Well, here it is. I’ve teased it enough. Here’s what I think might be a pretty good peek at what the 2010-11 Red Wings might look like. I want to make something clear: this isn’t what I’m advocating for – simply, what the team is likely to ice. Because, let’s be clear, the Wings won’t NOT re-sign Patrick Eaves or Drew Miller because of 09-10’s relative failure.
All figures shown are cap hits, not salary paid. Bold amounts are actual cap hits for next season, and non-bold amounts are my predictions.
FIRST THINGS FIRST :: HOW IT LOOKS, APPROXIMATELY
The tandem is set. Unless Chris Osgood is really unhappy and doesn’t want to be in Detroit anymore, the duo of Jimmy Howard and Ozzie are both signed through next season (a third year of being jailsexed every time Ozzie starts? Sign me up…). Detroit, per usual, is among the teams that spends the least on their goaltending.
Chris Osgood :: $1,416,667
Jimmy Howard :: $716,666
total (2) :: $2,133,333
Signed through at least 2010-11 are Brian Rafalski, Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart, Jonathan Ericsson, and Jakub Kindl — who, beginning at the start of next season, is on a one-way deal. As discussed earlier in the week, I’d bet just about anything that Lidstrom returns at a reduced rate. Pending his health, Lilja might make seven.
Brian Rafalski :: $6,000,000
Nicklas Lidstrom :: $4,500,000 (down $2.9M)
Brad Stuart :: $3,750,000
Niklas Kronwall :: $3,000,000
Andreas Lilja :: $1,200,000 (same)
Jonathan Ericsson :: $900,000
Jakub Kindl :: $833,333
total (7) :: $20,183,333
The core — as they’re referred to — are all signed for the foreseeable future. Pav, Z, and Franzen are all signed through at least 2014. Add Flip and Cleary to the mix (each of whom is signed until 2013), and the bulk of your forward lines are ready to go. Kris Draper has another year on his deal. As I’ve said this week, I think Homer, Eaves, Miller, Abdelkader, Maltby, and Helm are all-resigned.
Now it’s time for a baseless claim: I have a feeling that Jiri Hudler is on his way back to the NHL. I don’t know why. I just have that gut feeling. The Wings will have to honor their two-year deal, at $2.875M each season.
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
Dan Cleary :: $2,800,000
Tomas Holmstrom :: $2,000,000 (down $250k)
Kris Draper :: $1,583,333
Patrick Eaves :: $1,200,000 (up $700k)
Darren Helm :: $1,000,000 (up $400k)
Justin Abdelkader :: $900,000 (up $50k)
Drew Miller :: $850,000 (up $325k)
Kirk Maltby :: $750,000 (down $83k)
total (13) :: $33,696,211
Datsyuk — Zetterberg — Franzen
Hudler — Filppula — Holmstrom
Eaves — Helm — Cleary
Maltby/Miller — Abdelkader — Draper
Lidstrom — Rafalski
Kronwall — Stuart
Lilja/Ericsson — Kindl
*note: these are not actual lines I would suggest, just laying it out to see…
ISSUES WITH THIS ROSTER :: TWEAKS
The twenty-two man roster outline above totals around $56,012,878. Assuming the salary cap doesn’t change at all, the Wings will have $787,122 available for call-ups or late-season tweaks. Or Derek Meech!
I’m sure it will be met with some criticism, because — except for Jiri Hudler, it’s almost exactly the current roster which, we can all agree, isn’t ideal. Those criticisms will be fair. At the same time, that roster doesn’t look so awful if they play a full season together…and, frankly, there aren’t a ton of guys that would look better than the bottom half of the forward corps outlined above.
So what can be done?
Perhaps Kirk Maltby decides his career is over — or the Red Wings decide to turn him loose. Another option is Jiri Hudler doesn’t return (after all, that’s just a gut feeling I have), and decides to play the second half of his two-year, eleventy billion dollar deal frolicking in Russia. If those two players are removed, all of a sudden we have $4.4M in cap space and twenty players signed. The roster limit is 23, but the Wings are used to carrying 22. I hate to say it because it feels like we missed Scuttles this season, but it might be better if he stays overseas. Remove Lilja and replace him with a league minimum seventh defenseman, and all of a sudden, it becomes $5M:
Datsyuk — Zetterberg — Franzen
(vacant) — Filppula — Holmstrom
Eaves — Helm — Cleary
Miller/(vacant) — Abdelkader — Draper
Lidstrom — Rafalski
Kronwall — Stuart
Ericsson — Kindl
What do you think? Are there free agents available this summer that you think would improve the Red Wings? Am I way off in my assumptions? I’m absolutely open for debate. We don’t have any real Red Wings talk for the next little while… let ‘er rip.
Patrick Sharp would fit in nicely there. We should be able to get him or Byfuglien for basically nothing, since Chicago will need to shed salary space anyway.
I don't know the full bunch of RFAs and UFAs out there, but I'd kill for a big winger who uses his size consistently. Kind of like Bertuzzi, except with the word "consistently" thrown in there at the end.
Yeah, the Hawks will be in dire straights this summer. I wonder if they'd ship either of those guys out for picks/prospects. I also wonder if they'd trade with an interdivision rival, forcing them to play against Patrick Sharp 42 times a season.
Here's a complete list of upcoming Unrestricted Free Agents:
Pickins are kinda slim for what the Red Wings could use.
I might take flak for this, but I'd like to give Steve Ott a chance to prove that I wouldn't hate him in a Red Wings uniform. Rene Bourque in Calgary is also probably due a raise and his speed and tenacity have impressed me; unfortunately, I think he lacks the size and scoring touch. Filling a roster with speedy, tenacious guys is fun to watch, but unless they're going to go back to the reffing standard of the first post-lockout year, I'd like more size in our top six.
I don't think either of those guys would be a better fit than a trade for Patrick Sharp, I just don't know what we'd have to give up to get him. I don't think Chicago is interested in any of our on-the-cusp defensemen (Take our Lebda, please!), probably rather would be looking for a prospect who still may be a couple years from cracking the lineup and making a big splash coupled with some picks. Tatar is the only guy who immediately comes to mind, but I don't want to part with him.
Yeah, I wouldn't want to give up Tatar either. Thankfully, the Wings don't usually part with their top end prospect talent. Guys like Fleischmann and Matthias were – by no means – top five prospects in the Wings system. They've both had nice growth and are useless NHLers, but at the time of their trades, they were "mid-range" guys.
In related news, check out this Prospect Ranking from 2004: http://www.redwingscentral.com/stories/2004_02/02_RankingUpdate.html
8. Nathan Robinson – who I loved
9. Darryl Bootland HA!
Honorable Mention: Tomas Kopecky
Please note that while Fleischmann is listed fifth on RWC's chart, he's above Val Filppula…which, clearly, is not wise.
Then again, Grigorenko is at the top and Stefan Liv is on the list. Grain of salt, people!
Im pretty sure that list was before the accident, right?
I like three free agents out there: Chris Higgins($2.25), Alexander Frolov($2.9), and Tomas Plekanec ($2.75). Your thoughts on them?
Actually, no. The accident was the year before — in 2003. There was hope that he could recover (after the initial, very bad, report).
I like Frolov, but I'm sure he'll command a raise. Higgins is pretty inconsistent: 20-something goal seasons followed by single digit goal seasons. Plekanec is a 20-goal guy, but he certainly doesn't meet JJ's size requirement.
Obviously none of us know the future, but these are three very good suggestions so far. Keep 'em coming.
Oh shoot, I totally overlooked Frolov. Good call, Adam. I'm just worried that Frolov may not be in our price range. If a big bidder willing to overspend comes along, he may go in the $5-5.5M range or higher. His numbers are significantly better than Higgins or Plekanec's. Of those remaining two, I'd lean more towards Higgins, but that's only because I've seen him more.
Plus, he's Yale edumahcated.
I dont know too much about him but from what i've read Colby Armstrong($2.4) is a scrappy forward with a bit of a scoring touch. 40 points last year, 20 this year so far. Guessing he'll end up with about 30 with the departure of Kovalchuk. I think we probably could get him in the $2-$2.5 range. Relatively low risk and he could develop into a perennial 20 goal scorer (career high 22 last year)
Yeah, i figured Frolov would be a long shot considering both his salary and the fact that LA is a young team thats rapidly improving. I dont know if he would part with them just yet
Adam, I'm with you on your latest point. The Kings are on the upswing, but for some reason Frolov's name keeps coming up in trade rumors. If, for whatever reason, they cut him loose, there will be a ton of teams vying for his services. It should be an interesting July for him.
Colby Armstrong is a great sized body, a very hard worker, and might be a good fit for sure. Here's hoping that price comes down! Great option.
I'd probably take Raffi Torres too. He's not too big, but the guy's pretty scrappy. If you want true size, Alexei Ponikarovsky is also available, but I don't see Burke letting him get out of Toronto.
Heck, if we throw out my size argument (heck, Hudler isn't big, but he makes up for it in other ways), you could take a flyer on Marek Svatos. I know I was talking about how he's gotten worse every year, but it could just be that he needs a fresh team. We could probably get him on the relatively cheap and I think he could produce in the 40-50 point rage we're looking for out of a guy. He's also a right-hand shot.
Heck, I should say heck about a dozen more heck times.
How exactly does the RFA system work? And what would we have to give up, if say, we went after Sam Gagne of the Oilers? (i have a bit of a man-crush on him)
The way RFAs work, briefly, is the current team (in Gagner's case, the Oilers) need only "qualify" him, meaning – offer him a 10 (or 15, I forget which)% raise. He doesn't need to sign this offer, but if he does — great. He has a new contract.
If he doesn't sign it, but it is offered, the Oilers retain the rights to him. If any other team attempts to sign him (buzzword: "offer sheet"), the Oilers have a right to match that offer. If the Oilers do not wish to match the terms, they are entitled to draft pick compensation, which changes each year, but here are last year's:
Gagner makes 1.625M this season. If the Wings (or another team) signed him to an offer sheet of 2M (for example) and the Oilers DID NOT MATCH (which they likely would), the Wings would have to send a 2nd round pick to Edmonton as compensation.
Check out that link and see the other compensation required for taking another team's RFA. It's why it RARELY happens.
To other teams, giving up a 2nd round draft pick may seem like a lot, but for us it really isnt much at all. Only 2 of the players currently on our roster that were drafted by our organization were drafted before the 3rd round (Kronwall and Howard). Im not advocating giving up a 2nd round pick in any way but to pick up a player like gagne in return would be very worth it.
Oh, yeah, totally. I was just using those numbers as examples. It would take a lot more than that to pry Gagner away from the Oilers. He might be willing to sign for 2M, but the Oilers will DEFINITELY match. To get the Oilers to shy away from matching, it might take somewhere in the mid-3's — which would be a 1st and 3rd round pick going the other way.
If the Oilers didn't match 2M and accepted the second round pick, I'd HAND DELIVER it to them.
Hey Petrella great read, I've got my thoughts on the cap situation over at my new blog. Feel free to take a look.
Good stuff, Rob. Thanks for sharing.
Gotta disagree on Ebbett: he's been waived and claimed two separate times this season, so the Wings could have had him (like Miller) if they had any desire. They were certainly higher on the waiver priority list than the Hawks were when he was claimed by them.
Ryan Johnson is an interesting one, however. I don't know anything about this guy, so I'll take your word for it – that he's a gritty shot blockin' kinda guy. As long as he (or anyone else) doesn't take time away from Abdelkader (except in the dot, because Gator blows at faceoffs).
Tomas Plekanec from Montreal. He is preposterously talented, and from what I have been reading not interested in resigning with the habs. A deal around 3.2-3.7 per year. A first line of Datsyuk Filppula Franzen, second of Plekanec Zetterberg Holmstrom. Third/fourth of Cleary/Abdelkader/Miller and Draper/Helm/Eaves.
Do not bring Lilja back, Have Lidstrom,Rafalski,Kronwall,Stuart,Kindl,Ericssonwith Meech as spare change. Howard, and Osgood in goal.
(Helm,Abdelkader,Eaves,Miller all should have contracts between 1.2-1.5 per year)
Looking at the capgeek list….Lombardi has been a nice little 2 way player for the Coyotes, he is fast and although he isn't big, he is strong on the puck. It seems he can play centre and wing too.