Capology :: 2010-11 Edition

Coming soon to the Joe: “Amazon” 

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.

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…

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.