Things are about to get very interesting in Hockeytown. Kirk Maltby, who had been weighing shoulder surgery and – by doing so – would solve all of the Red Wings’ cap issues, has decided he would prefer to wait until the season ends to proceed. Operation: Jailsexed.
Through Helene St. James of the Freep, Maltby said had a third cortisone shot (which is the last one he’s allowed to receive for the year) right before the Olympic Break, and he hopes that it’ll get him through the final 21 games of the regular season and the playoffs:
We’ll see how it feels over the next few days and how it reacts to getting back on the ice, but I would love to play the rest of the season and into the playoffs.
This is big news because when Andreas Lilja is cleared to return to the Wings (which, apparently, he hasn’t been), the Wings will need to clear about $700,000 in cap space. The veteran Grind Liner knows that he’s still an option to be moved — since he makes $883,333 — but says he can’t worry about that:
That’s not my department, to worry about the salary cap and who may have to be moved. I know we’re right there and if Lils comes off, something has to be done. Basically right now, though, it’s a lot of what-ifs. I’m a realist in that I know I’m on th etail end of my career, but I really want to play. I felt like this year, as far as my legs and my body, it’s held up pretty good. With the way the league is now, as long as you can skate, you’re able to play. I feel I can still contribute and help this organization win, not just this year, but maybe one more year. I do feel like I can fit that role of being a leader and still contributing in a limited role, especially as a penalty killer.
If Maltby does play out the season, and Lilja is cleared to return, the following players might start to feel the fire creeping up on dat ass:
Todd Bertuzzi :: $1,500,000
Jason Williams :: $1,500,000
Jonathan Ericsson :: $900,000
Kirk Maltby :: $883,333
Brett Lebda :: $650,000 (he does not clear the space on his own)
Derek Meech :: $483,333 (he does not clear the space on his own)
So….what happens? Does Hollis get his wish and see Jason Williams depart via trade? Do the rest of us FINALLY get to rid ourselves of Jonathan “frolicking” Ericsson?