With the NHL lockout over, NHL players that were playing overseas are flooding back to North America in anticipation of NHL training camp starting in a few days. That includes a few Detroit Red Wings players.
Henrik Zetterberg, Valterri Filppula, Pavel Datsyuk, Drew Miller, Jan Mursak, Damien Brunner, Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton were some of the Detroit players that played in Europe while the lockout was in progress, and almost all of them have returned to Detroit.
Datsyuk is staying in the KHL until he and his agent know when training camp is starting, and the status of Damien Brunner is unknown. He is currently playing for Zug in the Swiss league, but will likely end up in training camp in Detroit.
Something has got to give. The Detroit Red Wings made four signings today, two of which are forwards. This is a strange predicament the Red Wings are in. They have $17 million left in cap space and are still in on the Zach Parise sweepstakes.
Parise will likely make a decision by tomorrow, but with Jiri Hudler out of the picture, the Red Wings still need a top line winger, which might come in the form of Parise or Alex Semin (or possibly Hudler, although unlikely).
The Jordin Tootoo and Mikael Samuelsson signings give Detroit 16 forwards under contract, not including Justin Abdelkader, who is an RFA, or Tomas Holmstrom, who is UFA.
In a league where you usually dress 12 forwards a game, 16 is too many. Factor in a spot for Abdelkader and a Parise type player, and that's 18 forward spots. What is Ken Holland going to do?
The Detroit Red Wings are finished making free agent signings today, locking up four players.
Early in the day, they agreed to terms with goalie Jonas Gustavsson to back up Jimmy Howard. Next came the expected announcement of inking Swiss forward Damien Brunner to a one year, two way deal.
The head scratchers came when the Wings brought back Mikael Samuelsson, who was on the 2008 Stanley Cup Champion team. After stints with the Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers, Samuelsson is back in Hockeytown. He is a right handed shot that can play the powerplay.
Since he has entered the NHL, David Booth has not made the playoffs with the Florida Panthers. Could his first year with a playoff contending team be a long run?
David Booth, 26 years old, still has lots of hockey left in him and now that he is with a contending team, it is only a matter of time before we see him in his 2008-2009 state (where he had 60 points in 72 games).
In practice, he has been skating on the second line with fellow Americans, Ryan Kesler, and Chris Higgins and by having Booth on the wing, it will be a perfect with for Kesler and Higgins, seeing as he has played with both of them at some point of his career (Higgins in Florida, and Kesler in the World Junio...
We've all seen it before. A team makes a trade and sends a well-liked player out of town for a player that either is deemed an unreasonable replacement or is not liked right off the bat because they will never be like the player the team lost.
Even early in the season recently, there have been a number of trades that have been made that makes you wonder what the rest of the team members involved were thinking when they happened. It's not like the trades were huge in terms of players involved, but all in all, I think there are several psychological factors that influence a team's feelings towards trades and player moves in general.
When news that Fabian Brunnstrom had signed a tryout contract with Detroit broke, I immediately thought the Wings were out of their minds. But after a while, I realized that of all the teams in the NHL, Detroit is usually the one players go to to revitalize their careers. Detroit is a town of second chances, as evidenced by tryout players like Dan Cleary, Mikael Samuelsson and second-time Wings Jason Williams, Todd Bertuzzi, Darren McCarty and Dominik Hasek, just to name a few.
So why is this Brunnstrom tryout such a great idea? Well, first of all, he was the guy they wanted in Detroit instead ...