Shut out in free-agency, Detroit still seeks balance

Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News writes … Red Wings defensemen: Shut out in free-agency, Detroit still seeks balance

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75 Responses to Shut out in free-agency, Detroit still seeks balance

  1. nordiques100 says:

    Leafs sign yet another depth forward, Daniel Winnik for 1 year.

    Played in Anaheim last year. Is a PK guy with decent size but strictly a 4th line dude.

    The Leafs have a lot of these guys. Winnik, Booth, Bodie, Ashton, Holland, Kontiola, Orr, McLaren, Devane, Santorelli even could be 4th liners or Marlies.

    My guess is Spott is having a lot of input on the current team and likely finds a few of the kids simply not ready for the job. Hence signing Booth and Winnik in the last week.

    • LN91 says:

      Something is fishy with all these small signings…Really fishy, and it’s hard to not argue it.

      Maybe Leafy is right, something is brewing in T.O.

  2. kessel_leafs81 says:

    It wouldnt be one of the players they have signed so whos left? potential trade bait on the leafs right now in my opinion is the obvious franson and reimer and then i would think holland, lupul and even percy if they have to anti-up. I would target bogosian and kane out of winnipeg and i see a good match with needs.

  3. lafleur10 says:

    well your not getting kane or bogosain with that stuff…..

    • kessel_leafs81 says:

      i said target those players, didnt propose a deal

      • LN91 says:

        Reimer to Winnipeg?

        • nordiques100 says:

          Winnipeg has the least adequate backup in all the land: Michael Hutchinson. So it appears that would be the best fit.

          Washington is the other team with a weak backup, Justin Peters. And Holtby isnt a sure fire starter either. But i think they’d target a vet, be it Marty, Tim Thomas or Bryzgalov.

          Toronto, if they do trade Reimer, they’d need a plan B for sure.

          Khabibulin was a laughable rumour. He is done like dinner as an NHL goalie.

          Some other options are:

          Markstrom from Vancouver – he apparently asked to be traded. He could be a decent backup but, gawd if the Leafs have to turn to him in the even Bernier is down, i am not sold.

          Peter Budaj. yeah, sacrilege to trade with the Habs i guess and he could pull a Gorges, but i am not sure he wins the backup role over Tokarski after they chose Tokarski over him in the playoffs. obviously losing his job to a minor leaguer is concerning, but he showed in teh regular season he can play a small stretch and be decent.

          My preference, provided he is completely cleared to play again, is Tomas Vokoun. He is an excellent goalie and at this stage in his career, knows his role. If he can definitely play, id take a chance on him.

          Otherwise, sign Marty. His benefit is that he can def step in and play, and be a good mentor for Bernier, but still, i think he wants to play a lot and wont in Toronto so i think the chances are slim he wants to join the leafs to play 20 games only.

  4. leafy says:

    The Leafs resigned Gardiner for $20.25 million 5 years.

    Although not the huge blockbuster trade I’m waiting for, this is a good vote of confidence to someone Carlyle wants to ship to Tahiti.

  5. LN91 says:

    First 2 years might be painful, but it will be terrific value in the third-year.

  6. mojo19 says:

    JVR – Bozak – Kessel
    Lupul – Kadri – Clarkson
    Booth – Holland – Santorelli
    Komarov – Kontiola – Winnik

    + Frattin

    I believe that these will be the 13 Leaf fwd’s most used this season.

    • nordiques100 says:

      its likely Bodie will be the 14th guy kept should they have a 23 man roster.

      I wonder if they will try and find a veteran defenceman who will be able to accept the 7th D role. I don’t think it should be Granberg. It may end up being Holzer. Granberg should play and if he isnt with the Leafs he should be sent down to play more. Kevin Marshall is the other internal option. He played 10 games with the Flyers a few years ago. He can maybe be the travelling 7th Dman.

    • kessel_leafs81 says:

      i dont know im kind of biased because im a fan of frattin and bringing him back was probably the most exciting for me lol. He battled injuries when we traded him to la and i always thought he has the hands speed and is a rock on his skates.. when people tried to line him up they usually got the worst of it. Also Id start the season off with booth on the second line, was more of a consistent goal scorer and more offensive upside then clarkson. I know clarkson has scored 30 goals too but booth just simply has more offensive flair then clarkson. Id go:

      JVR – bozak -kessel
      lupul – kadri – booth
      frattin – santorelli – clarkson
      komarov – kontiola – winnik

      and then of course we have some options here. If a winger under performs then he gets scratched and santorelli moves to the wing in place for holland or if a center under performs then its a straight swap for holland. Im telling you guys right now that having a 4 line attack instead of having bodie or orr or maclaren on our 4th line with improve our team very much so. And adding players like komarov and winnik makes our team tougher to play against last year with still having clarkson who can drop the gloves. The more i look at our team the more i seem to like it. not saying were cup favourites by no means at all but i do consider us having a good chance at cracking the playoffs and certainly not a last place team.

      • mojo19 says:

        There’s so many guys who are around the same calibre who bring different elements to the table. I expect there’s gonna be a lot of movement with the lines. Also there’s probably going to be a certain amount of balance throughout the line up as we’re expected to roll 4 lines a little more evenly next year.

        You took Peter Holland out, I hope he steps up this year and takes a step forward. Either way, should be plenty of internal competition for minutes with Booth and Winnik added into the mix, on top of the early acquisitions.

    • reinjosh says:

      Finally someone that has Santorelli in his proper position. He was most successful offensively on the wing last year.

  7. leafs_wallace93 says:

    Nonis is good a finding projects like MacAuthur and Raymond and getting production out of them. Hopefully he can find a couple more this these signings.

  8. lafleur10 says:

    breaking news habs just signed pk subban to an 8 yr 72 million dollar contract

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      9 million per for Subban? Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      Everyone can shut up about Phaneuf’s ‘terrible’ contract now.

      • lafleur10 says:

        that contract will be a steal in a few years with the cap going up……plus he’s far surperior to phaneuf there isn’t any defenceman on the leafs i’d trade this guy for,infact there isn’t any 2 d-men on the leafs i’d trade him for

        • leafs_wallace93 says:

          Far superior? Subban early career runs parallel to Pahneuf’s, in fact Dion being runner up for the Norris in an 82 game schedule is more impressive than Subban’s short bus Norris. Both have holes in their defensive game, I’ll give Subban the edge on puck moving but he’s a turn over machine though Dion is better in his own

          Now Subban gets the critical eye that comes with a big price tag. Doubt he survives the criticism.

          Both have holes

          • Gambo says:

            I am so happy about this contract hahaha

          • lafleur10 says:

            phaneuf is in the second tier of defenceman in the league subban is not subban is an elite defenceman… bottom line is subban won a norris and phaneuf didn’t short season or not he’s done it and phaneuf didn’t that s the differencesubban is no turn over machine phaneuf is worse subban is a better point producer better skater subban always did get the critical eye no matter what his contract was playing in montreal does that to u it’s thatw ay all the time…so yes subban is far superior to phaneuf and he’ll continue to show it

            • leafs_wallace93 says:

              Oh, Subban is ‘elite’ now? Kinda like Phaneuf was mislabeled during his first five seasons in Calgary.

              Both Phaneuf and Subban made team Canada but at least Phaneuf earned ice time. Subban played far behind Hamhuis, so not sure you understand what ‘elite’ means.

              Bottom line? His Norris is meaningless as Tyler Myers Calder, blueliners routinely bust under the hype of a young promise.

              Subban also won his Calder for being a points monkey in a shorten season where Karlsson was injured. Karlsson would have won it by a landslide if he played that season. So consolation prize for Subby.

              8th in overall giveaways, Subban is terrible.

              There is criticism and the hyper criticism that comes with being grossly overpaid, say if a player is arguably a top 50 talent but has the 3rd largest cap hit. Subban will trip sooner than later and get buried, so enjoy the contract until October.

              • I can’t tell if you’re trolling him or if you really believe they’re comparable.

                This contract looks bad, but it’s an 8 year deal here. In 5 years, top 5 D-man will most likely be paid more. You can’t compare this to Keiths or Karlssons contracts.

                It’s not a secret that Subban is a reliability in his own end, but people pay for scoring. People pay for franchise players. People pay for exciting players.

                Most GM’s would probably take 1 Subban over 2 Phaneufs. They’re not comparable.

                However, here’s hoping he plays like absolute crap now that he’s got that big contract. Can’t stand the Habs…

                • leafs_wallace93 says:

                  I’m trolling? Trolling?

                  Tell me I’m wrong that Dion didn’t have twice the hype Subban did when he signed during his RFA period in Calgary.

                  We’re not arguing that Subban wouldn’t get bad, we’re arguing whether or not it’s a good contract. If Dion’s is bad then Subban’s is f’ing terrible.

                  • leafs_wallace93 says:

                    meant to type… not arguing subban wouldn’t get paid…

                  • lafleur10 says:

                    he did but didn’t live up to pkm has and will continue to do so wallace what i’m trying to say is subban and phaneuf are on 2 different levels pk is elite and phaneuf is a second tier guy he’s good but miss cast as a top flight #1 defenceman and he’s being paid like one, he’s hasn’t accomplished what subban has

                    • TmLeafan says:

                      I agree the contract is bad but what choice did Bergevin have. Let him walk there next best defenceman is like 50 years old.He had them by the balls in the negotiation. I am a Subban fan and would have signed him for 8 mil in a second. Brooks Orpik gets paid 5 mil PK has to be worth 8. Having said that Begevin mishandled the situation really badly with the RFA contract and thats why he had to overpay him.

                      Gardiner deal looks great right now. Gardiner in 4 years making 4 million dollars is an absolute steal.

                • lafleur10 says:

                  there isn’t a team or gm in the league that wouldn’t take him (subban) at the deal he just signedhe’s 25 and his prime years are ahead of him and i think he’ll only get better he’s a franchise defenceman and a #1 defence on 30 teams in this league

              • lafleur10 says:

                7 million dollar dion fagneuf didn’t make team canad ‘s olympic team pk did he was a beast in the playoffs ,unlike fagneuf who choked and couldn’t lead or get the job done ….if subban norris is meaningless then so is the leafs only playoff appearance once in the last 12 years he won the norris by being the best defenceman and proved it karlsson being hurt was too bad he wasn’t hurt this year and lost to duncan keith so what’s your point?in the 2 years subban signed the bridge deal he was tied for the most point for defence3man i don’t see phaneuf anywhere close to that subban was a -4 unlike phaneuf who was a double digit minus player…subban s contract will look like a steal in a few years when the cap goes up and defenace are paid 12= million dollars a season and it’s comingphaneuf was overrated from his days in calgary too he didn’t win anything subban won the norris in his 3rd season lead his team to the eastern conference fianl in his 4th season more in those short years than phaneuf has done in his career so far…subban is elite he’s right there with doughty ,karlsson ,and weber he’s in that group,phaneuf isn’t

                • leafs_wallace93 says:

                  Ok, ignore my point….

                  When Phaneuf was Subban’s age he did more, like make team Canada and actually play in the top four, a lot of people argued Phaneuf should have beat both Ovie and Crosby out for the Calder, runner up for the Norris in a real actual season, was PK even nominated in an 82 game season?

                  Point is Phaneuf regressed and didn’t live up to expectation as there were holes in his game.

                  PK has holes too, glaring ones, but you can put the blinders on say he’s ‘elite’ I guess Hamhuis is elite too then… and pretend Subban is about to exposed.

                  Leafs playoff birth was a fluke, Leafs were exposed this season.

                  Karlsson came back for the playoffs that season and danced all over Montreal and Norris* ‘champion’ PK useless on one leg. That’s an elite talent.

                  PK is elite just like Montreal is a contender, this playoff run wasn’t a fluke and PK will surely win another Norris eh….

                  • lafleur10 says:

                    i’m willing to bet on it ….also subban is elite like it or not wether you want to admit it or not but he is he’s one of the top 5 defenceman in the game..that playoff run was no fluke neither was subban norris trophy win mtl is a gauranteed playoff team not a playoff contender we are one of the best teams in our division

  9. leafs_wallace93 says:

    And we can argue elite, or Norris, blah blah blah

    How about a real list, all things considered if you could have any blueliner on your team with their contract, would PK even been a top 25? Would be and Dion be drastically far apart?

    For instance, I’d take a guy like Vlasic or Jones over Subban.

    My overall point is that PK is much closer to the Dion Phaneuf than Shea Weber.

    @TMLeafs, I get, Montreal was stuck, just like Nonis was stuck to sign Dion, our turn to laugh at the Habs.

    • “How about a real list, all things considered if you could have any blueliner on your team with their contract, would PK even been a top 25? Would be and Dion be drastically far apart?”

      Um, yes. That’s the point. There’s some great contracts out there, but there’s a pretty big gap between those D-men. Would Phaneuf be far apart? You can easily find D-men making less doing what he does. Can you say the same about Subban? – Because that list gets much shorter. Look, I hate both of them. But Subban can be a game changer.

  10. lafleur10 says:

    i won’t agrue if he’s elite or not he is and we’ll leave it at that ,well your an idiot if you’d take jones or vlasic or subban nobody in their right mind would take those guys over him subban is not closer to phaneuf he’s closer to weber,doughty than you think if fact he’s won a norris and those guys haven’t

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      I’d say most people would take Jones over PK, Jones has a much higher ceiling than PK whose likely already peaked/overachieved.

      PK played behind Vlasic at the Olympics, so yeah PK isn’t as good as Vlasic. Best players in the world when the entire game matter and PK is in the press box. Even Dion didn’t get benched.

      • lafleur10 says:

        he didn’t even get picked so wake up he’s an overrated bum! subban is a superstar dion is not subban is elite phaneuf is not subban is a game changer phaneuf is not subban is a norris winner phaneuf is not.

  11. lafleur10 says:

    and you can try and laugh at the habs all you want we’re in great shape going forward in the next couple of years

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Yeah, Lafleur you’ve been saying that for ten years and counting.

      • lafleur10 says:

        and we are where are you guys? getting worse every year with no hope of improvement,the habs are getting very close to being a contender

        • TmLeafan says:

          The habs are not even close to being a contender. Playoff run was a joke. Some success with special teams in the playoffs, goals from powerhouses like Rene Bourque and Dale Weiss. Thats a recipe for success.

          You claimed that Bergevin was going to sign PK for 7 mil what ever happened to that? Hes overpaid just like Dion

          • lafleur10 says:

            i made a prediction on what i thought he’d sign for haven’t you made predictions before? bergevin is doing a very good job in montreal…the playoff run was no joke the joke was the leafs pretendiing to be a playoff team and cjoking losing 12 of their last 13 the habs are a gauranteed playoff team and the leafs aren’t

        • leafs_wallace93 says:

          No one year is pretending the Leafs are great because we’re actually capable of be critical of the Leafs, unlike Habs that say derp we just drafted Price he’s the next Roy, derp 8 mure yeers of PK generational talent, Kyle Chipcure gunna win the Selke…..

  12. LN91 says:

    In a non-biased view, Subban’s contract is fair on a points system…

    Subban brings an elite level (very few are better then him) offensive element to the league…But his defense is terrible, and I doubt he will ever be a well-rounded player. He seems to be a Scapegoat at times in Montreal (like Phaneuf), so will be interesting to see.

    I think the dumbest thing Montreal did was trading away Josh Gorges…Yeah, he did not put up points, but he was the leader of the squad and Subban’s security blanket. Playing Subban-Markov together should be fun…But I’m expecting many. many goals against those 2. Markov’s foot speed has been terrible after years of knee damage.

    Yes, Subban’s contract is bad…But he atleast brings offence, Phaneuf brings nothing special but field goals with his ‘booming’ shot.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Funny, everyone said the same thing during the Letang to Toronto rumors last summer. How is Letang’s deal look now?

      People throwing around the ‘elite’ tag are confusing PK with OEL. Those talents are miles apart.

    • lafleur10 says:

      subban and markov at the start of last season was the best 1-2 tandem in the league….. gorges had to be traded he didn’t show anything but ill timed penalties and terrible lapses in defensive play and shot blocking mike weaver can do what gorges can and he’s on a cheaper contract plus we have tinordi ready to do what gorges did plus the leadership that gorges provided wasn’t that valuable subban ,markov,emelin,weaver will take that role over gilbert will bring more to the table imo than gorges he provides us with better balance and is more of a top 4 than gorges is plus gilbert can provide offence on the 2nd unit of the pp something gorges couldn’t do and teams will now have to respect our 2nd pp unit as where they didn’t before because of the lack of an offensive threat back there markov your right is slowed by the injuries to his knee but he’s a veteran and can provide leadership that gorges can’t subban’s contract in a couple of years won’t look that bad when the cap goes up to 75 million and higher

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        Subban and Markov were the best one two punch like Kessel and JVR were the best line, it was short lived overachieving.

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        Subban and Markov were the best one two punch like Kessel and JVR were the best line in hackay for three months mid season, it was short lived overachieving.

      • leafy says:

        I’m in the middle on this.

        On one hand, I’ve told Lafleur many times Subban is an excellent blueliner, but not THAT excellent. Obviously the Habs overpaid, but didn’t really have any choice by resign him.

        On the other hand, I don;t think Phaneuf is anything more than a 3rd defenceman. I know some Leaf fans would be outraged by that comment, but that’s my honest opinion after watching him every game for 4 years now. Focusing on the positive, I’d say Phaneuf’s best attribute is his durability. He’s incredibly durable and resistant to injury. A+ on that. Beyond that, nothing special.

  13. Gambo says:

    Just want to make one thing clear:

    Subban has never won the Norris. He’s won the Norris*

  14. mojo19 says:

    Subban got overpaid by about $3 million on this contract. I think a $6-7 mil a year would have been fine. It’s not the end of the world for Montreal, but you can’t say it’s a good deal.

    Anyway’s I hope the Leafs move out Cody Franson and take a flier on Joni Pitkanen. I don’t know what the scoop is with his injury that sidelined him for all of last year but he was a really solid top pairing dman for about 4-5 years before that and he’s still in his early 30s. Plus he can play either side, though he’s a L-handed shot.

    Then you can put the veteran with Dion on the top pair and have the rugged righties watching out for the kids:

    Phaneuf – Pitkanen
    Gardiner – Robidas
    Rielly – Polak

    That doesn’t look too bad, depending on the development of the kids this year and how Pitkanen would do in his return, it could be pretty solid.

  15. mojo19 says:

    As for the Norris trophy, I hate it now. Letang, Subban, Karlsson, Mike Green, these types are FAR from being “the best” dman in hockey. I would’ve just award it to Drew Doughty every year for the last few years, maybe Ryan Suter deserved on in there.

    • TmLeafan says:

      ya no kidding about Doughty, there is an argument to be made he should have been taken ahead of Stamkos he is that valuable.

      As for Pitkanen I would stay away from him, when defenseman start to get older and have a few injuries it all starts to fall apart for them very quickly. He was good a few years back but I see Pitkanen to be in the same situation as Ryan Whitney. No longer has the mobility to play in the league after being so banged up.

      I think Frason probably gets moved at the deadline.

    • leafy says:

      Yeah Drew Doughty is the best defenceman in the NHL right now, and probably the most valuable player. Just imagine where L.A. would be without Doughty.

  16. leafs_wallace93 says:






    Third tier IMO

    • LN91 says:

      If I had to choose one of these guys to build around, it would be either Pietrangelo or McDonagh.

      I though McDonagh was the best D-Men (all around) that I’ve seen in awhile…Gomez.

  17. Gambo says:

    All this talk about Drew Doughty being the best defenseman in the NHL, check out this comparison:

    Drew Doughty – 6’0″, 212lbs. Drafted 2nd overall in 2008.
    Morgan Rielly – 6’0″, 210lbs. Drafted 5th overall in 2012.

    Drew Doughty points:
    Last junior year: GP:58 G:13 A:37 P:50 +/-:-1
    NHL Rookie season: GP:81 G:6 A:21 P:27 +/-:-17

    Morgan Rielly points:
    Last junior year: GP:60 G:12 A:42 P:54 +/-:-8
    NHL Rookie season: GP:73 G:2 A:25 P:27 +/-:-14

    Nearly identical.

  18. leafs_wallace93 says:

    PK is like a bad Chris Chelios impression

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