Category Archives: Uncategorized

Quote of the day … Mike Green

DETROIT >> Mike Green on whether he fielded many offers before choosing Detroit.

“I talked earlier in the week with Ken and you know, it was my first conversation and from that point on I was really intrigued with what he had said. Everything was very positive on his end and on my end and in my head. When it came down to today I was pretty confident with if there was an offer from Detroit that I would move forward and we really didn’t really take advantage of any other offers. So I was set in Detroit.”

Wings will be Richards’ third Original Six team he’s played for

DETROIT >> Original Six franchises and Brad Richards seem to go hand-in-hand.

On Wednesday, Richards signed a one-year deal worth $3 million with the Detroit Red Wings on the first day unrestricted free agents can sign with teams.

He could earn an extra $1 million if he meets playoff bonuses.

Richards, 35, won the Cup with Chicago this season after being bought out by the New York Rangers.

He also won the Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004 and was named the playoff MVP. He also won the Lady Byng for sportsmanship that same season.

Richards scored 12 goals and had 25 assists in 76 games with Chicago. He turned it up in the playoffs with three goals and 11 assists in 23 games.

Detroit now has 20 players signed, 12 of which are forwards, for approximately $65 million. That leaves about $6 million under the $71.4 million cap.

The Wings still have to sign restricted free agents Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen and Landon Ferraro, while factoring in the cost of re-signing Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser, Riley Sheahan and Petr Mrazek in 2016.

The Blackhawks got Richards after the Rangers bought him out after just three seasons of a nine-year deal with New York.

The Rangers will pay Richards, who also played for Dallas, $3.05 million this year and $5.05 million next year and then $1.05 million for each of the following nine seasons until 2025-26.

In 14 seasons with four teams, Richards, who has just missed eight games of the last four seasons, has 288 goals and 616 assists in 1,058 games. In 141 playoff games he has 36 goals and 68 assists.

Wings get that coveted right-handed, power-play specialist defenseman in Mike Green

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings have finally got their right-handed shooting defenseman that can quarterback the power play.

The Wings inked former Washington Capitals blue liner Mike Green to a three-year deal at $6 million a season.

The deal fits perfectly for the Wings, who might not have been willing to give Green a longer term. And they weren’t ready to get into a bidding war for his services.

Detroit now has 19 players signed for approximately $62 million. That leaves about $9 million under the $71.4 million cap.

The Wings still have to sign restricted free agents Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen and Landon Ferraro, while factoring in the cost of re-signing Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser, Riley Sheahan and Petr Mrazek in 2016.

Detroit has been in the market for a right-handed offensive minded defenseman since last season.

The knock on Green is he doesn’t play hard.

He can run a power play, will rack up the points, but he’s not air tight defensively.

He’s going to make up for it on the other end because he’s going to generate points so it’s a little big give and take.

Green, 29, is a two-time Norris Trophy finalist, awarded annually to the league’s top defenseman.

He’s spent his entire 10-year career with the Capitals where he totaled 113 goals and 247 assists in 575 regular season games. Fifty-two of his goals came on the power play.

In 71 playoff games, Green had nine goals, six on the power play, and 26 assists.

Green, who had a career high 31 goals in the 2008-09 season, slipped down the Capitals’ depth chart, falling to a third pairing, after they signed Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik last summer.

He averaged just over 19 minutes of ice time, which was the lowest since his first full season in the league, 2006-07. He scored 10 goals and had 35 assists in 72 games.

Oleksy heading to Pittsburgh Penguins organization after three seasons with Washington

Steve Oleksy has already been on a roster with one of the current greats – Alex Ovechkin – in the NHL.

He can add another one to that list – Sidney Crosby.

The unrestricted free agent defenseman inked a one-year, two-way deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.

Olesky, 29, will make $575,000 in the NHL and $250,000 in the American Hockey League.

He’s guaranteed $325,000.

It’s a nice raise for the L’Anse Creuse North graduate, whose average AHL salary over the last three seasons was roughly $107,000. His NHL salary was $525,000.

Oleksy, a L’Anse Creuse North graduate, had spent the last three seasons in the Washington Capitals’ organization, appearing in 62 regular season games scoring three goals to go with 16 assists. He was also a plus-15 and 86 penalty minutes.

The right-handed blue liner also appeared in seven playoff game registering just an assist and a minus-1 rating.

Olesky, who has also played in the East Coast Hockey League and International Hockey League, is a rugged defenseman that isn’t afraid to drop the gloves.

Olesky totaled seven fighting majors in the AHL last season according to hockeyfights.com.

He’s got six fighting majors in the NHL during the regular season and four more during the preseason.

Olesky went undrafted out of Lake Superior State University in 2009.

After minor pro stints that took him to Las Vegas, Port Huron, Toledo, Idaho, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, Oleksy played in his first NHL game on March 5, 2013 and registered an assist in just over 10 minutes of ice time against the Boston Bruins.

Wings lean ‘right,’ but not at any cost as free agency set to open Wednesday

DETROIT >> The Detroit Red Wings’ free agency shopping list hasn’t changed from a season ago.

The only thing different is that the pool of potential fits to fill those needs is much smaller, which should make the end result the same … the Wings re-signing the players within their organization.

“If we don’t do anything I’m satisfied heading into the season,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said during a phone interview. “We probably have interest on the market of guys that are shorter term rather than longer term, depending who they are.

“Our young players are going to be our future and are going to work their way into the lineup and allow us to be competitive,” Holland added.

The Wings are still looking to add a right-handed shot defenseman — there are only 28 unrestricted ones available — that can quarterback the power play.

The top one available is Mike Green (Capitals), but he’s most likely looking for a long-term deal worth at least $6 million a season.

Green, 29, can run a power play and pile up points, but he’s not air tight defensively, especially in the defensive zone.

Johnny Oduya (Blackhawks) is another option, but he’s a left-handed shot and is not a big point producer. He’s a mobile defensive defenseman which the Wings’ blue line is full of already.

Cody Franson (Predators) could also fit. He’s a right-handed shot and has an offensive upside. He’s also been on Detroit’s radar in the past.

In all likelihood the Wings’ blue line will be made up of Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Danny DeKeyser, Kyle Quincey and Brendan Smith, with Jakub Kindl, Alexey Marchenko, Xavier Ouellet, Nick Jensen and Brian Lashoff fighting the final two spots.

The Wings are also deep at forward, but could have interest in two players out there – Joel Ward (Capitals) and Matt Beleskey (Ducks).

The knock on Ward is his age; he turns 35 in December.

Beleskey, 27, is going to have teams lined up to sign him after scoring a career-high 22 goals last season. With the Wings’ top six forwards pretty much set in stone – Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Justin Abdelkader, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist – they most likely aren’t willing to pay him top-six forward money if Beleskey is playing on the third line with Darren Helm and Luke Glendening.

Detroit also needs to slot Teemu Pulkkinen, Tomas Jurco and Landon Ferraro in the lineup.

“I want to be able to have the flexibility that some of these kids can make our team or have an opportunity throughout the season to call them up if they’re playing well and we can wheel them up,” Holland said. “We’re going to explore free agency. It’s not a deep class. There’s lots of players there, but most of the players that are available we feel our young players can develop into that somewhat quickly.

“What we’ve been doing on the fly is develop some of our young players in Grand Rapids into NHL players, give them some opportunities and exposure for them so we know what they can do,” Holland added. “That’s the direction we’re going.”

Then there are prospects Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou, Anthony Mantha, Tomas Nosek and Tyler Bertuzzi that could get a shot to show if they are NHL ready.

“We think, even if we don’t do anything, guys like Larkin, Athanasiou and Nosek are in the process of developing into Red Wings and some of them might be one more year and some of them may even be just 40 games,” Holland said. “Anthony Mantha had a year where he had some adversity. I think he’s still in our plans big time. Some of these guys are going to need two to three years in the American Hockey League. Dylan Larkin, we’re anxious to see what he can do in training camp.”

The one position Holland won’t be focused on during free agency is in goal where Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek will battle for playing time.

“We’ve got eight or nine defensemen in our system that we think can play in the NHL,” Holland said. “A couple of them are going to go back to Grand Rapids and one of them might make Detroit. Would we like a right-shot defenseman? Yes I would, but if I can’t have a right-shot defenseman we have one in Marchenko and Jensen. We’ve got good depth. Are we looking to upgrade? Whether it’s on defense on forward, yeah, if you upgrade it fits in.”

The Wings also have to look towards next season when they’ll need to re-sign Helm, Abdelkader, Sheahan, DeKeyser and Mrazek.

Stephen Weiss no longer a Wing as club decides to buy out the final three years of his contract

DETROIT >> Stephen Weiss is no longer a Detroit Red Wing.

The Wings decided to buy out the remaining three years of his contract prior to the buyout period ending for players with no-movement clauses in their contracts, Tuesday.

Weiss, 32, had three more years at $4.9 million a season left on the five-year deal he signed prior to the 2013-14 season.

Weiss, who had a no-movement clause in his deal, will get paid two-thirds of the remaining deal spread out over twice the remaining length of the deal.

The Wings’ cap hits over the next six years will be $1.066 million in each the next two seasons, $2.56 million in 2017-18 and $1.67 million for each of the three seasons after that.

The team didn’t want to keep Weiss around if he was going to be the 13th or 14th forward on the roster, averaging less than 10 minutes a game when he’s in the lineup, or just an insurance policy if someone doesn’t play.

The roster does have two question marks.

Pavel Datsyuk is sidelined after ankle surgery and Johan Franzen is still recovering from a season-ending concussion he suffered last year.

Datsyuk had surgery Friday to repair ruptured tendons in his right ankle. He’ll be in a cast four-to-six weeks before starting rehab. He’ll be re-evaluated around the time the team wraps up training camp.

The Wings felt if Datsyuk would be back on the first of October and if Franzen, who has experienced numerous concussions, was going to play 75 games this season the decision on waiving Weiss would be easy.

Weiss was brought in to fill the second-line center spot left open when Valtteri Filppula signed with Tampa Bay.

During training camp in Weiss’ first season in Detroit, he tried to play through a sports hernia. He wound up having sports hernia surgery and then had a second procedure later to repair an issue with scar tissue.

He managed to play just 26 games totaling two goals, two assists and a minus-4.

He played in 52 games regular season games last year and finished with nine goals and 16 assists.

Weiss appeared in the first two playoff games against Tampa Bay before finding himself benched the rest of the series.

In all, he’s appeared in just 78 of a possible 164 regular-season games since signing with the Wings.

Weiss remains a Red Wing … for now

DETROIT >> Stephen Weiss is still a Detroit Red Wing, for now.

It appears the Wings have decided not to waive Weiss in order to buy out the remaining three years of his contract prior to the buyout period ended Tuesday at noon.

The team has yet to confirm.

Detroit could still try and trade Weiss, who has three more years at $4.9 million a season left on the five-year deal he signed prior to the 2013-14 season.

Weiss, 32, however has a no-trade clause.

Had the Wings placed Weiss on waivers and he cleared, they would have paid out two-thirds of the remaining deal spread out over twice the remaining length of the deal.

There is one more buyout period in August, but that’s just for teams with arbitration cases.

If the Wings had bought him out this year, their cap hits over the next six years would have been $1.066 million in each the next two seasons, $2.56 million in 2017-18 and $1.67 million for each of the three seasons after that.

New coach Jeff Blashill must feel Weiss will help the lineup.

The team didn’t want to keep Weiss around if he was going to be the 13th or 14th forward on the roster, averaging less than 10 minutes a game when he’s in the lineup, or just an insurance policy if someone doesn’t play.

The roster does have two question marks.

Pavel Datsyuk is sidelined after ankle surgery and Johan Franzen is still recovering from a season-ending concussion he suffered last year.

Datsyuk had surgery Friday to repair ruptured tendons in his right ankle. He’ll be in a cast four-to-six weeks before starting rehab. He’ll be re-evaluated around the time the team wraps up training camp.

If Detroit knew Datsyuk would be back on the first of October and if Franzen, who has experienced numerous concussions, was going to play 75 games this season the decision on whether to waive Weiss may have been different.

“I think the way things ended last year when I came back when the season started I wasn’t in the lineup, I was a healthy scratch, sat around for a while,” Weiss said during the end of year locker cleanout. “They told me they were going to put me in and wanted to know if I wanted to go play a couple games in Grand Rapids. I wanted to. I went and did that, came back and got a good opportunity then. Playing with Pav there for a little bit and playing pretty well. And then, for whatever reason, I just fell down the lineup. I wasn’t playing a ton and when you’re not playing a lot it’s tough to do what you’ve always done.”

Weiss was brought in to fill the second-line center spot left open when Valtteri Filppula signed with Tampa Bay.

During training camp in Weiss’ first season in Detroit, he tried to play through a sports hernia. He wound up having sports hernia surgery and then had a second procedure later to repair an issue with scar tissue.

He managed to play just 26 games totaling two goals, two assists and a minus-4.

He played in 52 games regular season games last year and finished with nine goals and 16 assists.

Weiss appeared in the first two playoff games against Tampa Bay before finding himself benched the rest of the series.

“I’ve been around long enough, it was frustrating,” Weiss said. “You always want to do more. You feel like you can do more. I felt that way. I wanted to be in there, especially in the playoffs playing and have a bigger role, but it wasn’t to be.”

In all, he’s appeared in just 78 of a possible 164 regular-season games since signing with the Wings.

Weiss was has been passed up on the center depth chart by Riley Sheahan, Darren Helm and Luke Glendening and could get pushed further down if Dylan Larkin makes the roster out of training camp.