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Miller re-signs, $4.5M remains

Perhaps the dominoes will start to fall now.

Drew Miller has re-signed with the Red Wings for one year, $650k — a 23% raise on his $525k cap hit from a year ago. It remains to be seen what his role will be this upcoming season, particularly with Mike Modano being heavily courted. Many feel Miller might be on his way out, via waivers or a trade, should Modano be inked.

Nevertheless, it’s a good signing, with a great cap hit — and we’re confident it will all shake out in due time.

In other contract news, Derek Meech was the lone Red Wing to file for salary arbitration, but it appears negotiations won’t need to go that route. He — along with Patrick Eaves — are close to signing one-year deals, according to general manager Ken Holland.

Having Miller and Eaves sign one-year contracts leaves a funny taste in my mouth, kind of like they’re being used as place-holders until guys like Tomas Tatar are ready to be slotted in, as opposed to being full-fledged Red Wings. And that’s okay — not everyone has to be a Johan Franzen.

With 19 players signed, here’s how the numbers are looking:

1 Howard [716,667]
2 Osgood [1,416,667]

3 Lidstrom [6,200,000]
4 Rafalski [6,000,000]
5 Stuart [3,750,000]
6 Kronwall [3,000,000]
7 Ericsson [900,000]
8 Kindl [883,333]
9 —vacant—

10 Datsyuk [6,700,000]
11 Zetterberg [6,083,333]
12 Franzen [3,954,545]
13 Filppula [3,000,000]
14 Hudler [2,875,000]
15 Cleary [2,800,000]
16 Bertuzzi [1,937,500]
17 Holmstrom [1,875,000]
18 Draper [1,583,333]
19 Miller [650,000]
20 Ritola [516,667]
21 —vacant—
22 —vacant—
23 —vacant—

Total salary dedicated (including bonus penalty): $54,892,045
CAP SPACE AS OF JULY 6TH: $4,507,955

As a reminder, teams may go over the cap by 10% (an additional 5.94M) until the final day of the pre-season, so the Wings will have plenty of space to work with and figure out who makes the roster and who doesn’t. Patrick Eaves, Justin Abdelkader, and Darren Helm are — theoretically — in line to fill those final three forward slots, with Mike Modano putting them one over the roster limit. Mattias Ritola is on a two-way deal, but cannot be sent down to Grand Rapids without being waived.

Once the RFA trio has been signed, it’s fair to assume that Miller — and maybe even Draper — will be bumped from the following:

Zetterberg :: Datsyuk :: Holmstrom
Franzen :: Filppula :: Bertuzzi
Cleary :: (vacant) :: Hudler
(vacant) :: Draper :: Miller
Extra: Ritola
TBA: Helm, Abdelkader, Eaves