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Roster Monster Mash

“One more year, you say? Yeah I can manage that…” Photo by Dan Mannes, Detroit Red Wings

It’s that time of year again, where we endlessly discuss what next season’s Detroit Red Wings will look like when they take the ice as a member of the Eastern Conference. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), we’re looking at a lot of the same bodies in the lineup next season, without a whole lot of room for improvement from the outside.

The free agent pool this summer is pretty bleak, so don’t expect a monumental signing (you know, like last year with Zach Parise and Ryan Suter Shane Doan and Matt Carle Jordin Tootoo and Carlo Colaiacovo). Given how many players are already signed for next season, it seems more likely that the Wings execute a 2-for-1 (or 3-for-1, or 4-for-2, or… you get the point) deal with another team looking to shed salary and/or contracts. Also on the radar are the players that are certain to be bought out by their teams in the days following the Stanley Cup is awarded.

The salary cap will be lowered to $64.3 million, which is about $6M less than the operating cap of this past season. The Red Wings were nowhere near the cap ceiling, so they have substantial wiggle room to do whatever it is they’re going to do.

All of the following information is available on our CHART, which will be updated as quickly as I can get to the keyboard when something noteworthy happens. But in order to understand where we’re at before moving into free agency (which begins July 5th this year), take a look at the current breakdown of roster spots and dollars spent.

The tandem that the Red Wings use in 2013-14 will be identical to the one they used this past season. Jimmy Howard will enter his new six-year, big-money deal. Jonas Gustavsson, assuming he stays healthy, will be the backup for one more season. Petr Mrazek, who’s had a hell of a first pro season in Grand Rapids, will very likely be the top call-up once again, and I would be a little bit surprised if he isn’t the Wings’ backup in ’14-15. If the team deems him less-than-ready at that point, backup netminders are a dime a dozen on the open market. But for one more season, expect Howard-Gustavsson as running mates.

35 JIMMY HOWARD (6 years remaining) :: $5.292M cap hit
50 JONAS GUSTAVSSON (1 year remaining) :: $1.5M

Total Cap Committed to Goaltenders :: $6,791,667 [10.6% of cap]

There might be a bit of a logjam on the blueline next season, which the team may very well welcome because of the injury troubles they’ve seemed to have over the past few seasons. But, if we’re assuming all of the players are healthy all season (which is impossible), we’re looking at at a few extra bodies. One may very well be a candidate to be traded… maybe even bought out if the team opts to use one or both of the compliance buyouts this summer.

Looking from a depth perspective, we can deduce pretty much exactly what our blueline will look like. Alternate captain Niklas Kronwall and his partner Jonathan Ericsson aren’t going anywhere. Danny DeKeyser will be fully healed from a broken thumb and should retake his place among the permanent top four. Brian Lashoff is on a one-way contract so he’ll have to be in Detroit or risk being subject to waivers (and someone will absolutely claim him). Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl are restricted free agents, and you can bet your hat that they’ll be re-signed.

That leaves Carlo Colaiacovo, who has one year remaining on his deal and proved that he’s a reliable (also: cheap-ish) option for the 6th/7th D slot; and Kyle Quincey, who started playing well during the playoffs, and who the Wings paid a heavy cost for (both in dollars and trade value). That makes 8. The Wings have been known to carry 8 defensemen in the past, but that means they can carry fewer forwards (roster limit is 23), and you’ll see that it’s not LESS crowded up there in just a moment.

Wave goodbye to Ian White, the only unrestricted defenseman in the group — and considering he didn’t play in the playoffs, the writing should be on the wall for him, as he’ll move onto a sixth team since 2010. Read that again. SIXTH team since 2010.

02 BRENDAN SMITH (restricted)
04 JAKUB KINDL (restricted)
23 BRIAN LASHOFF (3 years remaining, then restricted) :: $725k
27 KYLE QUINCEY (1 year remaining) :: $3.775M
28 CARLO COLAIACOVO (1 year remaining) :: $2.5M
52 JONATHAN ERICSSON (1 year remaining) :: $3.25M
55 NIKLAS KRONWALL (6 years remaining) :: $4.75M
65 DANNY DEKEYSER (1 year remaining, then restricted) :: $1.35M

Total Cap Committed to Defensemen :: $16,350,000 [25.4% of cap] with two contracts to be signed.

Things don’t get a lot easier on the forward lines, where — depending on how many defensemen the Wings carry — 13 or 14 players will be kept. I’m going to be making a few assumptions when it comes to these guys because A) this will be the THIRD year that Gustav Nyquist deserves to be on the NHL roster, B) Tomas Tatar was annoyed he wasn’t given a chance THIS year and proved that the NHL is where he belongs when he was given a call-up, and C) Joakim Andersson was told to start looking for a place to live in Detroit. I wouldn’t expect any of those guys back in Grand Rapids — particularly with how Nyquist and Andersson played in the playoffs with Damien Brunner (who, uh oh, is an unrestricted free agent).

Datsyuk, Zetterberg, and Franzen are your big-name guys who are locked in. Helm, Abdelkader, Eaves, and Emmerton are your homegrown role-players. Samuelsson and Bertuzzi are your oft-injured old guys who may shatter at training camp. Add in Jordin Tootoo, Nyquist, Andersson, and Tatar and you’re already at 13. And that doesn’t include any incoming free agents, or space to re-sign your own. Something’s going to have to give.

Valtteri Filppula, Dan Cleary, and Drew Miller are the NHL roster players who may not play for the Wings again. The biggest loss in that bunch would, arguably, be Drew Miller, who was a penalty killing machine, and a worthy contributor from the fourth line. Damien Brunner, who bounced around from the top line to the press box before coming to rest on a stellar third line, will hopefully be re-signed and remain a Red Wing, but roster spots are becoming a problem.

08 JUSTIN ABDELKADER (3 years remaining) :: $1.8M
13 PAVEL DATSYUK (1 year remaining) :: $6.7M
14 GUSTAV NYQUIST (restricted)
17 PATRICK EAVES (1 year reamining) :: $1.2M
21 TOMAS TATAR (1 year remaining, then restricted) :: $840k
22 JORDIN TOOTOO (2 years remaining) :: $1.9M
25 CORY EMMERTON (1 year remaining) :: $533k
37 MIKAEL SAMUELSSON (1 year remaining) :: $3M
43 DARREN HELM (3 years remaining) :: $2.125M
44 TODD BERTUZZI (1 year remaining) :: $2.075M
40 HENRIK ZETTERBERG (8 years remaining) :: $6.083M
63 JOAKIM ANDERSSON (restricted)
93 JOHAN FRANZEN (7 years remaining) :: $3.955M

Total Cap Committed to Forwards :: $30,211,211 [47% of cap] with at least two contracts to be signed.

THE 23
There are 19 players under contract for a total of $53,325,878. That leaves almost $11 million in cap space to fill out the roster.

If you were a good math student, you’ll see that after the Wings re-sign their restricted free agents (Kindl, Smith, Nyquist, and Andersson), we’re already at 23 with absolutely no new blood and zero of the unrestricted free agents retained. That’s… a problem. If this roster couldn’t win this season, it likely won’t win next season, and Ken Holland knows that as well as anyone else does.

Which brings us to…

Per the new CBA, each team will be allowed two cap-compliance buyouts to help deal with the dramatic drop in salary cap. Any player bought out, including those on 35+ contracts (Todd Bertuzzi, Mikael Samuelsson) will not count against the cap — even if the team is forced to pay the terms of the buyout in dollars.

Speaking of those two, they may very well be candidates for buyouts. Neither played (much) in the playoffs — even when healthy. It seems that their status on the depth chart is murky at best, and although one-year deals aren’t the first candidates for buyouts, you can’t argue that their role on the team has become diminished to the point of redundancy (at best).

Ken Holland has already said that they will not be buying out Johan Franzen, who would be a good candidate from a cap and length standpoint, but left open the option to use them on someone. They can be used either this summer or next — two total, not two each — so it’s something that has to enter the equation.

Other potential candidates for buyout include Carlo Colaiacovo (but, again, he’s a valuable depth defenseman if he stays healthy), Jonas Gustavsson (but, again, he’d have to be replaced with a goaltender anyway), and Kyle Quincey (who, given the investment the team has made in him, seems more likely to be traded if he’s not in the team’s long-term plans).

By now you’ve noticed that we haven’t factored in any of the unrestricted free agents. It’s not that the team doesn’t plan to bring them back, or that they’re going to be moving on, but unless something ELSE listed above happens first, there’s literally no place for them on the roster. I do think that some of these guys will be inked, but that means someone else above has to go — one way or another.

11 DAN CLEARY (made $2.8M this season)
I think it’s obvious that Cleary wants to return, and that the team is saying all of the right things when it comes to the public. I can’t imagine, given the roster situation that we’re in, that he’s back. Guys like him are always available — this year, replacing him will come from within. Likelihood of return: 20%

18 IAN WHITE ($2.875)
Given his statements, and the ones made by the team, he’s as good as gone. Considering how little he played down the stretch, he’ll welcome the change, and the Wings will welcome the roster space. Likelihood of return: 0.67%

20 DREW MILLER ($837k)
I think he’s a good bet to be re-signed. He’ll be affordable, and his tenacity on the fourth line can’t be replaced by anyone better coming through the pipe, or on the market. Likelihood of return: 80%

All signs seem to indicate that a return is in everyone’s best interest. In order to accommodate his return, roster spots will have to be cleared one way or another. Another interesting thing to watch is his price tag. How do you properly gauge his value, given the shortened season and being that he’s still becoming used to North American hockey, etc? Likelihood of return: 75%

39 JAN MURSAK ($550k)
Already gone, has signed in the KHL. Likelihood of return: 0%

We all know the story here. He’s seeking a lot more money ($5M) than the Wings are willing to pay him. In a very thin free agent market, someone will absolutely pay him what he’s seeking, and I think we’ve seen the last of Flip in Motown. One of my favorites, so I’ll be sad to see him go, but he didn’t play in a way that demanded his return. Likelihood of return: 25%

I’d bet dollars to donuts that he will not be re-signed. There are plenty of players making the jump to the AHL and he hasn’t so much as sniffed a call-up. Likelihood of return: 1%

The poor kid couldn’t even stick in Grand Rapids, so it’s probably best that he moves on to med school now. Even if he continues playing hockey, I can just about guarantee that he won’t be signed by the Detroit Red Wings directly. Likelihood of return: 1%

02 BRENDAN SMITH ($875k) — will be signed, no doubt.
04 JAKUB KINDL ($883k) — see directly above
14 GUSTAV NYQUIST ($762k) — again
63 JOAKIM ANDERSSON ($875k) — and once more
THOMAS MCCOLLUM ($817k) — with Mrazek playing how he is, and Jared Coreau joining the Griffins next season, Thomas McCollum’s time as a Red Wing may have come to an end. If they decided to keep him within the organization, they can have the Griffins (or Walleye, I suppose) sign him directly without burning a contract. More on that in a minute.
BRENT RAEDEKE ($523k) — ditto

Independent of the 23 players you’re allowed to carry on an active roster, each team is only allowed 50 total contracts. Players signed and assigned to AHL affiliates, or playing in Europe, count against this number. Players signed but playing junior hockey DO NOT, but at the moment, everyone the Wings have inked will be playing in the NHL, the AHL, or in Europe next season.

Goaltenders (4) — Howard, Gustavsson, Mrazek, Coreau
Defensemen (15) — Kronwall, Ericsson, Quincey, Colaiacovo, DeKeyser, Lashoff, Ouellet, Sproul, Jensen, Almquist, Nedomlel, Fournier, Nicastro, Marchenko, Backman.
Forwards (23) — Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Samuelsson, Helm, Bertuzzi, Tootoo, Abdelkader, Eaves, Tatar, Emmerton, Sheahan, Jurco, Callahan, Ferraro, Jarnkrok, Pulkkinen, Frk, Tvrdon, Aubry, Coetzee, Parkes, Nestrasil.

That’s a total of 42 contracts, leaving 8 slots. We’ve already discussed the 4 restricted free agents who will be re-signed. Meaning 4 spots available.


Bertuzzi – Datsyuk – Abdelkader
Franzen – Zetterberg – (Nyquist)
Tatar – Helm – Samuelsson
Tootoo – Emmerton – Eaves

Kronwall – Ericsson
DeKeyser – Quincey
(Kindl) – (Smith)
Lashoff – Colaiacovo


36 thoughts on “Roster Monster Mash”

  1. I was thinking the Wings could potentially use a buyout as trade leverage to take a problem contract off a team’s hands and save them one of their own buyouts, but I’m looking at the Flyers’ Capgeek page and seeing nothing but NTC/NMCs on just about everybody it would make sense to do that with.

    Yikes, Philly.

    1. I’ve actually thought about that, too, strangely. Obviously something of value would have to be coming with that problem contract — and, as we learned up north, there aren’t any roster spots to be had. It would have to be a “two players leaving Detroit; two coming back, one being bought out” kind of thing. What a goddamn nightmare that sounds like.

      1. The Flyers are apparently still looking for defensive help and are willing to shop Schenn or Couturier to make it happen. In an easy and fun (and potentially stupid) world, the easy way to make up the value difference between say, Colaiacovo and Couturier would be to also take Bryzgalov off the Flyers’ hands, but he’d have to agree to be traded. I’m sure Holmgren would also require another forward though. I don’t know. I kind of suck at valuing trades.

  2. Could Emmerton be waived? Im imagining Samuelsson gets bought out, Fil being gone and a minor trade shipping off one of our smallish european finesse players like Tatar and a dman like Carlo. I’m also imagining Cleary and Miller are resigned.
    Would love to see Bickel or a man with his kind of grit and tenacity in a Winged Wheel next year.

    1. Anyone CAN be waived. If you mean, can he go down to Grand Rapids without being waived, the answer is no. And he would certainly be claimed.

      Also, he more than earned his spot on this roster during the second half of the season and in the playoffs. He’s not going anywhere — even if he’s the reserve center, he’ll be on this roster.

      I agree in that I think Miller will be re-signed. I don’t think that Dan Cleary will be.

      Also vote “no thanks” on Bickell.

      1. I disagree. Emmerton was an ok fourth line center, but I look at it as an area for improvement. And with so many vying for positions on the team I think he’s one of the lowest hanging pieces fruit on the tree. Hell, Jarnkrok might even beat him out this coming pre season. And if you guys cant see the value in Bickel, you’re blind. Teams don’t win championships without the kind of tenacity he’s been displaying this post season.
        Regardless, that tentative roster above will only produce a season similar to this or less impressive. Holland knows it, so changes are coming. That probably doesn’t include Emmerton as one of our centers.
        Just sayin’

        1. Unless Jarnkrok makes absolutely HUGE, insane progress over the summer, he’ll be starting in Grand Rapids next season. He was very undersized, outmatched, and kind of lost in the few games he played with the Griffins this year. Even if he’s able to bulk up (a lot) over the summer, he’s still not getting any practice playing in the big leagues with the North American style, and that will make him being able to challenge for an NHL spot to start the season, incredible difficult.

          Bryan Bickell has value as a player, however his benefits are NOT enough to compensate for his downside, and he’s going to be paid a butt load more than he’s worth. No way should we overpay for a mediocre player who doesn’t really help make us a Cup contender anyway.

          1. You make it sound like he”s a cancer or something. His downsides are what? His penalty minutes are average, he’s 6’4 230 pounds and he has a knack of getting to the puck. He’s not a defensive liability. You guys are just blinded by the sweater he wears right now.

            I agree not to overpay him tho. And him actually coming here is already a long shot. But the salient point remains, the type of energy and skill he provides is exactly the type the Wings sorely lack, sustained grit and good physical hockey sense without crossing the line.

            Too many skilled, smallish finesse players here. not enough torque and elbow grease.

            1. Too many skilled, smallish finesse players here. not enough torque and elbow grease? Are you the American Don Cherry?

              Bickell doesn’t kill penalties, sees little powerplay time, and would be
              a 3’d/4th line player. We have a plethora of players who can fill that
              role. If you really think he has “good physical hockey sense without
              crossing the line”, perhaps you’d like to borrow a my glasses when you
              watch games. I take into consideration his career as a whole, not just
              these playoffs, where he’s performed above the level to be expected in
              the future.

              The Wings don’t lack the energy and skill Bickell could bring. We out hit and out physically outplayed both Anaheim and Chicago in the playoffs, and guys like Andersson, Nyquist, Tatar, Eaves, Miller, Abby, Tootoo, and Helm provide sustained grit, energy, and skill. We don’t need another bottom 6 “gritty” player. Those players are necessary for a team to succeed, but there needs to be balance. If we’re going to bring someone in this summer, it has to be a top 6 guy who can score goals. We’re not a team that lacks gritty depth guys, we lack top 6 scoring forwards. Bickell isn’t what we need.

              1. if you wanna hang you hat on the toughness of Tatar, Nyquist, Eaves and Tootoo you can prepare to get ousted early in the playoffs for a bit.
                Just energy is not enough. With Brunner, Tatar, and Nyquist in the same lineup we’ll get pushed off the puck continually by teams that took into consideration the kind of space that can be taken away by big bodies.
                Im not advocating a Cherryesque team, just one where all of our wingers aren’t under 6 ft. 200 pounds.
                Andersson is a good start, Abby is good as well when he’s not in the box for something stupid.
                We’d all love a top six goal scoring winger like all of the teams in the league. Just dont hold your breath for a “Hossa” style pick up. You wont survive.

                1. We didn’t lack toughness in the playoffs. We didn’t get ousted in the playoffs because we weren’t tough enough. We were the more physical team in both series’. I don’t know how to make that any more explicit. We needed to score more goals.

                  You don’t think Tootoo is a tough player? Alrighty then, perhaps we should start with your definition of “tough”.

                  Basing your player wants, or perceived team needs on something as misleading as height and weight, is a foolish plan. Datsyuk is 5’11” and 198, Zetterberg is 5’11” 197. It’s not as much about size, as strength, and how they use it. Tatar, Nyquist and Brunner all have to get bigger and stronger. They know it and it’s been talked about continually by the coaching staff, beat writers, bloggers, fans etc… If you’re concerned about size, hell, we’ll just play Mikael Samuelsson more, he’s 6’2″ and 218, that means…. well actually it means very little. Again, you need balance on a team. Big bodies who can play smart and make room, are only part of the equation. Additionally, I don’t think Bickell plays a particularly “smart” game.

                  Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Helm, and Tootoo all play a big, strong game, despite being under 6ft, 200 pounds. Tatar, Nyquist, and Brunner will get bigger, and more importantly, stronger. They’re all in their 1st real NHL season. Operating as if they’ll be the same size next year is just ignorant.

                  Thanks for the tip captain obvious. I said IF we pick up a forward, it should be a top 6 guy who can score. I’ve laid out some of the reasons why Bickell isn’t what we need.

                  Can you give me any specifics as to why you think we should make make room on the roster for Bickell, besides just his size?

                  1. Z and Dats cant take the team on their backs all the time, as is obvious by the Chicago series. And calling us the more physical team in both series is really a stretch. We may have had more hits on paper, but you cant tell me seriously that Chicago didn’t wind up being the more suffocatingly physical team in the last series.

                    Size isnt everything, but you cant write it off because we happen to have two players who escape that mold.You’re still hanging your hat on Tatar Nyquist and Brunner being bigger. Thats not their style of play. Their style of play is an East-West loopy finesse style (like Filppula employs) that relies on creating enough space through quick changes in momentum and general trickiness. It was only moderately effective. We have enough of those players. We need a more direct North to South element. A hard driving to the front of the net presence that Franzen only sometimes takes seriously. When we were playing at our best in the Chi series, we were getting those types of goals. You get to the front of the net and you get the scrappy types of rebound and poke check goals.

                    Bickel can provide that. Thats his game. Theres my reasoning.
                    (A huge “pffffft” to tissue paper Samuelsson)

                    1. I agree that Z and Pasha can’t do everything, which is why we need more scoring help. I also don’t expect them to lead the forwards in PP time (which they do) EV time (which they do) AND PK time (which you suggest below). If you get rid of Emmerton (which you suggested above) and add Bickell, you’re creating an imbalance by “exchanging” a top PK’ing center, with a primarily even strength winger. Emmerton’s PK time has to be taken on by someone else and it’s not going to be Bickell.

                      I expect Tatar, Goose and Brunner to get bigger and stronger. I don’t expect them to become hulking physical guys, but they don’t have to do that in order to be stronger and much more effective.

                      I’m not writing size off, I’m saying size isn’t a big enough deficiency on this team for me to want Brian Bickell (for his size), over someone who can score goals, kill penalties, or add to the team in other ways that we need more improvement in.

                      If we compare Bickell’s numbers this year (which are unusually high for him and not expected to be his career norm), we see that only 3 Red Wings forwards had more pim than Bickell and little ol’ size challenged Brunner (despite his scoring slump and difficulty adjusting to the NHL) still had more points than Bickell. And this was a career year for Bryan (which I don’t expect him to duplicate… ever). For comparison, last season Bickell had as many points as Tomas Holmstrom and 8 more penalty minutes. I think we have drastically different opinions of Bickell’s current upside, as well as his future potential.

                      I can’t justify using up a roster spot on Bickell because the guys we currently have in the bottom 6 for next season bring assets to the the team that Bickell can’t replace. Bickell isn’t an upgrade to the roster, he’s a laterall movement at best, and more realistically a slight downgrade.

              2. The tentative roster made me throw up a little bit.

                I think we use one buyout this summer, and Tick Tock keeps one to reconsider Franzen’s long term prospects after another year of development of some of our young guys.

                Also, I’ll become a Jets fan if we sign Brian Bickell.

                1. Agreed on most fronts. I think they use one (PROBABLY on Samuelsson) and then save one for next year. Whether it’s Franzen… I don’t know… but it would make sense, frankly.

                  No thanks on Bickell, as stated above.

                  1. I like keeping one for Franzen if only because it gives us another year of a ~25 goal scorer for an acceptable cap hit and we continue to benefit from our investment before deciding if the danger of the benefit recapture gets closer next summer.

                    Plus, as it stands, summer 2014 is a pretty good UFA year. Granted, a lot can change, but Malkin, Kessel, Gaborik, Bouwmeester, Stastny, etc etc is a pretty tempting year to keep options open for.

              3. Jennifer MacRostie

                I’m cool with this roster. Who knows if Bert will be healthy anyway? Maybe he’ll be a Pronger LTIR situation. I really REALLY don’t want Miller gone though. BOO.

              4. Jennifer MacRostie

                Also, I forgot free agency started on a Friday this year. So I am sure something will happen because I won’t be able to stare at my computer all day watching nothing happen.

              5. Free agency day on my birthday this year? Awesome.

                Unfortunately it looks like with this roster situation that someone is going to cry about losing a favorite player no matter who they are.

              6. I’m with you on the defense. Not even close on the forwards. This would be a step backward. Here’s my choice adding only 1 new UFA, and re-signing one of our own (Brunner), buying out Sammy, trading Tootoo (Clarkson is bigger and tougher and would be my first choice, Bickell 2nd), Cola for draft picks).

                Franzen – Datsyuk – Abdelkader
                Nyquist – Zetterberg – Clarkson(1)/Bickell(2)
                Tatar – Andersson – Brunner
                Eaves/Miller – Helm – Bertuzzi

                (Eaves/Miller, Emmerton)

                Kronwall – Big E
                DeKeyser – Kindl
                Quincey – Smith

                  1. Bickell is doing fine on the top line with Toews and Kane and is doing just fine. (8 G, 5 A). I felt the same way about Chelios at first, but he’s the kind of player you love when he’s on your team and hate when he plays against you. It’s Moneyball, man. It’s all about the numbers.

                    1. Red, White and a Mile High

                      Bickell is having an amazing post-season. And he is going to get paid for it this July. However, we should all take a minute to look at his entire career before we make assumptions based on the last 6 weeks of play.

                      1. That is one reason I would prefer Clarkson, but you can’t deny that Bickell has the size and has demonstrated the ability to score – not just regular season goals, but playoff goals which are much harder.

                    2. If you’re going to refer to it as a “moneyball” decision, you have to look at his career performance, not the SSS of an elimination playoff tournament.

                        1. With the easy caveat that I do not like Sammy or his contract? I’d take one year of Sammy at 3 versus 4 or 5 years of Bickell at 4.

                          Where would Bickell play? Top 6? Do we need another, worse skating, less defensively reliable Abdelkader up there? Bickell is NOT a scorer.

                          ‘10-’11 Reg Season 17 goals
                          ‘10-’11 Playoffs 2 goals
                          ‘11-’12 Reg Season 9 goals
                          ‘11-’12 Playoffs 2 goals
                          ‘12’-13 Reg Season 9 goals
                          ‘12-’13 Playoffs 8 goals

                          The playoffs earn guys big paychecks, but they are not indicative of skill. This year’s playoff run for him is clearly an aberration. Giving contracts to guys like that is dangerous, and blows up in teams’ faces much more often than not.

                          I feel like this response seems argumentative, I apologize if that’s how it reads. Certainly didn’t mean it that way.

                          1. I hear what you’re saying, Nick. We’ve definitely seen our share of one hit wonders over the years. but I don’t think Bickell is one of them. As far as I know he has never played top 6 minutes before this season. Franzen’s numbers his first two seasons (as a checking line guy) were 12 goals, 10 goals. Once he got a chance on the top 2 lines and his role changed, he flourished. Only time will tell though.
                            Clarkson however scored 30 last year and would’ve done the same this year if he scored at the same pace over a full season. I think I’d still pick Clarkson between the two. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

                          2. Not sure how you define “Goal Scorer” but anyone who can lead the Hawks in Playoff goals would be a “Goal Scorer” in my book. And playoff performance is not indicative of skill? It’s the playoffs that matter most. Now, one playoff may not be indicative of long term performance, but when Bickell has been given a chance in the top 6 he has scored regularly. This season, altho not in the top 6 all season, he scored 9 goals which in half a season extrapolates to 18 goals for a full season. If he spent the whole season in the top 6 I’d expect him to score at least 20 goals and be a force in the playoffs again.
                            That being said, Clarkson has scored 30 goals and extrapolating this season’s 15 to a full season – there is a pattern of 30 goal capability.
                            I wouldn’t want to pay Bickell $5 M but I’d give him $ 4M for 3. Clarkson I’d go as high as $5 M.
                            I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

                    3. To be clear, I wasn’t making a proclamation about the roster. That’s who’s signed right now (or we know will be because they’re RFAs). Something absolutely has to happen (as I stated in the part of the article that WASN’T just names listed) to improve this roster and bring in outside help or they’re going to be stuck with the same group as this past year (and, for all intents and purposes, the year before and the year before and the…)

                    1. Also, he’s listed under the “UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS” section right by his name in all caps.

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