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“The Red Wings, they’re one of the teams.  Everybody is interested in the Red Wings.”

-Mike Liut, agent for Willie Mitchell.  More from Craig Custance of The Sporting News.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: willie+mitchell


Paul's avatar

If the Wings were able to get Mitchell to Detroit, it would make them a serious Cup contender.


Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 08/06/10 at 06:37 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I know you’re probably just trying to be somewhat balanced Paul… but they’re already a contender. smile

Ericsson will have a good season this year, I’d be willing to bet a case of warm Yuengling on it.

Definitely don’t expect offense from him, but I think he’ll be used on the PK, and will eliminate much of the indecisiveness that caused so much trouble for him last year. Because he played so well in the playoffs in ‘08 and ‘09 I think that fans forget that last season was really his first full regular season, going through the grind of an NHL schedule. Add that up with the fact that he’s still (relatively speaking) new to playing D, and it’s not really all that odd that he had a crummy year.

Remember how he played the last 4 or 6 weeks of the season… he was definitely back on track going in the right direction.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 08/06/10 at 06:57 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

IF Kenny makes this happen, I’d say I’d be astounded…. but then again Kenny seems to have a way of making impossiblity into reality.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 08/06/10 at 07:00 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Posted by some kid on 08/06/10 at 05:14 PM ET

The Wings could do it because, when they sign Abdelkader, they’ll have 14 forwards under NHL contracts, so either way they are going to have to waive/trade a forward which will free up more cap space, getting them near $2M.  It IS possible, but still unlikely

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 08/06/10 at 08:33 PM ET


One could fathom Mitchell playing for 2 million at the absolute minimum to be on a cup contender ...

Well, I’m gonna say you’re wrong. 

The fact that Detroit is in the conversation according to Mitchell’s agent, you have to think that they at least have some idea of what Detroit can pay him.  Especially considering that Liut is Modano’s agent.

Mitchell wouldn’t be the first guy to take big salary hit in order to be on a contender, OR in order to prove he’s still durable after coming off a big injury.

Posted by Garth on 08/06/10 at 08:43 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

The market doesn’t appear to be good for guys like Mitchell. I know he has better offensive abilities than Andreas Lilja, but essentially both players are desired for their size, abrasiveness, and stay-at-home abilities.

I think people are valuing Mitchell much higher than Lilja, and the fact is, there’s not as much difference between them. Nobody is wondering why Lilja isn’t signed yet, but everyone is wondering why Mitchell isn’t…

If this were 2003 when Mitchell appeared to have more upside and his abilities were still an open book, I’d get it, but the bottom line is we know what he is now. And we also know he was seriously injured last season. Add it all up, and Willie Mitchell isn’t the same guy that was worth $3.5 million previously. Especially not to play on the bottom pairing.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 08/06/10 at 09:05 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I think people are valuing Mitchell much higher than Lilja, and the fact is, there’s not as much difference between them.

Posted by Nathan from Jonny Ericsson’s ice cream truck on 08/06/10 at 07:05 PM ET

Nobody’s holding their breath every time Mitchell touches a puck.  That’s a huge difference right there.

Posted by Primis on 08/06/10 at 10:09 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

I guess the fans will remember Lilia for the one terrible giveaway instead of everything else he has done well as a Wing. There’s no doubt Mitchell is an upgrade, but not by much, especially considering the concussion. If Kenny brings us Mitchell, I’ll be thrilled, I just think Lils is still a steady, proven alternative.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 08/07/10 at 11:23 AM ET


If Kenny brings us Mitchell, I’ll be thrilled, I just think Lils is still a steady, proven alternative.

I’d be pretty pleased with the Wings signing either one of them.

Posted by Garth on 08/07/10 at 01:23 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Anyone care to speculate how they’d fit Mitchell under the cap with Abdelkader yet to be signed and no cap space to speak of?

Sure. The numbers below are from CapGeek.com and are based on the following assumptions. One, Mitchell signs for no more than $1.25M plus some bonus money. And, two, the Wings trade the following players: Meech ($500,000), Miller ($650,000) and Ritola ($516,667).

Pavel Datsyuk: 6,700,000
Henrik Zetterberg: 6,083,333
Johan Franzen: 3,954,545
Valtteri Filppula: 3,000,000
Jiri Hudler: 2,875,000
Daniel Cleary: 2,800,000
Todd Bertuzzi: 1,937,500
Tomas Holmstrom: 1,875,000
Kris Draper: 1,583,333
Mike Modano: 1,250,000
Darren Helm: 912,500
Justin Abdelkader: 900,000
Patrick Eaves: 750,000

Nicklas Lidstrom: 6,200,000
Brian Rafalski: 6,000,000
Brad Stuart: 3,750,000
Niklas Kronwall: 3,000,000
Willie Mitchell: 1,250,000
Jonathan Ericsson: 900,000
Jakub Kindl: 883,333

Chris Osgood: 1,416,666
Jimmy Howard: 716,666


SALARY CAP: $59,400,000
PAYROLL: $58,837,878
CAP SPACE: $562,122

That would leave just enough cap space to call up MacDonald if either Howard or Ozzie had a minor injury. And a major injury that puts any guy on LTIR would provide enough cap space to call up anyone else from G.R.

I still don’t like the idea of giving up on Ritola, and I’d sure hate to see Miller go, but I’d love to see other teams faced with these defense pairings: Lidstrom-Rafalski, Kronwall-Stuart, and Mitchell-Ericsson.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/07/10 at 02:30 PM ET

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