Monthly Archives: July 2012

Doan’s asking price looks too high for the Wings to continue pursuit

DETROIT — Just a little over a week ago, the Wings were going to wait out Shane Doan.

Now it appears the wait is over.

And it’s all because a bidding war on Doan has ensued.

According to a source, Detroit seems to be out of the bidding for the power forward because the asking price is too high.

“Teams in the East have offered him ridiculous amounts of money,” the source said.

One team in the Eastern Conference has reportedly offered Doan a four-year deal with an average salary cap hit of $7.5 million a season.

That’s a far cry from what the Wings were hoping to sign Doan for, looking for three years for no more than $5 million a season.

Doan’s agent, Terry Bross, would not comment on whether or not the Wings were out of the running for his client.

“I haven’t spoken to Ken (Holland) in a couple of days,” Bross said. “Kenny made an offer but we haven’t made a counter-offer or had much negotiation.

“We haven’t eliminated anybody,” Bross continued. “We’re waiting to hear from the Jamison group tomorrow.”

Bross did said there was no scheduled meeting with the Wings.

Doan has already reportedly met with the New York Rangers, Philadelphia and will meet with Montreal.

Greg Jamison has a 20-year, $324 million lease agreement with the city of Glendale, Arizona. However, voters in the city were trying to get a referendum on the November ballot that would allow a vote on whether to approve the deal.

Bross said Doan will narrow his list of teams tomorrow and starts negotiations if they don’t hear what they want to hear from Jamsion group.

Doan’s first choice has always been to stay in Phoenix.

Doan, who made $4.5 million last season, has played his entire career for the organization, which moved from Winnipeg after the 1995-96 season.

He has scored at least 20 goals in 11 of the last 12 seasons and has scored 26 goals or more seven times in his career.

Holland couldn’t be reached for comment.

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Semin gets $7 million for one season with Carolina

From tsn.ca…

The Carolina Hurricanes have signed free agent forward Alexander Semin to a one-year, $7 million contract.

Semin scored 21 goals and 33 assists in 77 games with the Capitals in 2011-12. He had signed a one-year deal with the Capitals prior to last season worth $6.7 million.

“We have done a lot of research about Alexander, and discussions about his fit with our team have included people at many different levels of our organization, including players, coaches and staff,” said Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford in a team statement. “What’s been clear throughout this process was his commitment to wanting to play in the NHL, and compete against the world’s best players.

“Alexander’s elite skill level and ability to score from the wing fill an important need on the ice, and we hope that a fresh start in Carolina will serve both Alexander and our team well.”

His 2011-12 goal total was the lowest he’s registered in six seasons since the 2004-05 NHL lockout, despite matching a career-high in games played. Originally selected 13th overall by the Washington Capitals at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Semin has scored 197 goals and 211 assists in 469 career games.

Semin has also represented Russia at six IIHF World Championships, winning two gold medals (2008 and 2012), one silver and one bronze. He also played for his country at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Bowman to coach one of Wings’ Alumni teams at Winter Classic; announcement should come Thursday

DETROIT — Scotty Bowman will be back behind the bench coaching the Red Wings, even if it’s only for an Alumni game.

Bowman will coach one of the Wings’ Alumni teams at this year’s Winter Classic, that pits the Wings against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The game will take place Dec. 31.

Barry Smith, one of Bowman’s former assistants, will coach the other Alumni team.

An official announcement is expected to be made Thursday.

Bowman, who coached Detroit from 1993-2002, led the Wings to three Stanley Cups and retired after winning the last won.

Smith was an assistant under Bowman in all three Cup winning seasons.

Bowman, who is the NHL’s all-time winningest coach (1,244), currently is the Senior Advisor of Hockey Operations for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Scheduled to be on one of the Wings’ Alumni rosters are Dino Ciccarelli, Joey Kocur, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby, Darren McCarty, Chris Chelios, Luc Robitaille, Chris Osgood, Mike Vernon, Gordie Howe, Alex Delveccho and Ted Lindsay.

Brunnstrom heading back to Sweden

DETROIT — Fabian Brunnstrom saw the writing on the wall.

Therefore he has decided to take his services elsewhere.

According to the Swedish paper Expressen, Brunnstrom has signed a three-year deal with Frolunda in the Swedish Elite League.

After making the team out of training camp, Brunnstrom could never crack the lineup and when he did he didn’t earn much playing time.

Then he ran into the wrong end of the numbers game with the Wings.

“We haven’t written him off, but we’ve got a couple of things in play,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said earlier this offseason.

The numbers concern was the Wings’ 50-man roster limit.

“We want to explore what’s out there,” Holland said. “I think Brunnstrom is a good player, but we need leadership, toughness down there. We’re exploring the market.”

Brunnstrom, who had one assist in five games in Detroit, had 12 goals and 23 assists in 45 games with the Griffins last season.

Wings GM Ken Holland: “We’re going to see over the next six weeks if we can make something else happen.”

DETROIT – Yet another player the Wings expressed interest in this offseason won’t be calling Hockeytown his home for the next few seasons.

On Monday, the Columbus Blue Jackets dealt disgruntled star forward Rick Nash to the New York Rangers for three players and a first-round draft pick.

“In the last month I’ve had a few conversations with Scott Howson and we did make an offer,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

And according to a source it was a “hell of an offer.”

Instead the Blue Jackets dealt Nash, who requested to be traded last January, to the Rangers in exchange for forwards Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round pick.

The Wings were one of the teams reportedly on Nash’s list that he would waive his no-movement clause, along with the Rangers, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Philadelphia and Boston.

Detroit’s offer generated zero conversation.

It’s not known what the Wings offered, but the source said it was “four pieces.”

Howson was looking for at least two proven NHL forwards in return for the six-time 30-goal scorer.

That’s a pretty steep asking price for any team, including the Wings, who would more than likely have to part with proven talent like Johan Franzen or Valtteri Filppula and perhaps even throw in an up-and-coming star like Darren Helm or Gustav Nyquist.

It seemed unlikely that Howson would want to deal Nash, who will make $7.8 million in each of the next six seasons, to a Central Division rival like Detroit and be stuck seeing the face of the Blue Jackets’ franchise so often during the regular season.

“I feel fine with how free agency has gone,” Holland said. “We went in with a game plan. We’re very happy with what happened on July 1.”

On July 1, the Wings signed forwards Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo and Damien Brunner, along with goalie Jonas Gustavsson.

Nash is the fourth player this offseason the Wings have made pitches for.

First, they pursued the top two unrestricted free agents on the market – defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Zach Parise. They both got matching deals from Minnesota.

Then, they set their sights on restricted defenseman Shea Weber and were prepared to see if he’d sign an offer sheet. Weber signed an offer sheet with Philadelphia.

The next player the Wings, as well as a number of other teams, are waiting to see where he’ll choose to play next season is Shane Doan.

Doan, 35, has already met with the Rangers and Flyers over the weekend after attending the NHL labor talks in New York on Friday.

Doan’s agent, Terry Bross, did not respond to messages left Monday.

“As I look at our team today, we’re real excited about our goaltending. We’ve got a 27-year-old guy in Jimmy Howard, who has three years of NHL experience under his belt. We have a 28-year-old guy in Gustavsson that’s got a couple of years in Toronto in him. I believe as a goaltender your best years are probably from 27 and 28 years of age all the way up to 34, that’s when you’ve got your combination of skill and experience.

“As I look at our team upfront we’re happy with the addition of Tootoo and Samuelsson,” Holland added. “If (Gustav) Nyquist was on any other NHL team in the league they’d give him a chance. We’re going to give him a chance.”

The one thing Holland will add before the start of the season is another defenseman.

“We made a decision to target some high profile players, we pursued them and unfortunately we weren’t able to make it happen,” Holland said. “There were circumstances involved. We’re going to continue going forward drafting, developing and expecting to be a playoff team. We’ve got to give some young kids an opportunity.

“We’re going to explore, either through trade or free agency, making a move or two between now and training camp,” Holland continued. “We’re going to see over the next six weeks if we can make something else happen.”

Nash heading to the Big Apple

The Columbus Blue Jackets have finally dealt disgruntled forward Rick Nash and it was to an Eastern Conference team.

Nash was dealt by Columbus to the New York Rangers in exchange for forwards Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round pick.

Hard to believe that was better than an over the Wings put together for Nash.

Detroit made a pitch to Columbus GM Scott Howson, making what a source called an I guess “hell of an offer.”

The Wings were one of the teams reportedly on Nash’s list that he would waive his no-movement clause, which was reported by the Columbus Post-Dispatch.

Detroit’s offer generated zero conversation.

It’s not known what the Wings offered, but Howson was looking for at least two proven NHL forwards in return for the six-time 30-goal scorer.

That’s a pretty steep asking price for any team, including the Wings, who would more than likely have to part with proven talent like Johan Franzen or Valtteri Filppula and perhaps even throw in an up-and-coming star like Darren Helm or Gustav Nyquist.

Howson was willing to holdout until he got what he was looking for in return and it looks as if the Rangers had it.

It seemed unlikely that Howson would want to deal Nash, who will make $7.8 million in each of the next six seasons, to a Central Division rival like Detroit and be stuck seeing the face of the Blue Jackets’ franchise so often during the regular season.

Bidding war set to begin for Semin soon, but Wings won’t overpay

DETROIT – Once the Wings got word that Nicklas Lidstrom was heading off to retirement and Brad Stuart didn’t want to play another season away from his family they got busy and hung out the ‘Help Wanted’ sign.

They haven’t had many applicants.

After bringing back Mikael Samuelsson (two years, $3 million per) and signing forwards Jordin Tootoo (three years, $1.9 million per) and Damien Brunner (two-way deal), along with goalie Jonas Gustavsson (two years, $1.5 million per) there hasn’t been anything else the Wings have been able to accomplish when the free agent market opened at noon July 1.

First, they made pitches to the top two unrestricted free agents on the market – defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Zach Parise – when the bidding window opened.

Detroit seemed to be in serious contention for Suter, increasing its first offer to $88 million over 13 years. The Wings also got a sit-down meeting with the prized defenseman prior to him making a decision.

A day after the meeting, Suter, along with Parise, who was offered $73 million over 13 years from the Wings, chose the Minnesota Wild. Both got $98 million over 13 years.

With Suter off the board the Wings immediately turned their attention to pursuing restricted free agent defenseman Shea Weber and also got in to running for unrestricted free agent forward Shane Doan.

Detroit had “numerous conversations” with Weber’s agent, but never was able to entice his camp into negotiating.

The two-time Norris Trophy finalist, who reportedly visited Detroit, Philadelphia, San Jose and the New York Rangers, wound up signing a 14-year offer sheet from the Flyers worth $110 million.

“If you’re not the No. 1 team, it doesn’t matter,” a source said Thursday. “We explored, but we could only get to a certain level.”

Now the Wings wait on Doan, who still hasn’t decided if he’ll return to Phoenix, a franchise he’s played his entire career for, or head to another team.

“We’ve been in contact,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said earlier this week. “We’ve talked about what we’re thinking of. They know we have interest.”

And Detroit, which did reach a two-year deal with a restricted free agent of its own in defenseman Kyle Quincey, appears to be on Doan’s short list of where he would like to play if he doesn’t return to Phoenix.

However, reports surfaced on Saturday that Doan was in Philadelphia visiting with Flyers representatives a day after he was meeting with the Rangers after spending time in New York for the NHLPA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.

The Wings also need to get a deal down with restricted free agent Justin Abdelkader, who they’d like to sign to a four-year deal at just under $2 million a season.

That would leave Detroit with just over $11 million left under the $70.2 million salary cap and 24 players, one over the roster limit.

With a possible role back in the salary cap as the NHL and NHL Players Association begin to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, the Wings probably won’t come close to hitting the $70.2 million ceiling this season. Therefore they won’t have to trim payroll if that occurs.

The Wings still need a top-six forward and a top-four defensemen, which there are none left on the open market and therefore a trade may need to be made in order to fill that void.

If Doan decides to remain in Phoenix or chooses another destination to finish his career, Detroit could still make a pitch for Alexander Semin, who remains unsigned three weeks since free agency started.

Semin, who has averaged 31 goals over the past six season with the Washington Capitals, would like a long-team deal from a team, but may have to accept something short term, since there is a huge question mark about his commitment.

Former NHL coach Marc Crawford said Semin falls into a category of “complete loser” and has “no character,” while analyst Pierre McGuire continued to pile on, calling the Russian the “ultimate coach killer.”

But the line seems to be forming for Semin, starting with Carolina. Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford told the News and Observer that they have expressed interest in Semin, but added they “wouldn’t want to get locked in to anything, because (they’ve) heard all the stories about him.”

Semin, who scored just seven more goals (21) last season than Detroit’s Drew Miller and $5 million more in salary, appears he wants to stay in the NHL or he would have probably taken a more lucrative deal to play in the KHL.

Once Doan finally makes his decision the offers for Semin should start rolling in no matter his reputation and it could begin a bidding war.

And if the past practices mean anything, the Wings won’t overpay for a player no matter what.