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Up-to-the minute updates and insights from the Red Wings locker room at home and on the road. By Chuck Pleiness of The Macomb Daily.

Monday, June 9, 2008

With Dom gone, now what?

Right after Dominik Hasek's retirement press conference, general manager Ken Holland discussed the Red Wings' goaltending situation for next season. His praise of Jimmy Howard stopped short of saying that he's definitely going to be in Detroit next season ... "very close, if not there, to playing in the NHL." It sounds like it's an issue that will be debated by the Detroit front office between now and the draft.

Holland: "I've got my thoughts. Jimmy Howard's very close, if not there, to playing in the NHL. If I look at Ozzie ... it's a guess ... Ozzie can play 50ish games. Maybe he can play more. Certainly the 20-30 games Chris doesn't play, in a parity league, those are key points."

"We're trying to continue to be a Cup contender and how do you move young people into your team at a key position? Do we go out and pursue a veteran guy if there is one? Do we pursue a trade? Do we just decide that we're comfortable with Ozzie and Jimmy Howard? I'll talk to Mike Babcock. I want to talk to Jim Bedard. I want to talk to obviously Jimmy Nill and Steve Yzerman. I've got my thoughts. I want to get their thoughts. Ultimately, I'll formulate a plan. We obviously have to have the plan in place before July 1st if we're going to pursue free agency. If we're going to pursue a trade, we have to have our plan in place before (the draft in) Ottawa (June 20)."

My guess is Howard will be in Detroit this season. He certainly played well this season both in Grand Rapids and for a short stint with the Red Wings. Plus there are not a lot of options out there right now. But playing part of the upcoming season will be an audition for Howard, who will be replaced in 2009-10 if he doesn't perform.

"I think if you have to start the year with Jimmy Howard and Ozzie, I'm comfortable," said Holland. "You've just won the Stanley Cup with Ozzie."


Anonymous Jdunc said...

If Jimmy falters, I think the wings will look to a guy like Olaf Kolzig.

June 9, 2008 at 8:14 PM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

I hope not.

June 9, 2008 at 8:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like it'd make sense to find out sooner than later whether or not Howard will be able to be the #1 in the next few seasons.

If he doesn't do so hot backing up Ozzie this upcoming season then the front office will know it's time to track down Ryan Miller or some other up and coming stud.

June 9, 2008 at 9:35 PM 
Anonymous Alex (lexa1523@yahoo) said...

I'm sure, that we have to go in new season with Ozzie-Howie pair of goaltenders. Ozzie was great this season and he got a lot of experience. Howie is very talented and should has his chance.
If Howard will play well and become an NHL-level goaltebder - we should keep them for another season. If no - next summer we should take part in RyanMiller-battle.
That's what I think of our goalies.

Bruce, another question - is there some information about Downeys' and Hartigans' contracts? They'll become free agents, i hope?

June 9, 2008 at 10:36 PM 
Blogger Bruce MacLeod said...

Both Downey and Hartigan are unrestricted free agents. Not sure about either one's status as far as offers being made.

June 9, 2008 at 10:40 PM 
Blogger Alex said...

I dont know about Ryan Miller. He might flame out like Legace did in 06, being a Red Wing. I'm sure there are other options.

June 10, 2008 at 3:31 AM 
Blogger YzermanZetterberg said...

Zetterberg,Datsyuk, Holmstrom, Franzen, Filppula, Samuelsson, Cleary, Draper, Maltby, Hudler, Helm, Kopecky. That's 12. With McCarty probable and Drake possible, I don't see any spots available barring a trade or trades.

June 10, 2008 at 11:17 AM 
Blogger Steve J said...

Here's good site that lists current state of player's contracts:

June 10, 2008 at 12:26 PM 
Blogger Kurt said...

Having Howard in DET just seems like the logical thing at this point. No great UFAs out there so the safe assumption is that OZZIE is the starter. You have your veteran. You need to get Howard some NHL experience and you have to potentially make a decision on a goalie next year. It's time to find out if Howard can handle 30 games in the NHL. Plus that means you only have I think about 2.5 mil or so wrapped into your goalies. Very cap friendly.

Let's face it, if Ozzie gets hurt, the team is going to struggle a bit even in the Wings sign an experienced veteran as a backup.

June 10, 2008 at 1:12 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i had a chance to see Ondrej Pavelec of the chicago wolves of the thrashers organization, and he was impressive. With the young kari lehtonen in net and a lot of need on the blue line, could be a possibility there. I never have been to fond of Howard.

June 10, 2008 at 7:09 PM 
Blogger Gregory said...

I think its do or die time for Jimmy Howard. With Ozzie coming off a great season, I think this is the perfect time for a young goalie to be brought in.

As for Kolzig.....No Thanks.

June 11, 2008 at 9:28 AM 
Anonymous SYF said...

I really think the Wings will indeed ride out the Osgood/Howard tandem until the Feb. '09 trade deadline and see where they're at at that point in time. At that time, the Wings will go for a depth move like they usually do and perhaps (!) go for someone like Dwayne Roloson or even [gasp!] Curtis Joseph for veteran experience.

June 15, 2008 at 3:57 PM 

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