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The Red Wings could well add prize free agent defenseman Ryan Suter to their lineup today, but as the market opened Sunday, they already got started on forging a fiercer team.
They add a big, promising goaltender in Jonas Gustavsson, help for the power play in Mikael Samuelsson and grit in Jordin Tootoo. They also made forward Damien Brunner official, announcing they’d signed the coveted Swiss forward after he had agreed to terms last month.
The Wings are in the process of upgrading after losing in the first round of the playoffs in April, followed a month later by the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom and departure of Brad Stuart, both of whom were top-four defensemen. Their top targets are Suter and forward Zach Parise, and general manager Ken Holland made offers to both early Sunday afternoon. Neither was expected to make a decision before today, but the Wings are among the front-runners for Suter.
The Wings remain interested in Columbus superstar Rick Nash but are disadvantaged by needing to make an offer so sweet it will entice the Blue Jackets to trade the face of their franchise to a team within the Central Division.
The Rangers appear to have a considerable amount of cap space with which to maneuver in reconstructing for next year, but with the labor agreement set to expire on Sept. 15, it’s anybody’s guess as to exactly how much.
The Blueshirts will have approximately $20 million of space under a summer cap that’s likely to be in the neighborhood of $76M, but it’s impossible to know whether the 2012-13 cap will exceed, be equal to, or decrease from last season’s $64.3M when it’s reset under the new collective bargaining agreement.
Similarly, it is unknown whether any of the systems regulations will change as applied to calculating the cap, whether the players will ultimately accept a rollback (unlikely) if locked out (likely), and whether amnesty buyouts will be part of the picture.
The Wings had the option of using MacDonald in that role last season, and still pursued other goaltenders. They went after Tomas Vokoun when free agency began July 1, but couldn’t compete with Washington’s offer of $1.5 million and a shot at the starting spot. Ultimately, the Wings signed Ty Conklin, whom they had in ’08-09. There’s little chance Conklin will return after he went 5-6-1 with a 3.28 GAA and .884 save percentage.
Has there been a hotter ticket than New Jersey Devils forward Zach Parise on the free-agent stage in the last 10 years?
You can see how badly he wants to win, the pistons pumping as he hunts down a loose puck in the neutral zone and sends it into the open net to ensure the Game 5 win for the Devils at Madison Square Garden.
He’s the engine that drives the Devils, with due respect to the big wheel Ilya Kovalchuk, who is much better than I thought he’d ever be when they gave him that lifetime contract as a free agent.
Dominik Hasek, one of the best goaltenders to play in the NHL, is reportedly interested in making a return to the NHL at age 47.
Hasek has reportedly told several Czech publications he’s exploring the possibility of making a comeback and playing in the NHL.
Dominik Hasek is considering making a comeback at age 47. (AP Photo)
Ritch Winter, Hasek’s agent, told Czech publication Isport.cz, that he did not know of any negotiations going on.