Around the Rink – July 29 Edition

56991989Photo by Matthias Kern/Bongarts/Getty Images

The Red Wings signed defenseman Andy Delmore to a one-year, two-way contract worth $500,000 when he plays in the NHL (per the Detroit Free Press) on Tuesday. He is expected to play in Grand Rapids, but will be a depth signing for the Wings. Delmore spent the last two seasons in Germany where he played for the Hamburg Freezers (German Elite League – DEL), recording 66 points (19 goals, 47 assists) in 103 games.

He had signed with the Wings right after the lockout in August 2005, but Columbus picked him off of waivers. Delmore then went on to spend most of the season playing for Columbus’ AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch. His 17 goals and 55 assists resulted in Delmore winning the Eddie Shore Award, which is given to the AHL’s best defenseman. The Detroit Free Press says that he fills out the Griffins’ veteran core.

Of an AHL team’s 18 skaters, 13 must qualify as developmental players; of that group, 12 must have played in 260 or fewer pro games, and one (Oulahen) must have played in fewer than 320.

“I like the way the team looks,” [Griffins general manager Bob] McNamara said of the Grffins. “I think we’re a little young again. We’re very skilled, and I think we’re going to be able to compete. Andy Delmore is kind of the last piece of the puzzle for us. We’ve got a few other spots to fill, depth-forward positions and role-player positions.”

Delmore has played in a total of 283 NHL games, posting 101 points and 105 penalty minutes on teams including Philadelphia, Columbus, Nashville, and Buffalo.

Kyle at Babcock’s Death Stare likes this signing because it offers some great depth for the Wings, especially if Andreas Lilja is unable to play in the fall. His bio from the Hamburg Freezers says (via my rough translation) that he enjoys playing golf in his spare time, he has already won a title on the OHL and AHL level, and wore No. 55 because No. 5 was already taken.

In Other News

  • Chris Hollis of Winging It In Motown talked to Mike Grier’s agent and learned that Grier has “expressed interest” in the Red Wings. The Detroit Free Press speculates that a former Red Wing (Jason Williams or Todd Bertuzzi) could return to Detroit. Nightmare on Helm Street offered up five possibilities other than Grier. Do you think Detroit will make a run at Grier or some other unrestricted free agent? Let us know in the comment section.
  • The Triple Deke continues to make interesting hypothetical lineups due to boredom. Their most recent lineup? An “if we were to draft a football team with current Red Wings” team lineup.
  • GM Ken Holland, Kirk Maltby, and Dan Cleary will participate in the Wednesday’s Pure Michigan Pro-Am this morning before the final year of the Buick Open kicks off on Thursday.
  • The Wings and Warrior Hockey teamed up to give a scholarship and some hockey gear so 11-year-old Jagr Bugaski could attend the Wings’ Youth Hockey Camp.
  • Speaking of scholarships, Ilitch Charities awarded $20,000 in scholarships to eight worthy Little Caesars hockey players.
  • According to the Detroit Free Press, Dan Cleary chose to spend the off-season here in Detroit because his wife was expecting to have a baby this summer. She gave birth last Friday, welcoming a daughter named Lola. Cleary typically splits the off-season between Newfoundland and California.
  • John Grigg at The Hockey News picks the St. Louis Blues to win the Central Division over Detroit and Chicago.
  • Bored and need something to keep you busy during the slow off-season? Puck Daddy found a website that allows you to create customized jerseys, including jersey color and materials as well as numbering and lettering styles. If you come up with any unusual DRW-esque jerseys, please share in the comment section!
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8 Responses to Around the Rink – July 29 Edition

  1. Justin says:

    I think this is a great signing for Detroit. Delmore is a sort of hometown guy from LaSalle, Ontario which is just accross the river from Detroit. With the signing of Delmore, Detroit now has 9 capable defensemen including depth guys like Janik, Meech, and Ericsson. This signing is also a foreshadowing of sorts that Detroit might be considering trading one of their top 2 defenseman (Lidstrom or Rafalski) to better help the team succeed in the future. If Delmore plays for the Red Wings this season, look for him to fill in the second power play unit’s point position, which was recently vacated by Mikael Samuelsson. Delmore has a great slap shot, and will add some much needed grit to the third defensive line.
    Things are starting to heat up in Motown! Time to bring the Cup back home boys!

  2. Joe says:

    Justin,
    I will be absolutly astonished and surprised if they trade Lidstrom or Rafalski. There is no way they will ever trade Lidstrom, and Rafalski plays to much of an important role with the Wings for them to let him go. If they were to let go of anyone it would be Lilja or maybe Leba or Meech. Lilja is still not 100% and could miss the start of the season as reported today. All Delmore does is add depth in case of injury, he has NHL expireience and would fit in nicely if someone goes down but thats about it. They are planning for him to play the year in Grand Rapids anyway, they did not get him to start the season with the Wings. This is certainly not a deal that will shake up the team and cause anyone to loose there roster spot. Good pick up none the less.

  3. Justin says:

    Regardless of the roles that Lidstrom and Rafalski play, the fact is that Detroit needs cap space for forwards. Considering who’s left from last season, and who might be coming up the ranks, Detroit only has 1 more NHL ready forward (11) than defenseman (10). Lidstrom will undoubtedly retire next summer as a Red Wing, and loyalty plays a big part in Ken Holland’s decision making as a GM. However, with 2 defensemen making roughly $14 million next season, the thought of trading away one of them isn’t as far fetched as you might think.

  4. redwingsguy96 says:

    Nice depth signing by the Wings while not giving up too much, I think the LaSalle native has a great possibility of getting some playing time on the Wings this year…I really hope they don’t waive him after training camp like before. He’s got speed, can move the puck and terrific on the PP…put him with Nick or Raf and we’ve got a key anchor on the blueline.

    Otherwise I was hoping Axellson might come to Detroit but I guess that’s not happening, he would’ve fit right in with the Swedes. Greir, Williams and Bertuzzi aren’t good investments for Detroit, not only would they want more money than were willing to spend but all three are far past their prime and not worth the risk…if anything outta who’s left maybe see if they can get Peca if he’s willing to take a cut otherwise just stand pat and wait for the deadline or until teams start losing and put together a deal during the season, there’s nothing really desirable in the FA market, if they could strike together a deal for Heatley on the other hand that would be pretty damn cool.

  5. Crater says:

    Justin,

    I HIGHLY doubt Lidstrom will retire. He will probably take a huge paycut if the cap warrants it. I see them giving him less minutes maybe, but I don’t see him taking off his Red Wings Jersey for several more years. He still plays an amazing game for an high amount of minutes. He had surgery on his groin and played a few days later. Someone getting ready to retire would have called that a post-season. Just my opinion. If lilja is healthy they trade Meech or Lebda. If Lilja goes long term IR, they have no need to trade for a while. I see them keeping Lilja over Meech and Lebda though.

  6. George Malik says:

    The sun will rise in the west and set in the east before the Red Wings trade one of Rafalski or Lidstrom away for the sake of cap space.

    Delmore and Doug Janik are AHL defensemen who can provide offensive pop and rock-solid defensive play, respectively, in a pinch, but they’re both heading to Grand Rapids in October, with Holland possibly moving one of Derek Meech or Brett Lebda–and only one of those two players–when Andreas Lilja recovers from his post-concussive symptoms.

    Delmore is far too inconsistent and tends to sacrifice playing *defense* to pinch and make offensive plays, and Janik is, at best, a poor man’s Lilja. They and Jakub Kindl only factor into the Red Wings’ plans in case of injury.

    Lidstrom will probably take a big pay cut after this season to carve out some cap space, but all indications suggest that he has no intentions of retiring at this time, and Brian Rafalski will fulfill the rest of his contract as a Red Wing. You do not rid yourself of an elite 50+-point-scoring defenseman to patch a hole up front.

  7. nick says:

    If any defenceman get’s traded it will be Brad Stuart, way to much money for no offense. As for free agents the wings should get Taylor Pyatt he’s big, can skate, fight and put the puck in the net, plus he can replace Homer on the PP after next year. Watch out for Dick Axelsson he will make the team out of camp.

  8. Justin says:

    While we’re on the subject of who might fit in with the Wings next year, how about recently bought out Vaclav Prospal? Considering he’s already guaranteed two thirds of his old contract, the Wings could get him for very little money. Honestly, I don’t think we’re going to see any major moves via trade until Lidstrom gets a new contract. 8 out of the 21 players signed through next season are UFA’s next summer, with Helm and Abdelkader being RFA’s. Therefore it wouldn’t make much sense to blow up the team (defensive wise) this year, only to go through the process again next offseason. What we will see this season, is basically a try-out of sorts for a lot of the Griffins trying to make the team. If the Wings win the Cup next year, they’ll have to do it with an incredibly young, and inexperienced team.

    There are currently 2 forward spots available (assuming Helm is full time now) and roughly 7 (Griffins) players trying for them. They are: Abdelkader, Axelsson, Leino, Ritola, Newburry, Williams, and Emmerton.

    As a hockey fan, I love hearing about trades, and trade rumours, but as far as the Wings are concerned, I don’t see anything major happening until the trade deadline.

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