Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
The Detroit Red Wings continue to work toward re-signing restricted free agents Jiri Hudler and Ville Leino as forward Mikael Samuelsson signed with the Vancouver Canucks over the holiday weekend.
Free Agency Update
Samuelsson inked a three-year deal worth $7.5 million with the Canucks on Friday. According to The Province, the Swedish forward received offers from numerous teams and his decision ultimately came down to money. It didn’t hurt that he will be reunited with the Sedin twins from Team Sweden in Vancouver. The Wings will obviously miss the forward who blossomed in the Detroit system, but simply did not have enough cap room to match the Canucks’ offer. Expect defensemen Brad Stuart or Jonathan Ericsson to replace Sammy’s position on the point during power plays.
The Wings expect to re-sign Leino within the next two days.
“Ville Leino’s agent and I are really close,” Holland said about reaching a new deal. “I’m hoping to finish that off early in the week and go to work on Hudler.”
Before Sunday’s 5 p.m. EDT deadline, Hudler filed for arbitration. What does this mean for Wings fans? First, no other team can make an offer sheet now so Detroit will only lose Hudler if the arbitrator’s salary decision is too great and Detroit has to release him. Second, both sides can still negotiate a deal before the start of hearings on July 20. GM Ken Holland has never had a player go to arbitration and it really is something you want to avoid as things get pretty heated at the hearings. The Detroit Free Press says that Holland will try to get a long-term deal with Hudler, but the contract can only be one or two years if it does go to arbitration.
The Red Wings continue to look for another forward, likely a winger, to fill out the roster. Holland said the following to the Detroit Free Press:
“Part of this system is to find good players,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We’ve got lots of good play out of guys like Chris Osgood, Dominik Hasek, Dan Cleary and Dallas Drake — they’ve all brought different dimensions to our team, and I think that’s part of being successful. We’ll sort through the players that are still available in the middle of July and see if there’s someone who’ll fit at the right price. We’ve got a wonderful core, and we’ve got a nice push of kids coming in — but we’ll look for a guy who’ll give us some depth.”
George Malik, the blogger behind Snapshots, has a laundry list of players who may fit that bill.
My personal “shopping list” for potential free agent bargains would include Archstanton1’s suggestion of Taylor Pyatt, Peter Schaefer, P-J Axelsson, Jiri Novotny (although when Columbus doesn’t qualify someone, that raises red flags), Joel Lundqvist, possibly Mark Bell if he can get his head on straight, Marcel Goc, or the potentially out-of-the-Wings’ pay-range Stephane Veilleux, Dan Fritsche, Joakim Lindstrom, Anthony Stewart (reclamation project with big potential), if I can dare to dream, Travis Moen, or if the Wings really want to go “veteran,” Dean McAmmond or old pal Mike “Suitcase” Sillinger, whose twelve-team circuit of the NHL could ironically end back in the Motor City.
What do you guys think? Who should the Wings go after for their depth forward?
In Other News
- Former Red Wing Kyle Quincey was traded from LA to Colorado. The defenseman did not learn of the trade until 24 hours after it had happened.
- Holland attended the Jamie Farr Classic on Saturday at Highland Meadows Golf Club. Morgan Pressel, one of the LPGA golfers, is a big Wings fan so Holland got some star treatment.
- Today in Red Wings history, defenseman Paul Coffey won the Norris Trophy following the 1994-95 season.
- There are still spots available for the Wings’ Youth Hockey Camp, which kicks off July 13. Participants will receive two hours of on-ice instruction each day from Director of Player Development Jiri Fischer as well as on-ice instruction from Darren McCarty, goalie coach Jim Bedard, and Grand Rapids Griffins assistant coach Jim Paek.
- Speaking of player development, the Red Wings will host their annual prospect development camp this week at Joe Louis Arena. Participating players include six of Detroit’s seven draft picks this year. DRW.com will have the latest on what happens at camp this week.