The Malik Report
Red Wings overnight report: on Jurco’s uncomfortable summer, free agency, the CBA and Bertuzzi-Moore
Most of the NHL’s top prospects have little to worry about in terms of finding a place to play for the 2012-2013 season. If the players have two-way contracts, they qualify as members of the Professional Hockey Players’ Association, and as the PHPA is not attempting to negotiate any sort of collective bargaining agreement with the AHL at the same time that the NHLPA is attempting to negotiate a CBA with the NHL, players on two-way deals will simply head to the AHL.
Tomas Jurco couldn’t speak to the same level of comfort at the Red Wings’ summer development camp, and he looked downright nervous at times—for good reason. Jurco wasn’t signed by the Red Wings prior to the lapse of the NHL’s transfer agreement with the Slovak Ice Hockey Federation, and as such, Jurco remains Wings property until he’s signed, but until the NHL hammers out their new transfer agreement—which happens to be part of the CBA negotiations that aren’t exactly going swimmingly right now.
Via RedWingsFeed, with the Caroina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford confirming that the Red Wings are anything but alone in the, “If Shane Doan doesn’t sign here, we’re interested in Alex Semin” sweepstakes, and the news that Doan visited the Rangers and Flyers (per Yahoo Sports’ Sean Leahy) isn’t exactly super fantastic, either…
But with a boatload of CBA uncertainty and one restricted free agent to re-sign in Justin Abdelkader, the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness doesn’t believe that the Wings will waste their cap space by simply trying to out-spend their rivals in attempts to bring a 20-plus goal-scorer to Detroit:
Aside from discussions as to whether the Red Wings should add Shane Doan, who Yahoo Sports’ Sean Leahy reports is meeting with the Flyers today, or Alex Semin, who Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford has reiterated his interest in over the next 24 hours…
The other divisive topic among Wings fans who believe that the team needs to pursue free agency and/or trade options to bolster the team’s offense is, well, where the team goes from here to address the Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart-sized crater on the team’s blueline. As it stands right now, Niklas Kronwall, Ian White, Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl would be Detroit’s starting six defenders, and we all know that’s not going to cut it going forward.
The Detroit Free Press’s George Sipple added a twist to an “emptying the notebook” story about Red Wings prospect Ryan Sproul which notes something of a trend going forward: the Wings’ youth movement is pushing the team toward a level of social media activity that the “older” Wings never really cared or care to engage in.
Mike Commodore was the first Wings player to actively use Twitter, but Cory Emmerton, Brendan Smith and now Jordin Tootoo use Twitter regularly, the Wings have a member of the front office using Twitter in Kris Draper, and going forward, the Wings’ official list of players and prospects using Twitter will grow longer and longer as more players utilize what is now, for better or worse, the hockey world’s means by which news, gossip and trash talk travel most readily.
Updated 3x at 5:22 PM: This entry covers a little bit of everything, so let’s get started and start with the kind of, well, let’s call it a bipolar focus that Red Wings fans have become accustomed to since Nicklas Lidstrom retired:
Happy 34th birthday to Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk! You can wish him a happy birthday here- on.fb.me/QgGkVg— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) July 20, 2012
My 7-year-old told me it’s Pavel Datsyuk’s birthday. Why he would know this, I don’t know. Then he asks, “Which #RedWings will retire next?”— The Wheel Deal (@Bill_Roose) July 20, 2012
Geez son, Pasha is just 34-years-old! He’s gotta have at least another 5-6 good seasons left in ‘em, right?— The Wheel Deal (@Bill_Roose) July 20, 2012
My hope is that Datsyuk feels like this 34-year-old does: my aches and pains remind me that I’m in my 30’s, but mentally, I feel like I’m still in my late 20’s, and I tend to get pissed off when it’s suggested that I should start slowing down soon. Datsyuk has never been a player who’s had to do anything less than work his ass off to out-compete his opponents, and given that he’s a gym rat as well as a rink rat, I fully believe he’s got more like 8-10 years left in his career.
The difference between a general manager and Red Wings fans like you and me is that Ken Holland can’t afford to be frustrated by, or, given by this blog’s comments section of late, join Wings fans in either attempting to break his ankles jumping off the bandwagon or impale himself upon the nearest sharp object simply because the Red Wings have yet to land their big fish.
Zach Parise was probably headed to Minnesota from the outset, but the Wings made their pitch. Ryan Suter at least listened to an in-person offer from Mike Ilitch, Chris Chelios, Ken Holland, and, according to Mike Babcock, Mike Babcock, but Suter was swayed by Parise. The Red Wings did their best to go after Rick Nash, unlikely as their status as Columbus’s self-styled “arch-rival” made any potential deal with Columbus to be, but the Blue Jackets didn’t want to move him to Detroit.
And now we’ve found out that while the Wings didn’t engage in trade talks with the Nashville Predators, they sure as hell were keeping very close tabs as to whether Weber would be interested in inking the kind of front-loaded offer sheet the Flyers threw at him. Weber preferred going to Philly, so the Wings stood back and watched the Flyers stomp on Nashville’s toes instead.
Updated with some rather depressing takes on the Weber sweepstakes from Khan and Pleiness at 7:11 PM: While I’m more than willing to give Ken Holland and the Red Wings’ management A’s for effort in terms of knocking on every trade and free agent possibility’s door, aggressively, over the last month, and as mentions of that fateful Carolina Hurricanes offer sheet to Sergei Fedorov back in 1998 and as Flyers owner Ed Snider’s rightfully getting mocked by the Hockey News’s Adam Proteau for having his Board of Governor hawkishness and eating his exploit-the-CBA cake and eat it, too, standards of sporting morals…
The Free Press’s Helene St James suggests that the Red Wings did not inquire as to one Shea Weber’s availability from Nashville for the same reasons that they were rebuffed by the Columbus Blue Jackets when the team inquired about Rick Nash’s availability—but she reports that the Wings were indeed speaking to Weber’s agent throughout this pre-offer sheet process:
I know that failure is not an option around here, and that trying doesn’t count as far as Red Wings fans are concerned, but this Red Wings fan can’t help but give the team an “A for Effort”: over the last three weeks, the Wings have made an in-person pitch to Ryan Suter, MLive’s Ansar Khan told us that the Wings did their best to land Rick Nash, instead of throwing an offer sheet at Shea Weber, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that the Wings were trying to trade for Weber’s rights instead, and we already know that the Wings are assumed to be serious bidders for Shane Doan’s services as they wait to find out whether Doan will leave Phoenix at all.
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed defenceman Shea Weber to a 14-year offer sheet worth a total of of $110 million. The deal includes $68 million in bonus money in the first six years.
In total, Weber will make $14 million in each of the first four years; $12 million in years five and six; $6 million in each of the next four seasons; $3 million in year 11; and $1 million in each of the remaining years.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos is confirming:
Well, aside from finding out in the middle of the night that the Red Wings may have been in the pre-nuclear trade discussions for one Shea Weber (a day after we found out that the Wings did their best to bid for Rick Nash—hey, Holland, Nill, Martin and Babcock weren’t working their phones half the time at last week’s developmental camp to check their tee times), Wednesday was a pretty regular day in Hockeytown.
The Wings avoided salary arbitration with Kyle Quincey, signing him to a 2-year, $7.55 million deal that will probably look downright sane a year or two from now, but might have been a wee bit more than the Wings were hoping, and, with the exception of Justin Abdelkader, more or less wrapping up the Wings’ summer housekeeping (okay, they have to sign some NHL-ready call-ups from Grand Rapids, but other than 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.