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 Red Wings 2008 Off-Season 
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Post Red Wings 2008 Off-Season
Now that the season is over (with the Stanley Cup in hand), it's time to think about what moves the Wings should make to prepare for next year. Needless to say, I also follow the NHL salary cap and Detroit should be in good shape. Rumors are that the cap will increase by $3M to $53M for 08-09. If that's the case, the Red Wings should have about $14M to spend.

Their UFAs include: Brad Stuart, Chris Chelios, Andreas Lilja, Dominik Hasek, Darren McCarty, Aaron Downey, Dallas Drake, and Mark Hartigan.

Their RFAs include: Valtteri Filppula, Jonathon Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, and Jimmy Howard. There are a few more, but they are minor leaguers with little to no chance of making the team.

I'd re-sign all four RFAs (especially Filppula) and do whatever it takes to keep Stuart. I'd like to keep Chelios for depth, but with youngsters like Ericsson and Quincey getting better, they may not need to. Keeping either Drake or Downey is a possibility, but not both IMO. Lilja, Hasek, McCarty, and Hartigan should all be gone.

If the Wings are able to re-sign Stuart, their defense will be set, so they could be in the market for a forward or two. Luckily, there are plenty of them that will be UFAs this summer. The list includes: Marcus Naslund, Brendan Morrison, Sergei Fedorov, Mats Sundin, Marian Hossa, Ryan Malone, Radim Vrbata, Vaclav Prospal, Martin Straka, Miroslav Satan, Brian Rolston, Pavol Demitra, Owen Nolan, Michael Peca, and Kristian Huselius.

Out of the above players, the only one I've seen linked to the Wings is Mats Sundin. He may want out of Toronto, and playing with fellow Swedes in Detroit might interest him. I wouldn't throw the bank at him, but a short term, reasonable contract could be possible. Another player that might love to play for his hometown team (like Rafalski last year) is Brian Rolston. He's a great defensive player and has the ability to score 20-25 goals. He would fit right in. Others I wouldn't mind seeing are Ryan Malone, Radim Vrbata, or Kristian Huselius.

I should add that the Wings can't afford to go after a player like Hossa. He's gonna want a long term contract worth over $7M per year. They could afford it now, but after next season, they're going to have to re-sign both Zetterberg and Franzen. Those two aren't going to be cheap.

What does everyone else want to see them do?

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June 5th, 2008, 3:50 pm
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Post Re: Red Wings 2008 Off-Season
slybri19 wrote:
Now that the season is over (with the Stanley Cup in hand), it's time to think about what moves the Wings should make to prepare for next year. Needless to say, I also follow the NHL salary cap and Detroit should be in good shape. Rumors are that the cap will increase by $3M to $53M for 08-09. If that's the case, the Red Wings should have about $14M to spend.

Their UFAs include: Brad Stuart, Chris Chelios, Andreas Lilja, Dominik Hasek, Darren McCarty, Aaron Downey, Dallas Drake, and Mark Hartigan.

Their RFAs include: Valtteri Filppula, Jonathon Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, and Jimmy Howard. There are a few more, but they are minor leaguers with little to no chance of making the team.

I'd re-sign all four RFAs (especially Filppula) and do whatever it takes to keep Stuart. I'd like to keep Chelios for depth, but with youngsters like Ericsson and Quincey getting better, they may not need to. Keeping either Drake or Downey is a possibility, but not both IMO. Lilja, Hasek, McCarty, and Hartigan should all be gone.

If the Wings are able to re-sign Stuart, their defense will be set, so they could be in the market for a forward or two. Luckily, there are plenty of them that will be UFAs this summer. The list includes: Marcus Naslund, Brendan Morrison, Sergei Fedorov, Mats Sundin, Marian Hossa, Ryan Malone, Radim Vrbata, Vaclav Prospal, Martin Straka, Miroslav Satan, Brian Rolston, Pavol Demitra, Owen Nolan, Michael Peca, and Kristian Huselius.

Out of the above players, the only one I've seen linked to the Wings is Mats Sundin. He may want out of Toronto, and playing with fellow Swedes in Detroit might interest him. I wouldn't throw the bank at him, but a short term, reasonable contract could be possible. Another player that might love to play for his hometown team (like Rafalski last year) is Brian Rolston. He's a great defensive player and has the ability to score 20-25 goals. He would fit right in. Others I wouldn't mind seeing are Ryan Malone, Radim Vrbata, or Kristian Huselius.

I should add that the Wings can't afford to go after a player like Hossa. He's gonna want a long term contract worth over $7M per year. They could afford it now, but after next season, they're going to have to re-sign both Zetterberg and Franzen. Those two aren't going to be cheap.

What does everyone else want to see them do?

I agree that keeping Stewart should be a priority. Also definitely keep Filppula, and Quincey and Howard should come pretty cheap so keep them too.

I wouldn't be entirely opposed to keeping Lilja. He's not great, but he's solid depth. Drake wouldn't be bad to keep around either as long as he's not expensive. Same with McCarty. I think Naslund, Morrison, Hossa, Malone... those guys will all be pretty pricey. Go after the guys who are hungry and want to contribute to the team.


June 6th, 2008, 12:24 am
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Here's my thoughts:

Keep them (or at least try to): Brad Stuart, Chris Chelios, Andreas Lilja, Valteri Filppula, Jimmy Howard (back to Ozzie), Jonathon Ericsson, Kyle Quincey

Let them go: Domink Hasek (not the Dominator anymore), Dallas Drake (if he retires, if not keep him), Darren McCarty, Aaron Downey

I think its time to part ways with Hasek and let Howard back up Ozzie next year. I always hear great things about Howard, but how can he be expected to grow into an NHL goalie unless he gets a consistant chance to play at this level? Don't get me wrong, I'd like to thank Hasek for what he's done for us, but this past year showed that he is not the Dominator that he used to be. His confidence is shaky and he's not as quick or agile as he once was...Maybe age is finally catching up with him. I'm sure he still has the heart, but the physical tools seem to be on the decline.

If they try to sign one of the UFAs Sly mentioned I trust that Holland will make sure they fit in with the team concept/mindset and would be willing to take less to be here (IMO who wouldn't, we're a threat to win the Cup almost every year).

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June 6th, 2008, 10:24 am
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Wags, I can't believe that you want them to keep Lilja. I hate that guy almost as much as Calhoun because he is a turnover machine. He can block shots, but that's about it. Let him go.

I agree with you that Hasek should go though. He's been an incredible goalie, but he's past his prime and needs to retire. It's time to start Osgood with Howard backing him up.

If the Wings re-sign Stuart, he'll join Lidstrom, Rafalski, and Kronwall as their top four. After that, they'll still have Lebda, Meech, Ericsson, and possibly Chelios (if he doesn't retire). That's a solid group and probably the best in the entire NHL.

Forward is where they need help IMO. Since the lockout, I really haven't watched as much non-Red Wings hockey as I used to. Therefore, other than Rolston, I don't know who would really fit in with this team. Most of the guys I listed are offensive players, so I don't know how they would adapt to the Wings' system. Like Wags said, we have to have trust in Holland to find the right match and I think he will. If they could land both Rolston and Sundin for about $3M per year, that would be a coup and make them the favorite to win it all again next year.

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June 6th, 2008, 4:42 pm
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http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=3433498

Hasek made it offical and retired today. No huge surpise there.


June 9th, 2008, 1:26 pm
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Ken Holland was on the radio yesterday and he said that he's going to talk to Chelios, Drake, and McCarty about a possible return. He also said that they're going to offer Stuart a contract before the draft on June 20th and that they're going to be aggressive in free agency this year. That's good to hear since they sat on a ton of money this past season. I'd like to see them spend it. Personally, I'd be happy if they re-signed Stuart and their RFAs, and signed a top six forward in free agency. Or they could get a couple of decent 2nd/3rd line types for the same amount of money.

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June 10th, 2008, 9:35 am
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I've actually been following hockey more closely than football lately and things are getting interesting. The NHL draft is tomorrow, but that isn't a big concern for Red Wing fans. Anyone they select is atleast two to three years away from making the team. My guess is that they'll take a defenseman or goalie, even though I'd prefer to see them draft a forward.

As for free agency that begins on July 1st, there are rumors everywhere. The latest have the Wings going after Fedorov or Naslund, but I don't believe them. The Sundin rumors just won't go away, but I think he's looking for too much money. I was afraid that Rolston would re-sign with the Wild and that the rights for Malone would be traded to Columbus, but it looks like neither of those things will happen now.

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June 19th, 2008, 12:06 pm
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Looks like the Wings got the #1 ranked goalie with the last pick in the first round. Could be quite a steal!


June 21st, 2008, 3:46 am
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Read a good article in the free press about Howard a couple days ago. Then I read today that we drafted one in the first round this year. I think it mentioned he'd play for a year in Canada or something.

Also stated that we have a goalie under contract who plays in the Swedish-Elite league and is said to be the best one.

There all said to be in battle for the backup roll to Ozzie but to me at least I think the Ozz man better stay in shape... :wink:

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June 23rd, 2008, 12:55 am
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I have several things to discuss here since all I did this weekend was follow the NHL draft and the trade/free agency speculation. First of all, the cap is going to go up by atleast $6M instead of $3M like I stated earlier. That gives the Red Wings even more space to play with, but it doesn't look like they're going to do any long term deals with free agents. Sundin on a one year contract remains a possibility, but it looks like he may be heading to Montreal.

Holland has said that McCarty will be back and he has offered contracts to Lilja (UGH!) and Stuart. He also wants to talk to Chelios and Drake this week. Unfortunately, I found out that there could be a problem re-signing Stuart. I guess his wife has custody of her children from a prior marriage only if she stays in California. Therefore, Stuart may decide to sign with LA, Anaheim, or San Jose instead.

As for the draft, Tom McCollum could become a franchise goalie three to four years from now, but he needs to develop first. Gustav Nyquist could be a steal in the 4th round, but he's going to attend Maine, so it will be several years before we see him. The rest of the guys are all potential, so it's kinda like hit or miss (actually everyone is like that in the NHL draft). Hopefully, one of them will develop into an NHL player at some point.

The goalie situation is interesting. Obviously, Osgood will start, but the Wings haven't decided if Howard is ready to back him up just yet. They may sign a veteran or they will give Howard his shot. In addition, Daniel Larsson is the Sweedish G that Yzermanx3 talked about. He's going to play in Grand Rapids this season, but he's a year or two away from possibly making the Wings' roster.

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June 23rd, 2008, 11:17 am
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The biggest problem with re-signing stuart is going to be more where he wants to play rather than his wife's custody issues...

Given how long these guys are actually "home" during the season and how much money they make, the custody shouldn't really be an issue... I know it may seem like it, but offering the parents of the children something like $30,000 - 50,000k a year, or offering to fly them in to Cali (and a lot of times offering to pay for travel arrangements alone is good enough for the court to allow the children to move out of state) would do wonders for the situation... All in all, at the end of the day, it is almost a non-issue...

Before anyone starts bitching about "I WOULDN'T SELL MY CHILDREN FOR X AMOUNT OF MONEY"... Relax... that's not what I'm suggesting... I'm not saying the father would or should relinquish any VISITATION rights he has (remember, she already has custody), I'm only suggesting that he would and SHOULD take a payoff (or just let them go) as long as the wife is willing to fly them in. At the end of the day it would be better for the children (and it shouldn't be much of an inconvenience to the father), and that should be the heart of the issue even if it is often lost.


June 23rd, 2008, 11:49 am
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wjb, I understand that there are ways around the situation, but Mrs. Stuart seems adamant about remaining in CA. I think she's from there, but I'm not sure. You know how women can get sometimes.

In addition, it appears that Holland is low-balling Stuart, so that could be an even bigger issue. Rumors are that he's offering around $3M per year, while Stuart could probably get $3.5M to $4M on the open market. IMO, it doesn't seem likely that he will return.

If Stuart goes elsewhere, what should the Wings do? They could keep an extra young defenseman (Quincey, Meech, and Ericsson as opposed to just two out of the three) or they could sign another free agent. Possibilities include Ron Hainsey, Dmitri Kalinin, Jeff Finger, or Paul Mara. None of those will break the bank, but should go for between $2.5M and $3.5M.

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June 25th, 2008, 8:50 am
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slybri19 wrote:
wjb, I understand that there are ways around the situation, but Mrs. Stuart seems adamant about remaining in CA. I think she's from there, but I'm not sure. You know how women can get sometimes.

In addition, it appears that Holland is low-balling Stuart, so that could be an even bigger issue. Rumors are that he's offering around $3M per year, while Stuart could probably get $3.5M to $4M on the open market. IMO, it doesn't seem likely that he will return.

If Stuart goes elsewhere, what should the Wings do? They could keep an extra young defenseman (Quincey, Meech, and Ericsson as opposed to just two out of the three) or they could sign another free agent. Possibilities include Ron Hainsey, Dmitri Kalinin, Jeff Finger, or Paul Mara. None of those will break the bank, but should go for between $2.5M and $3.5M.


Sly... I more wanted to point out that the City's location won't be the primary reason... If he can get 1/2 a mill somewhere else, that's going to make his mind up more than anything... Flying a couple of kids around, or flying home to see your wife is peanutts compared to that, which was my primary point.

For Stuart I think it is going to come down more to where he wants to play than where his wife wants to live. Like I said earlier, how often are these guys home for anyhow during the regular season? And what use are they when they are there? I have to believe that they primarily sleep, sh!t, and shower at home and go back to practice or to play on the following day. For that reason I don't see his wife wanting to live in Cali all that big of a deal. She can stay there and see him nearly as much as she would have if she moved here, assuming he wants to stay here. He's more or less going to have to decide if staying here and contending for another championship is worth 500K or not...


June 25th, 2008, 3:01 pm
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