The Malik Report
Updated 8x at 1:45 PM: the Wings have officially signed Max Nicastro and Marek Tvrdon: What a mess. Yahoo Sports’ Nicholas J. Cotsonika has the news scoop of the day thus far: a gentleman named Brian Idalski spotted Red Wings coach Mike Babcock at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport,* most likely catching a connecting flight from Detroit to Saskatoo (I’ve flown to Winnipeg many times through the U.S., and flights to Winnipeg, Calgary, Saskatoon, Edmonton, etc. originate from MSP), but that’s got the hockey world buzzing given that free agency has ground to a halt—and ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun will explain why that is:
The wait continued Tuesday morning as Zach Parise and Ryan Suter contemplated the biggest decisions of their hockey lives.
Parise was slated to fly back to his native Minnesota on Tuesday and it wasn’t clear when he’d have a decision made, although a source close to him thought sometime Tuesday was a probability. Likewise, Suter remained undecided.
“When a young man is asked to commit for 13 years, why is it considered extraordinary to take a few days to make a decision? A deal will happen when it happens,” Suter’s agent Neil Sheehy told ESPN.com via email Tuesday morning.
The #Avs have signed defenseman Erik Johnson to a four-year contract. Details to follow.
Update: From NHL.com’s EJ Hradek:
Erik Johnson’s deal in Colorado is 4 years, $15M. Cap hit (AAV) is $3.75
Updated 3x at 1:40 AM with foreign language news—this if your overnight report, folks: This has turned into a siege. As you already know, both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have chosen to wait until at least Tuesday to make their decisions, and Jiri Hudler signed a 4-year deal with the Flames on Monday afternoon…
But my decision to just cram as much as I could into the mid-day post meant that you missed Mikael Samuelsson speaking to the Wings’ media corps, which you may or may not be interested in…
As noted earlier this evening, the Zach Parise sweepstakes may take until Tuesday to decide, and as I wake up from a much-needed nap, RedWingsFeed offers this from the Ryan Suter camp, via ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:
From Suter’s agent Neil Sheehy: ``There will be no decision on Ryan Suter tonight and there is no timetable for his contract ...’ con’t
`... signing at this time. Ryan is considering his opportunities and is taking the necessary time to give each proper consideration. ‘’
The Tennessean’s Josh Cooper received the same statement:
Update #3 according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo and the Newark Star-Ledger’s Rich Chere, decisions could still come tonight: Well this sucks from a Red Wings fan’s perspective. Zach Parise has chosen to delay his decision regarding his NHL future, per TSN’s Mark H. Masters, outside Newport Sports offices’ in Toronto…
No decision from Parise
Parise refused to put a deadline on his search
Parise insists he’s not feeling pressure from teams to make a decision
There will be no repeat of the stake out tomorrow; Parise is scheduled to fly out of Toronto
Parise on taking his time: ‘It’s such a long-term, important decision, you have to make sure you look at everything’
Parise on what has surprised him about the process: ‘How hard [agents] work, how much information they give you’
Parise on Brodeur: ‘We’ve definitely been in contact’
And the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts:
Updated 8x at 4:51 with confirmation that Chris Conner’s gone to Phoenix: Sorry for the double post. Wrong blog: Well we knew this was going to happen: TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that former Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler got his payday in Alberta:
Jiri Hudler agrees to 4 year, $16 million contract with Calgary Flames. 4yrs x $4 mil.
The #Flames now have the second-highest cap payroll in the #NHL at $65.9M http://t.co/eNaaIbvB
The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness confirms:
The Blues have signed D-man Jeff Woywitka to a one year, two-way deal. Woywitka has played 152 games with the #stlblues http://bit.ly/Nf0SZu
Updated 12x at 2:12 PM: Capgeek reports that the Wings have signed Marek Tvrdon: Good morning. Before the craziness starts—as of yet, there’s no news regarding Ryan Suter or Zach Parise—here’s a brief look at today’s Red Wings stories:
• Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner penned a slate of profiles of the Wings’ free agent signings, but he ends his entry with a little captain obviousness that may frame today’s events perfectly:
IIf the Red Wings are able to land Parise and/or Suter on Monday, when it’s expected they’ll announce where they’ve decided to sign, the Wings will obviously be overjoyed with their free-agent signings. It’s hard to imagine Suter not being a Predator or Red Wing based on Sunday’s scuttlebutt. Parise’s situation appears to be more muddled.
Whatever happens will dictate if Detroit has to employ an alternative plan, going after a Matt Carle and/or Alexander Semin.
Anyway you look at it, the circus hasn’t left town.
By early Sunday afternoon, the Red Wings’ front office knew that they’d be waiting until today to find out whether their pitches to Zach Parise or Ryan Suter, and the Wings had already addressed one glaring need in signing Jonas Gustavsson to a 2-year deal and announcing the signing of Damien Brunner to a one-year contract.
Then things got weird.
Updated 5x at 9:31 PM: My best guess at this point is pretty simple: the Red Wings have an overabundance of forwards now, should Zach Parise go elsewhere, and perhaps they are crossing their fingers that either Nick Kypreos wasn’t blowing smoke or that, should Ryan Suter choose to go elsewhere, they’ve got back-up plans in place. One way or another, I do believe that Ken Holland knows something we don’t, has a trade in the works (no, not for Nash, dear God, Scott Howson wants both arms, both legs, the liver, spleen and heart from teams that are in different conferences, never mind the same division) or is simply overbuilding like nobody’s frickin’ business, knowing that he can exceed the salary cap by 10% during the summer…
After adding Jonas Gustavsson, as expected, Damien Brunner, and throwing two bizarre curveballs our way in Mikael Samuelsson (hey, with Hudler gone and Tomas Holmstrom likely to retire, the Wings had a 35-goal hole, and Samuelsson knocks into that significantly at what is an affordable price by a $70 million cap’s standards) and Jordin Tootoo (for the love of Gordie, may we banish those whistles from the Joe forever).
Now? Given that we’ve been told that neither Parise nor Suter will make their decisions until Monday, despite the Wings’ best efforts to make their decisions “no-brainers” (thanks, Jonas Gustavsson), I’ll turn it over to the Free Press’s Helene St. James...
About The Malik Report
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.