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Why the Red Wings didn’t land Bouwmeester

ESPN's Pierre LeBrun offers quite the scoop as to why the Detroit Red Wings did not win the Jay Bouwmeester sweepstakes (aside from the fact that the Wings would have been nuts to take on all of Bouwmeester's $6.68 million cap hit for next season given that the team needs to re-sign UFA's-to-beJimmy Howard and Damien Brunner, decide whether to re-sign Valtteri Filppula, Danny Cleary, Drew Miller and/or Ian White, and ink RFA's-to-be Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Jakub Kindl to contract extensions, all during an off-season in which the salary cap will decline):

The Wings were in on Bouwmeester, but, in the end, they didn’t get him because they didn’t include a first-round pick, a source told ESPN.com. Which quite frankly, is a smart, smart, smart decision by Wings GM Ken Holland.

Yes, Bouwmeester is the top-four D-man the Wings have been craving all year, but Detroit is not in a position organizationally to be trading first-round picks. They moved a first-round pick last year for Kyle Quincey when they still had Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart on the team and felt they had a shot to really contend.

But now? Of course they still like their team if they get healthy and make the playoffs, but this is an organization that needs to re-stock and use its own first-round picks to actually draft players. They’ve been near the top of the standings for 20 years. It’s time to draft and develop again.

There is no way Holland could have ever justified moving a first-rounder to Calgary. What if the Wings miss the playoffs? Even had they structured the deal like St. Louis by deferring the first-rounder to 2014, who’s to say what Detroit is going to look like next season if they miss the playoffs this season? That pick could be even more dangerous to give Calgary.

My belief is that Detroit’s final offer on Bouwmeester was a second-round pick and two prospects. And frankly, that’s as far as the Wings could have gone.

Continued, and...

The Coyotes are taking calls on players, and two in particular that are generating interest are veterans Derek Morris and Raffi Torres.

Morris is a reliable, veteran defenseman who would help most contenders. He’s got another year left on his deal at a $2.75-million cap hit, so he’s not a rental, however. He also has a limited no-trade clause; his camp submitted a list of eight teams before the season that he would allow a trade to.

I believe Detroit is among the eight teams on that list and that could be intriguing after the Red Wings lost out on Jay Bouwmeester.

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I don’t buy that they’re not in position to trade first rounders, but I definitely am glad they didn’t spend one on Jay Bouwmeester.  I’m curious about the prospects that were offered but in the end I’m glad they didn’t get Bouwmeester.  There’s nothing he could do to live up to that contract (and I’m assuming there’s nothing he’s done to live up to it in Calgary).

Posted by Garth on 04/02/13 at 10:37 AM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Morris wouldn’t be bad, but who would he play with? Can he handle top-pairing minutes with Kronwall? Would he play with Smith?

Posted by RedMenace from Fuck Cancer on 04/02/13 at 10:41 AM ET

All American in MN's avatar


I think a comparable Red Wings offer would have been Adam Almquist (same size and scoring ability of the Blue’s defensive prospect) and Thomas McCollum.  I could care less about losing either of those two prospects, even Jake Paterson for that matter. However, this is one year where I would not trade the 1st rounder.  Here is why, where are the Wings going to land in the standings if Dats or Z goes down with a serious injury for the rest of the year?  They, plus Howard, are pretty much carrying the team.  I think the gamble is just to big this year to risk a 1st rounder at this time.

I hate this team, but I feel like we just need to suffer through this shortened season and look for good changes this summer.

Posted by All American in MN on 04/02/13 at 10:45 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I just want to know if signing Bouwmeester is going to screw the pooch in St. Louis in terms of retaining Shattenkirk, Pietrangelo, or Stewart.

Posted by MoreShoot on 04/02/13 at 10:56 AM ET


Posted by MoreShoot on 04/02/13 at 11:56 AM ET

I guess it depends what their budget is like, but capgeek has them with $26M in space to sign 10 players.  Of course, this year they’re $18M under the cap, so who knows what kind of actual money they have to play with.

Posted by Garth on 04/02/13 at 11:08 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

so speaking of rentals…


Jaromir Jagr will be traded, according to report

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/02/13 at 11:20 AM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Jagr/Datsyuk/Brunner please.  pretty please.  pretty *#$%@& please.

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/02/13 at 11:20 AM ET


Ken Holland - DO NOT MAKE ANY TRADES where you have to give up a 1-3 round draft choice. Be content this year to finish 7 or 8 (if lucky) and take your chances with either Chicago or Anaheim in the first round. And if you are fortunate enough to be offered a 1-3 round draft choice TRADE FIL or CLEARY or WHITE. Build for the future as this current Wings team can NOT win the West no matter how many Derek Morris, Raffi Torres, anyone from the Sabres, Flames or other non-playoff team players are available. Be sellers if you have the chance this year - build for the next few years.

Posted by Acim on 04/02/13 at 11:20 AM ET

perfection's avatar

Posted by 11B3PF7 in MN on 04/02/13 at 11:45 AM ET

this is the tendency I keep seeing from fans… your hypothetical trade is absurd. the fact that you chose two “prospects” that you don’t care about losing is a red flag that Calgary also wouldn’t care about them. McCollum is more in the “bust” category than the “prospect” category at this point. Forget the first rounder for a minute (which I agree would be absurd to give up for Bouwmeester), would you be ok with giving up Mrazek and Smith? That’s closer to the level of prospects a top-4 dman or top-6 forward will cost. You just don’t get to give up players you don’t want for players EVERYONE else wants. That’s not how trades work. Both teams need to consider themselves winners at the end of the day which is easier said than done in a very limited market. 

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/02/13 at 11:24 AM ET

gt500x's avatar

Sell sell sell.

Posted by gt500x on 04/02/13 at 11:26 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

So what they’re saying is that if we didn’t move a first rounder for Quincey last spring, we would’ve had Bouwmesteir on the roster today?  Got it.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/02/13 at 11:29 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

*Knock on wood*  I think the Halak injury might spell curtains for the Blues.  They aren’t the team they were last year, and Jay Bouwmeester has too much to prove before I believe that he’ll make an adequate stop gap.  Which brings me to my next point…

Thank god Jay Bouwmeester isn’t a Red Wing.  The thought of paying that guy Nick-Lidstrom-money makes me cringe. 

On Jagr…

I’m really over the dead celebrities tour that Detroit has been giving for the last several years.  If Jagr goes to Detroit it will be the Modano Experiment 2.0.  I’m not interested in seeing the results. 

Plus, why sign a guy who is just going to jump ship like he has for his entire career?  Leave his ass in Dallas, we have too many high profile prospects to let that guy waste minutes and cap space on the sunset of his career.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/02/13 at 11:45 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/02/13 at 12:46 PM ET

I think it has to do with where the Wings are on the competitiveness curve.  Chicago and Pittsburgh are in the position with their development to 1.) gamble on trades AND afford to lose if the trade turns out to be a flop, and, 2.) are close enough to competing for a cup that guys will take less money to be on board. 

The Wings were in that place two seasons ago.  They aren’t right now, but I think that will change next year. 

That’s my take anyway.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/02/13 at 11:50 AM ET

perfection's avatar

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/02/13 at 12:50 PM ET

you nailed it. some years you go for broke, some years you don’t. some years risks are worth taking (Holland has sold the farm on MANY a trade deadlines) and some years they are not. everything is not equal all the time. It’s really strange some people just don’t get that. They seem to want the team to make every trade every time regardless of all other circumstances.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 04/02/13 at 12:04 PM ET


The no trading a first rounder is bullshit.  The Wings have always operated under the assumption that unless a pick is in the top 10 and a “can’t miss” pick, picks 20 through 60 are generally a crapshoot, so they never really valued their first round picks like other teams might.  I agree as well, unless their pick is a top 10 pick, with deep talent, why keep the pick?  That can’t be what is holding up their trading

Posted by bababooey on 04/02/13 at 12:10 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 04/02/13 at 12:56 PM ET

Detroit definitely has the cap space, but consider, we have DeKeyser.  Lashoff, Kindl, and Smith are rounding into form in a big way.  Ericsson finally looks like he belongs in the NHL.  We have Kronwall.  IMO Detroit is poised to have one of the most formidable defense corps in the NHL within the next two seasons, and they’ll be able to do do so without wasting money on a bum like Bouwmeester. 

It sucks right now, don’t get me wrong, but I think humble pie will be off the menu for the Wings very soon.  Why limit the team’s flexibility going forward (especially when these guys earn real contracts) when we have yet to see the upswing on our prospects?

I’d rather bet prospects and draft picks down the road, when things look like a sure bet, than during a time period where using the term “crap shoot” to describe Detroit’s chances is euphemistic at best.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/02/13 at 12:10 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

It’s the cap hit, everybody. $6.68 million for next season with the Flames absorbing none of it would’ve cost the Wings one of Howard or Brunner. Would you be comfortable with that?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/13 at 12:12 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

That’s not how trades work

what do you mean? you pick the players you want, pick the things you want to give up for them, and press X.  how hard is that?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/02/13 at 12:30 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

We’ve got 46.4ish next year if we don’t re-sign anyone. So if Howard gets 5, Brunner gets 2.2, Nyquist and Andersson each get 1.2, Kindl and Smith get 2 and 2.5 respectively that gets us at 60.5ish. Now if they re-sign Flip for 5…BLAMMO!!!! My head just exploded. Holland can’t be thinking about doing that, right?

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/02/13 at 01:29 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

On Jagr…

I’m really over the dead celebrities tour that Detroit has been giving for the last several years.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 04/02/13 at 12:45 PM ET

Great description. Best laugh I’ve had in a week.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/02/13 at 01:36 PM ET


I’m not sure what assumptions go into the claim that Bouwmeester would’ve “cost” us Brunner or Howard, but I don’t agree with them.  Detroit has 16 players under contract for next season and $18 million in space—which counts Bertuzzi and Samuelsson and Colaiacovo, two of whom will likely be compliance buyouts.

Assuming it’s the cheapest and least healthy two (i.e., keeping Sammy), that’s 14 players and $22.5 million—which ignores Tatar and Lashoff, who’re signed for a combined $1.5 and will be on the team, so it’s really 16 players and $21M.  Assuming Bouwmeester’s $6.6 and budgetting $5 for Howard, that’s $10M for Brunner, Miller, Smith, Kindl, and Nyquist—hardly impossible, given that four of them have never made $1M before. 

Now, it really does mean giving up Filppula.

Posted by captaineclectic on 04/02/13 at 01:43 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

It’s the cap hit, everybody. $6.68 million for next season with the Flames absorbing none of it would’ve cost the Wings one of Howard or Brunner. Would you be comfortable with that?

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/13 at 01:12 PM ET

George, do you think any of this is an issue if we didn’t send a first round pick for Kyle Quincey last year?  Seems like that’s the real lynchpin that is preventing us from pursuing a proven first pairing NHL d-man right now.

We can color guys like Burns and Bouwmeister any shade we want after we don’t get them, but the fact is that this team really wants a first pairing guy that fits that profile and we’ve been finding ways not to land them for a few trade deadlines now.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/02/13 at 01:57 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Had to dig up the Burns quote from our coach who continues to work with an increasingly depleted toolbox:

ST. PAUL – The moment Mike Babcock learned the San Jose Sharks had acquired defenseman Brent Burns, he instantly got the look of a guy who’s team just let one get away.

His Red Wings are looking for a defenseman to replace the retired Brian Rafalski, but it was the playoff rival Sharks who pried the talented Burns away from the Minnesota Wild in a blockbuster trade.

“They just hit a home run,” Babcock said of the Sharks. “That’s a gold medal pick. I’m pissed off.”

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/02/13 at 02:01 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I don’t think that the first-rounder was the death-knell. I think it was a 1st rounder AND the Flames eating no salary.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/13 at 02:05 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

I think it was a 1st rounder AND the Flames eating no salary.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/13 at 03:05 PM ET

Understood, but do you think that the club is prepared to pay a top line defensemen top line defensemen $ if Kyle Qincey’s 3.75m is off the books next year?

I get the sense that you’re hinting that the Wings aren’t going to pursue anything that comes close to 5m for next season given the 64m cap on the horizon.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 04/02/13 at 02:10 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Yes. The team is willing to spend that kind of money on a top-pair defenseman.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/02/13 at 02:44 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

So we have no problems forking over for Kyle Freakin Quincey, but won’t do the same for Regher or Boewmeester.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Ericsson (ERICSSON!) is on the ice with seconds to go in a 1-goal game?????
The only guys worth resigning are Filppula, Howard and Brunner.
RFA’s like Smith, Nyquist and Andersson don’t have much negotiating grounds.
Only Kindl has some power.

I’m sure Holland could have worked some magic in regards to filling out the roster with the losses of oft-injured Cleary and oft-scratched Ian White.

If we’re not going to go after anyone, then Holland is conceding we’re not contenders.
I have no problem with that. But if that’s the case, then be sellers.
Dump guys like White, Cleary and maybe even Filpulla.
Stockpile some draft picks and start building around legit young talent like Tatar, Nyquist, Smith and Kindl.

Holland’s smarter than me. I get that.
But as a fan, I want to get excited for this team. And so far this year, there’s nothing to get excited about.
Holland is the very definition of beige.
With the team’s we’ve had since the lockout, we should have more than 1 Cup.
Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith to improve your team.

Posted by Hank1974 on 04/02/13 at 02:56 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

LOL @ Vladimir16.
I guarantee Holland will toss $5M+ at Filpulla.
We’ll know for sure if he’s not dealt. If he’s still with the team by tomorrow afternoon, then Holland will certainly be thinking of giving Filpulla a big raise.

Leo_Racicot, what are you doing on this board! Get back to making quality commercials!
But please, leave your ugly kids out of them!!! Haha! wink

Posted by Hank1974 on 04/02/13 at 03:00 PM ET


We’ll know for sure if he’s not dealt.

Not necessarily.  He could’ve (should’ve) dealt Hudler at the deadline last year and ended up letting him walk for nothing.

Posted by Garth on 04/02/13 at 03:44 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.


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