Category Archives: Detroit Red Wings
After failing to land a top defenseman through free agency, the Detroit Red Wings are looking to bolster their back end via trade.
A team source confirmed the Red Wings are talking with the Calgary Flames about making a deal for veteran defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who has been the subject of trade rumors for more than a month.
The Red Wings are attempting to solidify their defensive corps with a trade because no top defensemen remain available through free agency.
Bouwmeester became expendable in Calgary when the Flames signed Dennis Wideman to a five-year, $26.25 million deal and the Red Wings need help on defense after captain Nicklas Lidstrom retired and Brad Stuart was traded to San Jose before he could sign with the Sharks as a free agent.
Wideman’s contract hiked Calgary’s payroll to $66.6 million, which is under the $70.2 million salary cap. But if the cap is reduced as expected when a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, that could force the Flames to dump salary and the possibility might reduce their asking price for Bouwmeester.
Detroit, to nobody’s surprise, is on Rick Nash’s short list of approved destinations. And the Red Wings, naturally, would love to land the high-scoring forward.
The Red Wings made “a hell of an offer” to Columbus for Nash, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. But the offer generated no conversation.
No counteroffer, no back and forth negotiation, nothing.
It is clear Columbus has no intention of trading the face of its franchise to the team it considers to be its top rival, a Detroit club that has dominated the Blue Jackets since they entered the NHL in 2000-01.
The last thing Columbus general manager Scott Howson wants to see is Nash being paired with Pavel Datsyuk and his Blue Jackets having to deal with that scenario six times a season.
It is not certain what the Red Wings offered. Howson recently told TSN’s Geno Reda that he is seeking at least two NHL-ready forwards in return for Nash because he likes his defense.
The Red Wings, in need of a top-pair defenseman, would be more inclined to relinquish a couple of NHL forwards in addition to prospects and draft picks.
Which forwards might the Red Wings move to get a franchise player like Nash? The two that come to mind are Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula, though it’s unlikely Detroit would deal both.
Though the Wings would have given that to Suter had it come down to that, they weren’t going anywhere near a $7.5-million average salary cap hit for a small winger like Parise, who last season had 69 points. If they’re going to take on that kind of contract for a forward, it’ll be by trading for Columbus’ Rick Nash, a 6-foot-4 behemoth who’d be a 40-goal scorer next to Pavel Datsyuk.
That possibility will be explored, but for now, the Wings wake up with nearly $17 million in salary cap space and will look at Plans B for the defense. There aren’t any elite options left. Carlo Colaiacovo has a good offensive upside, but he has been injury-prone. Chris Campoli is another possibility. The Wings weren’t remotely interested in paying Matt Carle the $5.5-million average he got for six years from Tampa Bay Wednesday night.
A likelier course of action is trading. Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester, 28, is a great skater, capable of eating up 25 minutes a game, and he could rediscover his offensive skills playing in Detroit’s system.
General manager Ken Holland said he “was down” about Suter’s decision, which was announced around noon. But by the afternoon, Holland already was putting things in perspective.
“Our focus going back to last year was to be positioned for this summer,” he said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to add a high-profile player or two. But I think we have a lot of good pieces in place, and we have some players ready to take bigger roles. We’ll explore the marketplace. We’ll explore trading. We’ll move on.”
#RedWings initial offer to D Ryan Suter was $80M 13 years, now up to $90 M. Team wants to keep cap # reasonable – preferably under $7 M.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings worth a total of $3 million.
Gustavsson’s rights were traded to the Winnipeg Jets for a conditional seventh-round draft pick earlier in the off-season.
The 27-year-old Gustavsson signed with the Maple Leafs from Sweden in 2009 and spent the past three seasons in Toronto. He was 17-17-4 last season with a 2.92 goals against average and .902 save percentage. Gustavsson, nicknamed the Monster, also had four shutouts.
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The most likely destination for Nash is the New York Rangers, who, like everyone else, covet pending unrestricted free agent Zach Parise but who were told earlier this week that Parise doesn’t consider that a realistic move for him. The Rangers are still looking to get over the top after losing in the Eastern Conference finals to New Jersey, and need help up front, as it’s expected star Marian Gaborik will be sidelined five to six months following shoulder surgery.
The other likely destination is Vancouver, where the Canucks are looking to unload Roberto Luongo and figure out a way to make good on years of unfulfilled playoff promise. The San Jose Sharks will be looking to make a move, too, after losing in the first round despite making a big splash at last year’s draft by trading for defenseman Brent Burns.
Management is very serious about re-tooling the Wings after a first-round loss to Nashville, but the focus is on doing it via free agency more than via trades.
While there are a number of logical reasons why the Flyers would want to pursue Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter, who is headed for unrestricted free agency this summer, the question remains: Is Suter interested in them?
Recall the Flyers had serious interest in Jay Bouwmeester several summer ago, but it wasn’t reciprocal. As such, they turned their attentions elsewhere by going after Chris Pronger.
According to a well-placed source, Suter has a potential list of clubs he would be willing to talk to even if his rights were traded before July 1. Suter is represented by Neil Sheehy.
Alas, the Flyers are not one of them.
In fact, the source said, all of Suter’s preferred destinations, should he leave the Predators, are in the Western Conference – not the East.
Detroit is generally conceded to be his top choice.
It’s no secret the Flyers have some work ahead of them in the coming weeks to solidify their defense, especially given it appears Pronger’s status as “out indefinitely” with post-concussion syndrome will continue into next season.
Nashville general manager David Poile, the source said, has thus far refused to talk with any clubs about moving Suter or even restricted free agent Shea Weber’s rights right now.
If you’re Jiri Hudler, what do you do this summer?
Hudler scored 25 goals this past season, plays on a great line with Henrik Zetterberg and Valtteri Filppula, and seems to have found a comfort level in the city and organization.
He’s never played any-where else in the NHL (except for a one-year hiatus to Russia) and seems to appreciate what he was with the Wings.
But this is a rare opportunity.
Coming off that 25-goal season, and with a thin free-agent market, Hudler (who can be an unrestricted free agent July 1), could be a highly sought-after player.
“I would say so,” said Petr Svoboda, Hudler’s agent. “He’s a player who can score goals. He’s shown he can do that.”
But will Hudler be able to do so in another system, with the pressure of a big contract hovering over him while playing with less talented teammates?
According to Svoboda, Hudler knows what he has with the Wings and would like to stay.
“He likes Detroit a lot,” said Svoboda Wednesday.
“He loves the team. I’ve had a couple conversations with (Wings general manager) Kenny Holland about Huds, and the future. We still have time (almost three weeks, before July 1).”
The loss of Stuart and Lidstrom further accentuates the need for defenseman — be it through trade or more likely free agency — in the next several weeks.
Holland said he had brief discussions with other general managers at the GM meetings two weeks ago, but nothing interested him.
Players such as Ryan Suter (Nashville), Matt Carle (Philadelphia), Barret Jackman (St. Louis) and Dennis Wideman (Washington) are potential unrestricted free agents that will attract the most attention, with Suter the undisputed No. 1 target of teams.
There’s also Justin Schultz, an Anaheim draft pick who has gone unsigned. Schultz will become an unrestricted free agent later this month and will attract a lot of interest — the Wings included.
“We’ll be active,” Holland said. “We’ve lost two quality defensemen.”
Stuart played in 81 games last season, scoring 21 points (six goals, 15 assists), while averaging 21 minutes, 3 seconds of ice time. He had one assist in the five-game playoff series to Nashville.
Murray is a 6-foot-2, 218-pound center who split time between the Sharks and the organization’s minor league affiliate Worcester last season. Murray can also become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but it’s not certain the Wings will aggressively work to re-sign him.
With the Sharks Murray, 30, played in 39 games with four points (one goal, three assists), while averaging 7:42 of ice time. He played in 10 games with Worcester, scoring three points (two goals, one assist).