Blogs > Red Wings Corner

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.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Delmore signs

The Red Wings signed 32-year-old defenseman Andy Delmore to a contract today. Delmore went to camp with the Wings a few years back. He has played in Germany the past two seasons and was an AHL regular the two seasons before that.

Prior to the lockout, Delmore -- an offensive blue-liner -- played for Buffalo, Nashville and Philadelphia, totaling 283 NHL games.

This move is for depth. Delmore is bound for the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Delmore is a native of LaSalle, Ont., just outside of Windsor.

Here's the press release for the Griffins ...

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Detroit Red Wings, parent club of the Grand Rapids Griffins, on Tuesday signed defenseman Andy Delmore.

Delmore, 32, was the 2005-06 winner of the AHL’s Eddie Shore Award as the league’s best defenseman while playing for Syracuse, whose NHL affiliate Columbus had claimed him on waivers from the Red Wings on Oct. 4, 2005. That season, Delmore was also a member of the Canadian All-Star Team at the 2006 AHL All-Star Classic in Winnipeg, and he earned a spot on the AHL’s First All-Star Team at the conclusion of the campaign.

A native of LaSalle, Ontario, Delmore helped the Philadelphia Phantoms capture the Calder Cup championship during his rookie season in 1997-98. In 335 career AHL games with Fredericton, Philadelphia, Rochester, Syracuse, Springfield and Chicago, he has accumulated 203 points (60-143—203) and 208 penalty minutes.

Prior to playing the last two seasons in Germany with Hamburg, Delmore racked up 101 points (43-58—101) and 105 PIM in 283 NHL contests between Philadelphia, Nashville, Buffalo and Columbus from 1998-06. In 2002-03, he led all NHL defensemen with 14 power play tallies and tied for the league lead among blueliners with 18 goals while skating for the Predators.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hudler arbitration set for July 30

Wings sign McGrath and Oulahen

The Red Wings re-signed a pair of minor-leaguer forwards, Evan McGrath and Ryan Oulahen to one-year contracts. Both were drafted by the Wings. Neither has proven to be an NHLer yet, but both have advanced their level of play. Both are the kind of person you really hope succeeds.

Here's the press release ...

Detroit… Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President/General Manager Ken Holland today announced the team has re-signed forwards Evan McGrath and Ryan Oulahen to one-year contracts. In keeping with club policy, additional terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

McGrath, 23, was Detroit’s fourth round pick (128th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He spent the last three seasons with the Wings American Hockey League affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins, posting a career-high 47 points in 68 games this past season.

Oulahen, 24, completed his fourth season with Grand Rapids in 2008-09, recording a career high 31 points in 73 games. Oulahen was drafted by the Red Wings in the fifth round (164th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Red Wings' 2009-10 regular-season sked

Friday, July 10, 2009

Red Wings' preseason sked

Wed. Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m., vs. Philadelphia
Fri. Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m., vs. NY Rangers
Sat. Sept. 19, 7 p.m., vs. Buffalo
Mon. Sept. 21, 7 p.m., at NY Rangers
Tues. Sept. 22, TBD, at Philadelphia
Fri. Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m., vs. Toronto
Sat. Sept. 26, 7 p.m., at Toronto
Sun. Sept. 27, 5 p.m., vs. Pittsburgh
Wed. Sept. 30, TBD, at Farjestads BK

The preseason finale is a ramp-up to the season-opener in Stockholm.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sounds like Hudler's gone

From Kukla's Korner, here's a translation of a Jiri Hudler interview ...

In Detroit there is wasn’t place for me and I didn’t want to go to another club. So i didn’t ask for a trade. Then came Dynamo with their offer.

I started thinking about it and decided to go to Russia. It was tough but this is not a question of life or death. It is only hockey.

The KHL is good league. I should be one of the key players so it could help me in my career. I don’t think I will close the door to NHL. I am young and there are still 13 years until the end of my career. I want my career to be more colorful.

Sounds like Hudler's set on Russia for the next two seasons.

I was more surprised by Mikael Samuelsson's departure. Marian Hossa was leaving because there was no cap room. Tomas Kopecky was an interchangable part.

Hudler isn't surprising because he wasn't really happy, in my opinion. From being benched for Kopecky in the Western Conference final in 2007 to watching Valtteri Filppula -- who is the same age as Hudler -- get a lucrative long-term contract as a restricted free agent, Hudler knew that he was lower on the Red Wings' pecking order than he wanted to be.

Personally, I thought Hudler would test the waters, but Samuelsson would find a way to stay in Detroit. I think he liked the environment here, but Vancouver came along with a contract that Detroit couldn't touch.

Red Wings sign Janik

The Red Wings inked another depth player, today, 29-year-old defenseman Doug Janik, who agreed on a one-year, two-way contract.

Of the recent depth signings, Janik has the most impressive resume. Buffalo's second-round draft pick in 1999 (55th overall), Janik has played in 161 NHL regular-season games and was a regular with Tampa Bay in 2006-07 and 2007-08, playing 136 regular-season games combined in those two years.

Janik appeared in 13 games for the Dallas Stars and two games for the Montreal Canadiens in 2008-09.

The Wings are deep on the blue line, but if there are injuries, Janik is positioned to battle prospect Jakub Kindl for the NHL call-up.

Hudler signs Russian deal

TSN reports that Jiri Hudler has signed a one-year, $2 million contract with Moscow Dynamo of the KHL.

TSN story

I believe that the Red Wings might still be able to sign Hudler and this is is fall-back position. Waiting for word from Ken Holland or Jim Nill on that though.

Hudler, 25, is a restricted free agent who filed for arbitration, Sunday.

If the Dynamo deal is worth $2 million per season over two years, keep in mind that's a lot more than $2 million in NHL salary. The $2 million is likely tax free and free housing and vehicle are often included in Russian deals.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Red Wings sign depth defenseman Ehrhardt

The Red Wings added more organizational depth today, signing defenseman Travis Ehrhardt to a three-year entry-level contract. Ehrhardt, 20, played in 68 games for the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League in 2008-09. He finished the season with 37 points (9-28—37) and 109 PIM. Ehrhardt also appeared in three games for the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League.

Ehrhardt was an undrafted free agent and is likely destined for the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins this fall.

Yesterday, the Red Wings signed two forwards who played sparingly for the Toronto Maple Leafs over the past three years, center Kris Newbury and right wing Jeremy Williams. Newbury and Williams are older, 27 and 25 respectively. Both were signed to one-year, two-way contracts. They're both on the cusp of the NHL, good AHL players who can step in where there's a void.

Ehrhardt is more of a long-term development. He's just beginning his first season of professional hockey. Obviously with the depth the Wings have on the blue line, including Jakub Kindl in the AHL, there's not much chance of Ehrhardt seeing time in Detroit this season or next. Thus the three-year entry-level contract.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Red Wings' cap dance

Ville Leino has signed for a reasonable salary ($800,000 per season), but the Red Wings are going to be doing a cap dance this season just like they did last season.

And that's not a bad thing. It does tie the organization's hands on a lot of moves, but it also means there's a lot of talent here. The Red Wings rarely overpay for players.

Looking at a possible NHL roster, the Red Wings have 11 forwards, 8 defensemen and 2 goalies signed. That roster includes Leino, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Derek Meech, Jonathan Ericsson, Brett Lebda and Andreas Lilja. That roster does not include Jiri Hudler.

That roster has a cap hit of approx. $55.117 million. That leaves $1.683 million of room left under the $56.8 million cap.

With 11 forwards, the Red Wings obviously need two more and they have two slots open with the roster that I'm using.

The problem is that Hudler's salary is going to make the Wings do a cap dance again.

Hudler could be given a salary of $3-4 million by an arbitrator. Even if he signs for $2 million, that puts Detroit over the cap limit.

So, with $1.683 of room, the obvious place to cut salary is on defense, where eight is a luxury.

Add on Hudler at $3 million and a 13th forward like Jeremy Williams at $500,000 (salary guess) and you've got a team payroll of $58.6 million.

So, you've got two options ... hope that the entire league office has dyslexia and reads $58.6 million as $56.8 million ... or cut $1.817 million off the payroll.

Meech might be the first choice to go as far as past contributions, but at $483,333, cutting his salary doesn't lower the payroll much. Lebda is also economical at $650,000. There's the option of long-term injured reserve, but eventually you have to plan on that/those players returning and the problem is just postponed.

Ericsson and his $900,000 salary aren't going anywhere. Lilja makes $1.25 million. And above that, you've got the big four of Lidstrom ($7.45 million), Rafalski ($6 million), Stuart (3.75 million) and Kronwall ($3 million). And you know that the Wings don't want to get rid of any of those four.

Perhaps there will be buyouts at forward. Now we're getting into some real speculation.

What we know now is that Hudler's salary is the one variable. It will complete the salary puzzle, but it's too large for the one open spot. If Hudler is kept, more moves will have to come.

Red Wings sign two depth forwards

Ken Holland just said that the Red Wings have inked both Kris Newbury (left) and Jeremy Williams (right) to one-year contracts. The two forwards are depth forwards in the Red Wings organization who are slotted for Grand Rapids.

"They're good American League players," said Holland. "We signed them for depth."

Newbury has played games for Toronto in each of the past three seasons, totaling 44 regular-season games over that span. Newbury spent the bulk of those seasons with the AHL's Toronto Marlies. His best campaign was 2005-06 when he tallied 22 goals and 59 points in 74 games and was a plus-13. The 27-year-old was a fifth-round draft pick in 2002.

Williams has been Newbury's teammate with the Marlies. The 25-year-old was a seventh-round draft pick in 2003. Williams played 31 regular-season games with the Maple Leafs over the past four seasons.

Red Wings sign Leino for two years

Ville Leino signed a two-year, one-way contract with the Red Wings, today, that is for a salary cap hit of $800,000.

Leino was originally signed by the Red Wings in 2008 as a free agent after being second in the Finnish elite league in scoring. Leino had a great preseason with the Red Wings, but was sent to Grand Rapids to help protect other Red Wings from going through waivers. Coach Mike Babcock called it the toughest preseason demotion that he's been a part of.

Leino spent the bulk of last season with Grand Rapids, but got in 13 regular-season games with Detroit. He played seven games in the playoffs with the Red Wings.

With a one-way contract, Leino, 25, increases his likelihood of staying in Detroit this fall.

"We liked him in camp," said Detroit general manager Ken Holland. "He had a real good preseason. He was real good in Grand Rapids up until January, then he lost a little interest. He didn't want to be there. He was great for us in the 12, 13 games he played. He was good for us in the playoffs. He plays our style. He hangs onto the puck. He goes into the hard areas. Obviously we like him if we signed him to a one-way contract."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hossa's pricetag

The one-year deal between the Red Wings and Marian Hossa cost the player much more than it did the franchise.

I thought Hossa did a great job in his one season -- regular season and playoffs -- in Detroit and well worth his $7.45 million salary. I really wish there was a way to fit him into the Red Wings' lineup in the years to come, but with the salary cap coming in just $100,000 more than last season and the salaries of Zetterberg and Franzen ballooning, there was no possible way.

But what about Hossa's perspective? He didn't get the Stanley Cup, but that's a tough thing to accomplish for even the best of franchises. Hossa's salary of $7.45 million seems to be good compensation for a year's work ... but it turned out to be a big financial loss for the Slovak.

Hossa signed with Chicago today ... 12 years at $5.23 million per for a cap hit. If there is no buyout or change in Hossa's salary during this contract, we can put a number on how much money it cost Hossa to come to Detroit last season.

There was one report, which I believe, that a team like Edmonton had offered Hossa $9 million per season for 9 seasons. Hossa's agent, Ritch Winter, said that he left $85 million on the table in taking Detroit's one-year contract. I'm not sure who had offered $85 million or if it's true, but it's in line with the $81 million Edmonton deal.

So, let's use the $81 million over 9 years as what Hossa could have had instead of the $85 million.

Hossa got $7.45 million from the Red Wings last season. Using his cap hit of $5.23 million (I'm using the cap hit because we don't know how the $81 million deal was structured for per season income nor how the Chicago deal is structured), Hossa will get $42.04 over the next 8 seasons.

That gives Hossa a total of $49.49 million over the 9 seasons after signing with Detroit. Passing up $81 million over those 9 seasons means that it cost Hossa about $31.51 million because he signed that one-year deal with the Red Wings.

Now if Hossa's contract is structured so that he earns $40 million this season and is bought out and then earns $9 million per season after going to another team ... then scratch this math. But if Hossa finishes as a Blackhawk, then we know he cost himself a little more than $30 million to play in Detroit.

I'd say the Red Wings made out much better than Hossa in their one-year deal.