Note: This is all speculation at this point, but I’ve sent a note to the Red Wings, hoping for confirmation of any of the following, and will post it as soon as I receive a response. Likewise, I’m going to search for their agents and pull a Hollis/Diamond move and ask them if their clients have been snapped up by an NHL team…
Update: I received a response from the Red Wings’ director of public relations Rick Bowness, who basically confirmed the speculation of Malik and I (in the comments): those guys were free agent invitees and haven’t been signed to contracts. In fact, Evan Mosher has also attended Montreal Canadiens development camp this summer, so he’s likely showcasing his portfolio for anyone that’s interested in seeing it.
We’ll keep a close eye on the developments, but it is unlikely, as Malik suggested, that anyone would be signed prior to main camp and the prospect tournament simply because they don’t have to be.
A funny thing happened when I was flipping through NHL.com’s store, looking at Wings’ jerseys with the new players and their numbers on them. On the drop down customization menu, you can select any roster player or draft pick to see what their name and number will look like on your sweater… but there were three names that aren’t draft picks and haven’t been signed — at least, not officially.
The three gentlemen were all prospect camp invitees in Traverse City, and we all know how much Mr. Holland likes to stockpile “bonus draft picks,” players that he can scoop up that won’t cost any assets. He’s done the same with Willie Coetzee, Brian Lashoff, and Francis Pare — to name a few.
Again, there’s no indication that they’ve actually been signed, but it’s certainly odd that they’d appear on the list if they hadn’t been. None of the other camp invitees were on the list, prompting me to think that there’s something different about these three.
According to our good friend George Malik, who did some stellar reporting from the camp, Estoclet has excellent hands but isn’t very strong, Mosher is technically brilliant but predictable, and Franko is a smart, hard-working puck-mover. Estoclet had a cup of coffee with the Providence Bruins of the AHL last season, after finishing his four years of eligibility at Dartmouth. The other two play Canadian Juniors and are free to sign contracts with whomever they please. Mosher can turn pro immediately, since he’s over 20, but Franko will have to return to Kelowna (where he played with Wings prospect Mitchell Callahan last season).
Stay tuned for updates…
Photo Credit: DSPics