NHL FREE AGENCY: Wings awaiting Belfour's response
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Author:  TheRealWags [ July 17th, 2006, 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  NHL FREE AGENCY: Wings awaiting Belfour's response

Incentives appear to be the sticking point that has prevented goaltender Ed Belfour from becoming a Red Wing.

General manager Ken Holland said Saturday that he has made an offer to Belfour's agent, Ron Salcer, but hasn't heard back.

Salcer has not returned calls from the Free Press the last three days.

Holland wouldn't say what the offer is, but it's believed to be a base salary of around $500,000 with additional money attainable through performance bonuses. The collective bargaining agreement allows for bonuses for players who are 35 or older.

It appears that Belfour, 41, and his agent want more money in incentives than the Wings are willing to set aside.

If, for example, the Wings offered Belfour a $500,000 contract and a $1 million bonus if the Wings win the Stanley Cup next season, they would need $1.5 million set aside.

"I don't want to tie a whole bunch of money in something that might not happen," Holland said. "He feels he's taking a lot of the risk and wants to have some upside coverage, but me -- I'm tying up cap space."

Holland hasn't put a timetable on the Belfour negotiations, but he said, "At some point, both (of us) are going to have to fish or cut bait."

The team could defer some of the incentives to next season, but several Red Wings, including Pavel Datsyuk, Mathieu Schneider, Robert Lang, Kirk Maltby, Tomas Holmstrom and Chris Chelios, will be free agents and need new contracts. It's unlikely that Holland would defer a large amount of money against future salary caps for a player who isn't in the team's long-term future.

If the Wings can't agree on a deal with Belfour, Holland could trade for a goaltender. He has said that several teams have called with offers.

NOTEBOOK: Brendan Shanahan didn't take the Wings' $4-million offer, leaving for the New York Rangers instead. Now, the Wings are fielding calls from agents hoping to get their clients some of that money.

Although the Wings need to sign a couple of veteran forwards, Holland is unwilling to give long-term contracts to players who aren't going to be a part of the team's core. He said he would be patient and would not "tie our hands for 2007."

"If they're short-term fixes and you give them long-term deals, we're going to wake up and have a guy that we want to get rid of that we can't, because of his contract," Holland said. ...

Forward Jason Williams will go to arbitration at the end of the month unless he and the Wings reach a deal. "We've got almost two weeks before the case," Holland said. "At some point in time, I'm sure we'll have some conversations."

WASHINGTON: Steve Eminger, the third-leading scorer among Washington defensemen with 18 points last season, re-signed with the Capitals. Washington also re-signed forwards Boyd Gordon and Kris Beech.

DALLAS: Center Eric Lindros is expected to sign a one-year deal today, the Dallas Morning News reported.

MICHIGAN: Forward Trevor Lewis, 19, who was supposed to be an impact freshman for the Wolverines this season, signed a three-year contract with the L.A. Kings, who drafted him 17th overall in June.

Contact GEORGE SIPPLE at gsipple@freepress.com or 313-223-4796. Free Press News Services contributed to this report.

Author:  adpreston1385 [ July 18th, 2006, 2:35 am ]
Post subject: 

Belfour can't be worse than how Legace played in the 2006 playoffs. Belfour and Osgood will provide veteran leadership to this new and younger looking Red Wings team :D !!

Author:  TheRealWags [ July 18th, 2006, 2:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Wings keep goalie options wide open

freep.com wrote:
The agent for goaltender Ed Belfour remains optimistic a deal can be worked out with the Red Wings, but the Wings are keeping their options open.

Ron Salcer said Monday that he was having trouble reaching general manager Ken Holland and that "a couple of issues" remained to be discussed. The Wings are interested in signing Belfour, 41 and coming off back surgery, to a one-year deal worth around $500,000, plus incentives.

The snag is that if Belfour earns the bonuses, they will count against the salary cap, so the Wings don't want to sweeten the contract a great deal.

"They want something more, and we want something else," assistant general manager Jim Nill said. "We'll continue to negotiate, but the door is open to other things. It's not just one party we're going after right now."

There are some attractive names available via trade, though most come with some sort of drawback.

San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov has experience but signed a four-year extension worth $21.5 million in February.

Vesa Toskala, 29 and also of San Jose, had a great playoff run this year, but that is the extent of his NHL playoff experience.

Buffalo's Martin Biron was solid while starting for the Sabres, but he has no NHL playoff experience.

Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere backstopped the Ducks to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003, but his $3.9-million salary is prohibitive and he's had hip problems.

As for Roberto Luongo, a report in Sunday's Boston Globe said the Wings were ready to hand Luongo a Group 2 offer sheet worth $8.2 million a season, which would have cost the Wings four first-round draft picks.

"There is absolutely no truth to that," Nill said, adding that the Wings never even discussed making an offer sheet for Luongo, who Florida ended up trading to Vancouver.

The Wings did get one signing done Monday, agreeing to a one-year, $450,000 contract with winger Tomas Kopecky. Kopecky, 24, was drafted by the Wings 38th overall in 2000, but he didn't make his NHL debut until last season.

Like fellow forwards Jiri Hudler and Darryl Bootland, Kopecky either has to make the team in Detroit or face waivers. "We've got some young kids coming off great years and we've got some spots open," Nill said.

"We'll let the players decide who gets them."

Contact HELENE ST. JAMES at 313-222-2295 or hstjames@freepress.com

Author:  slybri19 [ July 19th, 2006, 6:50 pm ]
Post subject: 

The Wings might not get Belfour after all.
Will Eagle now land in Florida?
Jul 19 - As talks between Ed Belfour and the Red Wings hit a snag, the veteran netminder is apparently keeping his options open.
The Sports Network of Canada is reporting that Belfour worked out for the Florida Panthers on Wednesday, and if he passes the physical, the team could sign the goalie.

TSN of Canada reported that the deal would be a one-year contract worth $1.5 million. According to the report, Florida's first attempt at signing Belfour didn't pan out and he went through a workout with the Red Wings. But Detroit reportedly didn't meet Belfour's contract expectations.

Belfour had a 22-22 record and 3.29 goals-against average last season for the Maple Leafs before undergoing back surgery.

Author:  TheRealWags [ July 20th, 2006, 9:08 am ]
Post subject: 

Let's see, he's over 40 and has had back surgery.....um, I think we may be better off without him. Maybe we should just think about sucking it up for a year or so and get Howard in there.....

Author:  wjb21ndtown [ July 20th, 2006, 1:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

TheRealWags wrote:
Let's see, he's over 40 and has had back surgery.....um, I think we may be better off without him. Maybe we should just think about sucking it up for a year or so and get Howard in there.....

I wouldn't mind having him and his experience here for a season or two, but I wouldn't pay the 1.5 million dollar price tag that FLA is talking about giving him... IMO Ken Holland is right on the mark with a 500K base salary and a bunch of incentives... I wouldn't mind paying him 750K, but no more as a base salary. I don't think a player with as many question marks as he has is worth over a million a season, especially at his age.

Author:  GreyCrow [ July 26th, 2006, 1:54 am ]
Post subject: 

Belfour is nothing more than a drunk w/a bad back! I'd rather keep Legace and begin rotating Howard in!

Author:  wjb21ndtown [ July 26th, 2006, 4:40 pm ]
Post subject: 

GreyCrow wrote:
Belfour is nothing more than a drunk w/a bad back! I'd rather keep Legace and begin rotating Howard in!

Because Legace was soooo solid in Cup series right??? :roll: :roll: :roll:

I don't want Legace back... The guy is a basket case... He looses his head and doesn't respond well to pressure. I would rather Roll with Osgood and Howard alone than have Legace in the mix...

That said, the talk of Belfour is all but pointless now... He's signed, and not here...

Author:  slybri19 [ July 27th, 2006, 12:44 am ]
Post subject: 

I'm just glad that Eddie won't be here! :D

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