this season.

Unless Tick Tock has an ulterior strategy underneath this…

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 07/01/11 at 02:00 AM ET

Avatar

Are we ok going over 50 PIM if a bunch of them are fights for sticking up for his teammates?

Honestly, I just looked at his total from last year (87min) and wanted a reduction, but I won’t be too worried about the numbers if they’re from sticking up for teammates.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 02:02 AM ET

Crow's avatar

Big E and The Czech Pimp for Zach Bogosian… grin

Posted by Crow on 07/01/11 at 02:09 AM ET

John's avatar

I don’t think this is as bad as it looks.  $3.25 is definitely high, but its probably on the high end of the acceptable range for Ericsson.  He has played very well for the Red Wings and he has played not so well for the team, so this contract is definitely a gamble.  But Ken Holland doesn’t sign bad contracts, and he would have let Ericsson go if he thought he was a dud. 

The kid is still young, and he still has some developing to do.  This contract has the potential to look like a real steal in three years.  Or it means Ken is looking to do a trade with LA so they can buy him out…

Posted by John from Pittsburgh, PA (Wings fan for life!) on 07/01/11 at 02:13 AM ET

Avatar

$3.25 is definitely high, but its probably on the high end of the acceptable range for Ericsson.  He has played very well for the Red Wings and he has played not so well for the team, so this contract is definitely a gamble.

Here are the two problems:

1) He is now making more than Kronwall, the guy that Holland/Babcock said might step into the #2 role so that we were looking for a top-four d-man rather than a #2.  That, in itself, is ridiculous.

2) As Ericsson’s salary has gone from $500K to $900K to $1.25M, his play hasn’t gotten better.  Many would argue that in his full years here he hasn’t played as well as his first partial year.  And um, now he just got a 4x raise, (as a cap-hit…almost 3x raise in real dollars).

And a lot of people would probably argue that $2.5M was right at the top edge of what’s acceptable for him.

But hell, playing on the second pairing with Stuart, he might show us something he hasn’t yet.
Those aren’t encouraging things.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 02:26 AM ET

Avatar

And I would add that, at $2-2.5M you’re hoping for a marked improvement from him, but at $3.25M you need an immediate leap in the level of play from him.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 02:28 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

What she says (NSFW)-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3QqANF7xAI

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 07/01/11 at 02:30 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland couldn’t be reached for comment…

That’s because he’s been in the bathroom puking up his guts since he made this deal.

Play him with Lidstrom and make him earn every penny of it.

Cal’s right. At $3.25M per year, I don’t think the Wings have any choice but to play him in the #2 spot. So, my apologies to MsRedWinger for doubting her pairings in an earlier post. Now all Errorson has to do is play like he’s actually worth as much as Nik Jr.

When Kronwall contract is up after next season he’ll say I’m worth twice as much as Ericsson so pay me 6.5M per season.

I agree completely with Slumpy. And, personally, I hope Nik sticks it to the Wings in spades next spring. If they offer him anything less than $6M per for eight years, he should piss on Tick Tock’s desk and walk out the door.

Unless Errorson pots 10 goals and 40 assists, this deal will go down as one of the dumbest things Ken Holland has ever done as a GM.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/01/11 at 02:40 AM ET

Avatar

So I guess the plan is to grossly overpay a 27 year old developmental project and chase after a 39 year fading diva who might put up some decent points in the regular season but isn’t going to participate (much less win) and any board battles in April and May when it counts.  Holland’s always been overrated.  His Krupps, Hatchers, Whitneys and Jason Williams (twice!) glossed over by ownership’s purse strings and the superb Nill-lead scouting staff.  Holland’s passive, conservative approach is fine with a Jimmy D stocked cupboard and an inflated payroll.  (I love the fact that Hossa’s agent had to call Holland to get a deal on the table—way to due your due diligence, Ken.)  But “today’s NHL” demands a little something more.  It pains me to say but I think we’re now left to watch an aging, stale core slide into mediocrity.

Posted by bigbeatdownfool on 07/01/11 at 02:43 AM ET

Avatar

I love the fact that Hossa’s agent had to call Holland to get a deal on the table—way to due your due diligence, Ken.

Yeah, what a dummy he is for not thinking a guy who was looking for dollars and term would accept a deal that had neither the dollars NOR the term he was looking for.

You know, after he turned down a 10-year $80M contract…

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 02:51 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Holland did his due diligence on the Hossa deal.  He answered the phone.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/01/11 at 02:58 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Boy, I sure wish I had the Kuklas Korner concessions on anti anxiety meds.

You people really need to have a cup of coffee, a malboro, and relax.

My God! I can only imagine the reaction here had K.H. let Ericsson walk and then tomorrow watch as the few available D-men are slowly and surely signed to contracts 10 X more crazy than 3 years at $3.25 mil that Ericsson got. By     1:00 pm tomorrow this signing will seem like a steal.

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/01/11 at 03:00 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I keep forgetting about all of those other awesome GMs who have made the playoffs every year since the lockout and have won the Stanley Cup despite not having a top-ten pick in their entire tenure with the team.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/01/11 at 03:02 AM ET

Avatar

Garth, doesn’t the fact that Hossa did, in fact, sign with the Wings and a reasonable, short-term deal undercut your premise that “dollar and term” were on the top of his hit list? 

My point is that it might behoove a guy in Holland’s position to pick up the phone and find out what exactly interests a top tier free agent before he dismisses them out of hand.

Posted by bigbeatdownfool on 07/01/11 at 03:04 AM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

His Krupps, Hatchers, Whitneys and Jason Williams (twice!) glossed over by ownership’s.

Uwe Krupp’s signing was ALL Scotty Bowman’s doing.

But hey, if were gonna nitpick why stop with throwing Kenny Holland under the bus, may as well include the greatest coach of all time while were at it ????

Posted by Down River Dan on 07/01/11 at 03:10 AM ET

Lucce's avatar

Maybe someone will TRADE FOR HIM…

Posted by Lucce from Kingdom of Zweden on 07/01/11 at 03:18 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Im still struggling with the hometown discount scenario.. I can see if he’s progressed at all the past 3 years but he hasn’t yet goes from 500k to 900k etc.. for being 6’whatever”.. that’s is plain and simple.. my money is brendan smith makes him look like a bitch.. without a doubt kindle will.. guess error had to find a way to pay for his island houses and fast cars he gets taken to back home..

Could anyone imagine Helm pulling this shit? Or Howie? Mr we wont spend just to spend.. I wanna see Richards on the team tommorow

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/01/11 at 03:24 AM ET

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

He deserves to be traded

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 07/01/11 at 03:31 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

Jiri Fischer FTW! Damn i miss that guy in a uniform. He had killer instinct, E doesnt. Take him out behind the barn, beat him like a pitbull, and feed him raw meat. E should be mowing people down when they come in his zone. This is the key vital component of his game that is missing. If he gets some grit and actually becomes a presence every shift, then i’ll be a happy guy. But I think all us fans are right. The Big E we want is the one who performed for us in the ‘08 cup run. Now that guy was a solid hockey player.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 07/01/11 at 03:33 AM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

The Big E we want is the one who performed for us in the ‘08 cup run. Now that guy was a solid hockey player.
Posted by NIVO

The ‘08 cup run was pre-McCrimmon.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 07/01/11 at 04:04 AM ET

RorSchach's avatar

I think people are being a little harsh for what’s going on in regards to Kronner. Yes, E is getting more, but when Kronner signed a few years ago, people were pissed cause it couldn’t stay healthy and he was over paid. That was a few years ago with the cap. If it were the same.. Kronner would have gotten the same deal as E now. So chill with the E Getting paid more the Kronner. He’ll get his raise at the end of next year, and it will be more then E’s

Posted by RorSchach from Datsberg on 07/01/11 at 04:30 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Three things: McCrimmon.  Nearly the whole defense has looked overpaid since he came in.

Second: Player agents.  Ericsson’s just proved he’s worth every penny, so before you go vilifying Ericsson…

Third: Looks like a typical KH contract—he’ll look overpaid the first year, adequately paid the second, underpaid the third.  It’s what he’s done with Datsyuk, Kronwall, and Filppula (and to some extent Zetterberg before them), and with the possible of exception of Fil, all have panned out that way.  This one may or may not happen that way, but it’s what Kenny does.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 07/01/11 at 05:34 AM ET

babymachine's avatar

I think everyone’s knee jerk reaction is understandable. But Ericsson played this very smartly; significant money is being thrown around, and no question when the clock struck midnight Big E would have been signing an offer sheet for significantly more than 3.25 mil.

Detroit has been at the top of the league for a long time; do you think Kenny wanted to let another team take Big E for nothing? Too many lesser teams have the cap space to really f’ with us. If anything, this was a safety move, and merely a product of the very thin UFA market right now.

Who knows who we add D wise after this; a source tells me Greene from NJ.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 07/01/11 at 05:35 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I have to agree with Andrew from A^2 regarding his projection of the salary cap, yet I do expect more out of the big rig in the next three years with this kind of money.

The truth of the matter is, next year or the one after, Lidstrom is going to retire.  Defensively speaking, after, that, our team is absolutely screwed.  It would be that way regardless of who we signed.  There simply isn’t another D-guy out there that could fill those shoes, and won’t be for years to come.  I imagine Kenny’s just trying to keep our core together to weather this coming storm.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/01/11 at 06:40 AM ET

Baroque's avatar

Regarding Hossa:

As I recall at the time, Holland HAD made an offer to Hossa’s agent initially, for a term and salary that would fit within Detroit’s existing salary, and it was clearly out of step with the other offers he was getting, so Holland just assumed that it was not an acceptable offer.

The call from Hossa’s agent was not so much a continuation of negotiations based on the initial offer, but jettisoning that entirely and proposing something new.

And I don’t see that Holland is “chasing” Jagr. He made an offer, what he thinks is a reasonable one, and hasn’t gotten a response yet. Waiting for a flighty player to make up his mind while continuing other negotiations is hardly “chasing after” anyone.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 07/01/11 at 09:16 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

This dude is my avatar, and this contract still makes me throw up on myself.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/01/11 at 09:32 AM ET

MarkK's avatar

He better be in talks for the g****mned Vezina for that money in Detroit.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 07/01/11 at 09:39 AM ET

gusoline's avatar

He better be in talks for the g****mned Vezina for that money in Detroit.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland

That would be impressive, but I’ll accept the Norris…

Posted by gusoline on 07/01/11 at 10:13 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

The fact is that Ericsson enters the 2011-12 season as one of the top 75 paid d-men in the NHL which is absolutely ludicrous in and of itself. 

I don’t care what “the market dictates” in the past five days, there is no reason we should’ve upped this guys salary offer by 1.25m over a four month period (recall he was offered 2m per in the spring).

So rather than wasting time by pointing out Steve Montador’s contract yesterday, it’s crucial to point out that the Wings have opened up a can of worms with this one, and today will be very telling as to how dominoes will fall in the forthcoming years:

- Ericsson now makes more than every player on this roster but Dats, Z, Franzen, Stuart, and Lidstrom.  Kronwall will certainly get a raise, but toss that out and you’ve got an extremely poor standard being set.  We all know this wasn’t awarded based on performance:

- Brad Stuart has been shown the door with this contract.  There is no circumstance that I can see that keeps him here after next season.  They won’t be able to afford to pay him the extra 1m or so to play the #4 because that money has been allocated to BigE.

- Ericsson needs to be put up onto the pedestal immediately.  Paying a guy this amount of money means he should be seeing at least 18-20 minutes of ice time and power play time every night.  Treating him the way they have for the past four seasons is no longer justified.  The “project” is over, you just told all of us that this is your guy going forward, now prove it.

- There’s no need to sign a #2 if the current d personnel will all be here.  You are wasting money and time in the Ericsson era by taking time away from him.  Sign a cheap #5 guy (there are PLENTY out there, contrary to myths being purported by some folks in the Wings circles, need proof?  watch the signings today) in the next few days.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/01/11 at 11:07 AM ET

Avatar

Garth, doesn’t the fact that Hossa did, in fact, sign with the Wings and a reasonable, short-term deal undercut your premise that “dollar and term” were on the top of his hit list? 

And you think it’s fine to judge him based on hindsight?

There was absolutely no reason to think that Hossa would want as little money or term as he ended up signing for in Detroit.

And there was absolutely no reason to think that Hossa was going to jump ship from the team that made the Finals and lost to the team that won the Cup.

As JJ said, Ken Holland did his due dilligence by answer the phone and not assuming that it was a prank call from Ray Shero.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 12:09 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

Unless Errorson pots 10 goals and 40 assists, this deal will go down as one of the dumbest things Ken Holland has ever done as a GM.

Exactly.  How many GMs out there haven’t done something worse than this?  Tick Tock’s track record is pretty solid if this is the biggest thing we have ever had to b*tch about.

And I don’t see that Holland is “chasing” Jagr. He made an offer, what he thinks is a reasonable one, and hasn’t gotten a response yet. Waiting for a flighty player to make up his mind while continuing other negotiations is hardly “chasing after” anyone.

Posted by Baroque from Michigan on 07/01/11 at 07:16 AM ET

This.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 07/01/11 at 12:29 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I hadn’t thought about the McCrimmon factor.

I guess the real point here, is that this looks bad now, but you can’t really make a good judgment on it until he gets a year in under this deal and we see what it looks like.

After all, contracts should be paid for what you’re expected to do during the life of the deal, not for what you’ve done in the past. Paying someone for their past efforts is not very smart.

I can’t help but fall back on, In Kenny We Trust. When has he been wrong? Even times he’s looked wrong, it’s ended up working out okay (see Matthias for Bertuzzi).

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/01/11 at 12:59 PM ET

Avatar

Tick Tock’s track record is pretty solid if this is the biggest thing we have ever had to b*tch about.

More than the actual dollars themselves is the implication.

He’s making more than Kronwall.  He is, by default, now at least a second-pairing defenseman.  Holland did this INSTEAD of replacing Rafalski.

THAT is the problem, because Ericsson should as shit hasn’t looked like a top four defenseman these last couple years.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 04:30 PM ET

Avatar

Paying someone for their past efforts is not very smart.

So is paying someone for what you hope they might do even though there’s very little evidence to support that thought.

Posted by Garth on 07/01/11 at 04:31 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.