So, where does that leave the Wings? Here is our current Red Wing roster...
Detroit Red Wings
|#||Player||Position||2009-2010 Cap Hit||2010-2011 Cap Hit||Contract Length|
|13||Pavel Datsyuk||C/LW||$6,700,000||$6,700,000||thru 2013-14|
|40||Henrik Zetterberg||C/LW||$6,083,333||$6,083,333||thru 2020-21|
|93||Johan Franzen||C/RW||$3,954,545||$3,954,545||thru 2019-20|
|51||Valtteri Filppula||C/LW||$3,000,000||$3,000,000||thru 2012-13|
|11||Daniel Cleary||C/RW/LW||$2,800,000||$2,800,000||thru 2012-13|
|96||Tomas Holmstrom||LW/RW||$2,250,000||$xxx,xxx||thru 2009-10|
|33||Kris Draper||C||$1,583,333||$1,583,333||thru 2010-11|
|18||Kirk Maltby||LW/RW||$883,333||$xxx,xxx||thru 2009-10|
|43||Darren Helm||C||$599,444||$xxx,xxx||thru 2009-10|
|5||Nicklas Lidstrom||D||$7,450,000||$xxx,xxx||thru 2009-10|
|28||Brian Rafalski||D||$6,000,000||$6,000,000||thru 2011-12|
|23||Brad Stuart||D||$3,750,000||$3,750,000||thru 2011-12|
|55||Niklas Kronwall||D||$3,000,000||$3,000,000||thru 2011-12|
|3||Andreas Lilja||D||$1,250,000||$xxx,xxx||thru 2009-10|
|52||Jonathan Ericsson||D||$900,000||$900,000||thru 2010-11|
|22||Brett Lebda||D||$650,000||$xxx,xxx||thru 2009-10|
|14||Derek Meech||D||$483,333||$xxx,xxx||thru 2009-10|
|30||Chris Osgood||G||$1,416,667||$1,416,667||thru 2010-11|
|35||Jimmy Howard||G||$716,667||$716,667||thru 2010-11|
Red = Unrestricted Free Agent
Blue = Restricted Free Agent
Green = 35+ years old at contract signing, cap hit remains [almost] regardless
|#||Player||Position||2008-2009 Cap Hit||FA Status|
-To summarize: Hossa is gone. Conklin is gone. Chelios is gone. Kopecky is testing free agency and might be gone. Downey and McCarty might get two-way contracts between Grand Rapids and Detroit for the league minimum. Jiri Hudler and Ville Leino are both restricted free agents who were given qualifying offers. Mikael Samuelsson has had contract negotiations with the Wings but will test free agency.
-So, we have 9 forwards under contract, 8 D-men and 2 goalies. Our D is set, but I would not be surprised to see Lilja placed on LTIR next season b/c of his persistent headaches. If that is the case, that would free up $1.25 million. Holland has also stated that he would trade one of his D-men if Lilja is healthy. So, either way, our salary cap space will increase. For next year, the cap is set at $56.8 million, and we have roughly $3.3 million available to use on at least 3 forwards.
-Leino will probably re-sign for $800,000 or so with the guarantee that he will be on the Red Wings roster all year. Then, I think Hudler will sign for about $2 million. I expect Samuelsson to walk and get a better deal elsewhere. That would leave us with $500,000 or so. But, with the inevitable trade of a defenseman, we will at least have another $1 million to spend on another forward.
-With $1 million, we will not get a top-flight forward. What we can get, though, is a veteran checking-line player. Think Dallas Drake in 2008. What follows are five players who I think the Wings will target with that money (and some have connections to our local area or Babcock).
-C Todd Marchant is a defensive wizard who made life a living hell for Datsyuk's line in that tough second round series against Anaheim. Here were his stats last year...
He was on the shutdown 3rd line for the Ducks with Sammy Pahlsson and Travis Moen during their cup run in 2007. And, in the playoffs the year before that, he scored 13 points and was + 14. He is a legit playoff performer. He will be highly sought after for a 3rd/4th line role.
-W Travis Moen is a winger, and a similar shutdown-type guy like Marchant is. Like I mentioned above, he played with Marchant for a couple years, and has won a Cup after his stellar performance in the 2007 playoffs. Here are his stats from last year...
|2008-09 TOTAL ANA/SJ||82||7||9||16||-18||91||0||3||2||101||0.20|
He is a hard nosed player, as evidenced by the 91 PIM. He is only 27, is a great defensive player and has won the Cup before. He would be a great pickup for us, and may fit our team better than Marchant because we need wingers more than centers.
The following are a couple free agents profiled by Kyle at Babcock's Death Stare, with my comments following his.
"Ian Lapperiere – Heavily rumored to Detroit at the deadline, it looks like he wants out of Colorado. He’ll likely be the most sought after grinder of this year’s free agent class, so Detroit would likely sacrifice some scoring to nab him."Stats last year:
He had a salary of $1.15 million, so he is well within our price range. What type of player is he? Check the penalty numbers. He is a rough hockey player who is solid penatly killer and will get ou 10 goals and 10 assists a year. A real good 4th liner who is 35 and never sniffed the Cup. He wil be someone we target.
"John Madden – Why not, Wolverine trifecta in this section. He’s been slowly phased out by the Devils, and now, at 36, finds his 7 goals as his lowest career total. He still adds grit and leadership."
|2008-09 NEW JERSEY||76||7||16||23||-7||26||0||1||2||132||0.30|
His salary was nearly $3 million, but he will get nowhere near that this time around. He is a former Michihgan Wolverine and won the Selke Award in 2001 as the best defensive forward in the game. He also is a veteran at 36 years of age who was an integral part of 2 Stanley Cup runs with New Jersey. But, I would prefer Lapperiere over him. Madden doesn't bring a physicaly presence and I fear that he is going the way of Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper. He has been a negative player in 3 of the last 4 years on a pretty good team, and that is a clear warning sign to me.
"Samuel Pahlsson – Pahlsson has always been a thorn in the side of Detroit’s type lines, and although he’s always been the enemy, perhaps he would be interested in joining many of his countrymen in Detroit."
|2008-09 TOTAL ANA/CHI||65||7||11||18||-17||34||1||0||2||88||0.28|
Any of these guys would be good gets, but because we need wingers and we might want to get a little tougher in our bottom 6, I think Moen and Lapperiere are the ones most likely to sign with us.
Then we are left with these possible lines:
Datsyuk | Zetterberg | Holmstrom
Cleary | Filppula | Franzen
Hudler| Helm | Moen/Lapperiere
Maltby | Draper | Leino
Lidstrom | Rafalski
Kronwall | Stuart
Ericsson | Lebda
Osgood | Howard
-Abdelkader will probably spend most of next year in Grand Rapids and come up in the postseason like Helm did.
-Obviously, these lines will be fluid and ever-changing. For example, Hudler might be on the second line, and Cleary might get bumped down to the 3rd line to play more of a defensive role. Or, Homer might get bumped off the top 2 lines entirely and Hudler and Cleary might each get bumped up a line. A lot could happen.
-As it stands, though, a top 6 forward group of Z, Pavel, Franzen, Cleary, Flip and Homer is still one of the best in the game. And, our top 5 on D is also one of the best in the game. This roster would be dimished in depth compared to this year's team. Players with the ability of Ericcsson, Leino and Helm will not be waiting in the minors anymore. That's what the Salary Cap will do to teams. Z and Franzen's salaries have now inceased and the Wings depth will not be as great as it once was.
But, this team would still be a top contender and a top 5 team in the league along with Anaheim, Chicago, Washington and Pittsburgh. As long as Holland is still our GM, you can never count out the Wings.