The Malik Report
First we were told that the Wings were "still interested" in re-signing Daniel Cleary, but that Damien Brunner was still headed elsewhere. Then we were told that the Wings were all but ready to move a body off their 50-man roster--the NHL maxes out player contracts at 50 players--to re-sign Cleary. Then we were told that the Wings neither a) wanted to exceed the salary cap, even though the team has $2.307 million of Capgeek-estimated space under the cap and another $6.43 million to spend under the "summer cap" to ink Cleary* and that b) no roster moves were imminent, so Cleary would continue to pursue alternate employment.
In the middle of all of this, we found out that Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill took his right-hand man in terms of scouting and drafting in Wings director of amateur scouting Joe McDonnell, as well as fellow "eastern scout" Mark Leach, to Dallas.
Okay, so maybe we know that the front office is indeed in flux today, because we were first told that Daniel Cleary was about to re-sign with the Wings, and minutes after MLive's Brendan Savage got an answer from Ken Holland as to what the waylaid scouting staff would do to rebound from Jim Nill's extrication of its director of amateur scouting, the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness reported that Daniel Cleary is not in fact about to be re-signed:
Detroit has not agreed with Cleary on a three-year contract that will pay him roughly $2.6 million a season.
The sticking point is the salary cap. They’d like to have Cleary back, but only if they’re able to shed some salary first.
Teams can go 10-percent over the salary cap during the offseason, but that’s something they don’t want to do.
In the meantime, Cleary is free to sign with any other team if he gets the deal he’s looking for.
I think the Wings' management is having an OH SHIT moment here...
Update: Edit edit edit, from MLive's Brendan Savage:
Updated 6x at 7:23 PM: *#$%@&.
McDonnell ran the Red Wings' draft and was essentially named an assistant GM...But Hakan, from what I understand, is happily employed by the Wings, and I would imagine that it would take an arm and a leg and then some for Nill to be allowed to pry him from Detroit's clutches.
The Detroit Free Press's Helene St. James suggested that the Red Wings would probably sign Daniel Cleary to a 3-year deal about an hour ago, and now MLive's Brendan Savage is reporting that a player St. James deemed to be one of Mike Babcock's favorites on Twitter...
Will in fact re-sign with the team once the Wings can find room for him:
Daniel Cleary is going to remain with the Detroit Red Wings. A source told MLive.com today that the veteran forward has agreed to a contract that will pay him roughly $2.6 million per season for three years.
The deal could be announced as early as today but the Red Wings have to release a player to get under the 50-man roster limit before they can re-sign Cleary.
Update: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness confirms:
Updated 3x at 3:47 PM: The Detroit Free Press's Helene St. James follows up a very busy Friday with a fantastic update regarding the Red Wings' roster moves to come, first updating the respective statuses of Damien Brunner (who Ken Holland stated was "going in a different direction" during the Alfredsson/Weiss presser) and Daniel Cleary...
The Wings had talked many times with Brunner, but his asking price of $3 million to $3.5 million per season for two-to-three years was more than the Wings were willing to give a one-dimensional player with one NHL season to his credit.
Cleary remains likely to return, at a rate of around $2.5 million to $2.75 million per for three years, but the Wings need to get someone off their roster of forwards, first. Alfredsson and Weiss have put Detroit at 14 forwards, a number that will grow by two when restricted free agents Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist get new deals.
And, regarding the Wings' roster crunch in terms of forwards (the Wings have to get under a 23-man roster by the end of the exhibition season, and carrying 7 defenseman and 2 goalies = room for 14 forwards), their 50-man roster limit and their cap situation (Capgeek estimates the Wings standing at $2.307 million below the $64.3 million cap, but the team can exceed that cap by 10% during the summer, so add $2.307 and $6.43 and you get $8.737 million, more than enough to re-sign RFA's Gustav Nyquist, Joakim Andersson and Brendan Smith...even if Cleary re-signs)...
Well, it ain't gonna be pretty.
The Boston Bruins held their Jarome Iginla-introducing conference call today, and during the presser, the Associated Press (via RedWingsFeed) took note of Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli's comments regarding his courtship of both Iginla and Daniel Alfredsson, who ended up in Detroit:
The Bruins general manager and Ottawa native spoke to Alfredsson about signing in Boston before ultimately getting a deal done with Jarome Iginla.
"After my discussions with him, no, I wasn't surprised," Chiarelli said of Alfredsson leaving the Senators. "There's a lot of similarities here, too, with Jarome. These guys are elite players in the league for a long time and they want to win. They have a thirst and a hunger, both, to win."
Alfredsson, 40, explained that wanting to win a Stanley Cup was his reason for passing up an 18th season in Ottawa to sign a one-year deal in Detroit that could be worth up to US$5.5 million with performance bonuses.
Iginla, likewise, left the Calgary Flames after a career there, though he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins amid a rebuilding project. While Alfredsson left a playoff team in free agency, Iginla still empathized with the long-time Senators captain's dilemma.
Updated at 1:19 PM: A little under 24 hours after the Red Wings signed Daniel Alfredsson to a 1-year deal and Stephen Weiss to a 5-year contract, I'm still trying to wrap my head around the magnitude of what happened--very admittedly, as someone who's still in utter shock that Alfredsson's relationship with Ottawa's management soured so quickly that he'd leave the team, and as someone who tends not to cheer for other teams, but has a Daniel Alfredsson jersey hanging in my closet.
I know he's 40, and I know that he's not necessarily what he once was, but he's on "my" team now--and as far as Ken Holland and Mike Babcock are concerned, the additions of Stepehen Weiss as a second-line center and Alfredsson as a complimentary player who can "play his own game" just as much as Weiss will, well, both Holland and Babcock suggested that the pair will give the Wings a more balanced lineup than they had at their disposal with Valtteri Filppula, Damien Brunner and Daniel Cleary in tow, and as such, adding the pair was more than worth producing a cap crunch in addition to set of roster-crunch-alleviating moves to come.
With Pierre LeBrun and Bob McKenzie heading on vacation, I'm not sure whether we're going to be able to prove that anyone's signed anywhere...
But in all seriousness, at the end of what is turning out to be a seventeen-hour work day, Paul and will do the best we possibly can to inform you of players' destinations over the balance of the summer, never mind the next couple of days.
If we can find an inkling from a reputable source who does not charge you money to have access to insights of player-moving note, we will try to pass those along, be it on Twitter or elsewhere. But if we do not know where a player is going, we are simply going to have to say what has been my most unpopular comment here on KK, TMR, or anywhere else: "I don't know."
Okay, one more time. On Friday:
- The Red Wings signed Daniel Alfredsson to a 1-year, $3.5 million deal with another $2 million in attainable over-35 performance bonuses, and Bryan Murray brought out his phone records as tangible evidence of...Well, a relationship that clearly went sour;
- As the Red Wings are now in a division with the Ottawa Senators, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning, perhaps Valtteri Filppula found it fitting to sign a 5-year, $25-million deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning after the Wings signed his replacement, Stephen Weiss, to a 5-year deal that will pay Weiss $500,000 less than Filppula over the life of the contract (i.e. it's a $4.9 million cap hit);
- Ken Holland stated that he'd been informed that Damien Brunner was leaving for greener pastures, but attempted to retain Daniel Cleary into the evening, with no result (neither player found employment on July 1st);
The Detroit Red Wings' annual summer development camp takes place from next Wednesday, July 9th, to Monday, July 15th. The Red Wings released a pre-draft preliminary roster for the camp, the Left Wing Lock's Sarah Lindenau listed the try-out invitees, and now the Left Wing Lock's posted the entire roster--though it's subject to change:
Update: Speaking of which, the Windsor Star's Bob Duff penned a lost-in-the-shuffle article about the prospects and the Wings' draft haul:
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