As I was sitting in my seat early Friday night at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids my mind was in full motion thinking of the upcoming game and season for the Grand Rapids Griffins. How would the team look this year? With players during the summer signing up overseas and the looming NHL lockout what were the Griffins going to look like and how would they perform?
Well, what a boring, disappointing, lackluster, saddening and gut wrenching offseason it;s been so far for the Detroit Red Wings. Look in a thesaurus and find more words that mean demoralizing, but the way things have gone this summer have not gone according to plan, if there was one at all.
For the millionth time, let's recap what happened. First and most importantly, Nicklas Lidstrom retired. No more number five on the blueline. No one to cover mistakes. No one to play 25 outstanding minutes a night. There is literally no one that can replace Lidstrom, although the Wings did try.
They made an attempt to pry Ryan Suter from the Nashville Predators, but he went to Minnesota to be forgotten for the rest of his career. Cross off the other defenceman from the UFA list because none come close to filling the void. The only other option was Shea Weber, Nashville's captain. Philadelphia signed him to a massive offer sheet, and the Predators matched it, allowing them to retain their star defenceman for the rest of his career.
In what will end up being a mediocre off-season in the eyes of Detroit Red Wings fans everywhere, the organization has done very little and seems to be all out of ideas. But does it make sense to go after yet another forward?
In what continues to be a stagnant summer for Detroit, the Red Wings have officially announced that Martin Frk, the Wings' 49th pick overall in the latest entry draft, has signed with Detroit to an entry-level contract. Frk played last season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, where he logged 16 goals and 13 assists in 34 games.
An assessment of Frk shows that scouts feel his shooting ability is pro caliber, but many worry about primarily his skating and overall conditioning. With the system Detroit has in place, Frk will no doubt get the proper care he needs to develop fully into a reliable NHL forward. If he is able to bring his conditioning and skating up, paired with his already devastating shot, he could wind up becoming a star sniper in the Red Wings' future roster.
It's July 26th, three and a half weeks after NHL free agency began, and the Detroit Red Wings are not having the offseason many expected. With a boatload of salary cap room, the goal was to net big name players like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, or both.
On July 2nd, the Red Wings made all of their offseason moves signing backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson, Swiss import Damien Brunner, ex-Red Wings Mikael Samuelsson and Nashville superpest Jordin Tootoo. Other than re-signing defenceman Kyle Quincey, the Red Wings have not made any other moves to improve their team.
Detroit has been mentioned in every report of big name talent, including Parise and Suter. They were also interested in Shea Weber and Rick Nash, but both Nashville and Columbus did not want to deal their franchise player to a divsion rival.
Detroit did what they had to today to keep their blueline from crumbling any further.
Reports are coming in that Kyle Quincey and the Detroit Red Wings have agreed on a 2-year contract, paying Quincey $3.55 Million this coming season, and $4 Million in the next. This currently makes Quincey the 2nd highest-paid defenceman on the Detroit roster, and unless something drastic happens between now and the start of the season, it will likely stay that way at the beginning of the 2012-2013 campaign.
A report out of Phoenix is saying that Coyotes' captain Shane Doan has been offered a $30 million contract over four years by an unidentified Eastern Conference team. The cap hit for the deal would $7.5 million for three or four years. From Pro Hockey Talk:
If the report is accurate and Doan accepts, his cap hit will be $7.5 million. And given he’s 35 years old, that cap hit will be there all four years, even if Doan retires before the contract expires.
Of course, Doan hasn’t accepted any offer yet, and he’s always said his first preference is to stay in Phoenix. But if he has to move, he would want to stay in the Western Conference.
A Western Conference move should put the Detroit Red Wings more into the mix than Eastern teams, but if the price is going to be that high, there is no way he is coming to Hockeytown.
The Red Wings net front presence will make a decision on his future by next week 'for sure.'
Tomas Holmstrom, the 39-year old Swedish warrior has met with Ken Holland to discuss his future once before July 1st, but now is the time that Holmstrom has to really think about life after hockey.
His role was diminished last season, but he still played on the powerplay. He was not as effective as he has been in the past, but no one comes close to his skill in front of the goalie, deflecting shots and being a pest.
While Holmstrom may still want to play, the Red Wings may not have room. With promising youngsters Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist pushing for spots and Mikael Samuelsson and Jordin Tootoo in the fold, Detroit has too many forwards.
The Red Wings could always offer Holmstrom a tryout and see how he does and where he could fit in. There are pending moves that the team may make that might open up a spot for him, but with all the abuse he's taken over the years, it might be time to call it quits.
With Zach Parise locked up in Minnesota for the next 10 years, the list of remaining free agent power forwards has trickled down to only a handful, and the Red Wings are looking for someone to fill in a gap without having to sacrifice their own players in a trade for a forward still locked in a contract.