Owen Nolan Good fit for Red Wings

Owen Nolan’s disputed contract buyout should finally go through within the next few weeks making him an unrestricted free agent around the time the season starts.

Despite his health and age, Nolan could still be a strong winger that a number of teams should be looking at, and (when hes finally bought out) he’ll be the last of the big name free agents.

Quebec’s first round choice, first overall in the 1990 NHL entry draft has over 700 career NHL points and 1600 penalty minutes in 14 nhl seasons, his best coming with the sharks in 1999-2000 when he got 84 points.

A lot of people will be saying that at 33, with a bad back and currently injured knee, that Nolan is done, and they may be right. But I disagree. He’s a good power forward with a wicked slap shot and has always been a physical presence on the ice. If signed somewhere this year, if he stays healthy and picks up about where he left off, he should be a sure bet for 20 goals, and up to 50 or 60 points.

I think he would be a good fit in hockey town, why? Because if the season were to start today, 4 of the following guys would have to be in the wings line-up: Franzen, Hudler, Williams, Mowers, Bootland, Robinson, Samuelson, MacLean. Not that these guys couldn’t play at an NHL level, but with a veteran team like the Red Wings, I wouldn’t want 4 of these guys in the starting line-up. Adding one more veteran winger who could play on one of the top two lines would make sense, and givin his injuries and long contract dispute with Toronto, Owen would probably come at a price somewhere between $900k and $2 mil.

After signing Datsyuk the Red Wings are around 36 million dollars in team salary, and could afford Nolan for somewhere around a million, staying under the cap.

With Owen Nolan in the line-up, lines could change around and stuff obviously, but this is something close to what their lines could look like:

Shanny- Lang- Yzerman

Zetterberg- Datsyuk- Nolan

Maltby- Draper- Holmstrom

Mowers – Hudler – Williams (MacLean, Samuelson, Robinson, etc.)

This is pure opinion of mine, but you have to think its a possibility, and I think most Red Wing fans would like one more vet in there for offense. Don’t be shocked if and when Nolan signs, he ends up playing for the Red Wings.

I also think this would pull Detroit ahead of the pack a little in an improved Central Division. Doesn’t it seem like Detroit and St.Louis got a bit worse and everyone else got a lot better in that division?

– Mojo