Tag Archives: cap space

Emmerton placed on waivers; Helm heading to long-term injured reserve

DETROIT – Simply put, Cory Emmerton was a victim of a numbers game.

The Wings placed the fourth-line center on waivers Sunday to trim $533,333 off their salary cap.

“In order to get cap compliant this is one move we had to make,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a phone interview Sunday after the move. “First off, let’s see if he clears. If he clears we know what he can do. If he’s claimed he’s off the books, if he’s not claimed we have the ability to send him down.”

If Emmerton, 25, isn’t claimed the Wings plan to send in to Grand Rapids.

Holland also said that Darren Helm (back) will be placed on long-term injured reserve to begin the season, which sheds another $2.125 million off the salary cap.

“He’s played one game in 18 months, he’s just starting to get up and running,” Holland said. “He’s had a couple of practices but it’s going to take a while.”

The Wings are currently three players over the roster size of 26 and roughly $2.4 million over the salary cap.

Those two moves help get them under the cap, but another player move still needs to be made and they have many options.

Patrick Eaves (sprained MCL and ankle), Jonas Gustavsson (groin) and Jordin Tootoo (shoulder) all are sidelined with injuries.

Eaves and Gustavsson appear headed to the IR, but it’s not determined if it’ll be long-term or short-term stints for them. Both will be re-examined by doctors Monday.

Tootoo is the closest to returning, but he could also begin the season on short-term IR.

Players placed on short-term injured reserve (minimum seven days) provide no cap relief, but it does open up a roster spot, while long-term trips (minimum 10 games and 24 days) provide cap relief.

If the Wings place Gustavsson on short-term IR, they’ll need to free up more cap space because his $1.5 million salary will count against cap and Petr Mrazek’s salary of $790,000 would also count.

That scenario would more than likely get Gustav Nyquist sent to Grand Rapids to begin the season, at least temporarily. His cap his is $950,000. Nyquist and Danny DeKeyser are both exempt from having to clear waivers to go back to the minors.

“Tomorrow we’ll assess what other moves we have to make,” said Holland, who added no one else will be placed on waivers.

Rosters must be set by 5 p.m. on Monday. The Wings open the season Wednesday at home against the Buffalo Sabres.

Joakim Andersson will be the team’s third-line center until Helm returns. Riley Sheahan or Luke Glendening could serve as the fourth-line center until Helm gets back.

“In the short term we’ll be a little challenged (at center) until Helm gets back,” Holland said.

The Wings hope Emmerton, who was taken 41st overall in the 2006 draft, clears waivers to provide depth in the organization. In parts of three seasons he had 12 goals and seven assists in 121 games.

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For Tootoo, it’s all about just the opportunity to be in the NHL

TRAVERSE CITY – For Red Wings forward Jordin Tootoo it’s all about having a chance to play in the NHL.

And like many of those years he’s been in the league, the tough guy will be battling for every minute of ice time he gets.

“Every year is a tryout camp for me,” Tootoo said. “That’s how I take it mentally. I just have to prepare myself the best that I can because there are hundreds of other guys that would love to be in your spot. I’m coming into camp with the mindset for fighting for a spot on the team and that’s the bottom line.”

And the forward spot is pretty crowded already.

Tootoo, 30, is one of 17 forwards under contract for next season. That’s three more than the Wings plan to carry.

His name was bantered about this offseason as possibly heading back to Nashville in a trade that would help Detroit free up cap space and trim its roster down.

“For me it’s about having the opportunity to play in the NHL and (being dealt is) out of my reach,” said Tootoo, who scored a goal in Saturday’s scrimmage. “I’ve got to worry about my game and take it one-day-at-a-time and let the business people do that side of things and just come in every day with the right mindset.”

Tootoo has two years left on a deal at $1.9 million a season. He played eight seasons in Nashville appearing in 486 games. He registered 46 goals, 79 assists and 825 penalty minutes.

“I’ve been through a lot of shit over the years,” Tootoo said. “This is what makes you a stronger person, both on and off the ice. It’s about mentally being strong and having the will and courage to overcome hard times. That’s why we have the guys in this dressing room here. We’re all brothers and pick each other up when someone’s down. That’s what’s great about this game.”

Tootoo spent most of the postseason a year ago just like he did in Nashville two years ago, mainly watching from the pressbox.

Tootoo played in just one of the Wings’ 14 playoff games, being a healthy scratch the other 13.

“I thought the (end of season) meetings where good,” Tootoo said. “Obviously, for me, constructive criticism is a good thing. That’s what you have to work on and build off of. But I thought I did everything that was expected, but at the same time it’s basically one-day-at-a-time for me here and that’s been my mentality for the last three years. So it’s been a good summer, mentally refocused and physically I feel great.”

In his only appearance in the playoffs last year he recorded the Wings’ first penalty of the series for a crosscheck that Anaheim promptly scored on just four seconds into the man advantage.

Tootoo played in just three of the Predators’ playoff games a year ago after coming off a career-high 12 postseason appearances where he registered a career-high six points.

“We took a little time off, did some hunting and fishing (this summer),” Tootoo said. “But physically and mentally I did everything that I could to make sure that I give myself every opportunity to make this team. This is where I want to win a Stanley Cup and when you have other guys that want your spot you have to make sure that you bring you’re A-Game every day.”

Tootoo was also a healthy scratch in six of the final 23 games in the regular season. He registered three goals, five assists and a team-high 78 penalties in 42 games in his first season in Detroit.

Tootoo led the Wings with eight fighting majors, which was six behind the league leader this season, Tampa Bay’s B.J. Crombeen.

“The game evolves every year and you’ve got to re-adjust to minor things here and there,” Tootoo said. “I’ve worked on a few things here and there over the summer, but I’m going to keep that to myself and when you’re asked to bring a certain role, you have to work on the little things that make you the best you can be.”

Despite this being a lockout-shortened 48-game regular season, Tootoo registered highest total of fighting majors since totaling 10 in the 2008-09 season with Nashville.

Cleary returning to Wings not out of the question according to Holland

TRAVERSE CITY – It’s becoming pretty obvious Daniel Cleary wants to return to the Detroit Red Wings.

Now it’s a matter of if it will work.

Wings general manager Ken Holland confirmed Thursday morning that they met with Cleary in Traverse City on Wednesday to continue discussions on him possibly returning to the organization.

“I think there’s lots happening but nothing has been decided,” Holland said. “I think he’s going to go wherever he gets a contract. I think he’s still in Detroit today.”

Asked whether is there’s a chance he could be back with the Wings, Holland said, “There’s always a chance.”

Cleary, 34, had reportedly accepted an offer to attend Philadelphia Flyers training camp on a professional tryout. When he was a no-show Wednesday for a photo shoot speculation began that he wasn’t going to report.

The contract with the Flyers he was reportedly set to sign was a three-year deal worth $2.75 million a season.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter to me if there are other teams in the mix,” Holland said. “We can do what we can do. I’m trying to do what we can do. If it’s enough great, if it’s not there’s nothing we can do about it. I’ve explained that to his agent and I’ve explained that to Dan.”

The sticking point continues to be if he returns to the Wings on a professional tryout or if he’s able to come to an agreement on a deal to take part in training camp that runs through Tuesday.

“I’ve been in conversation with the Cleary camp all summer, more so the last three or four days,” Holland said. “Obviously, it came out he had a deal with Philadelphia the other day, or an agreement on something. (Cleary’s camp) reached out to us yesterday. We’ll see what happens in the next 24 hours.”

Holland added that they would need to clear a roster spot and cap space if they do sign Cleary.

“He wants to be a Red Wing, he loves the Red Wings,” Holland said. “He knows the coach, he knows his role, he’s got teammates in there, he’s made a home in Detroit. He’s been here since ‘05, nine years. He’d like to be a Red Wing. At the end, we’ve got challenges. We’ve talked about some different things and we’re going to talk again today.”

When Cleary rejected the Wings’ two- and three-year offers prior to the opening of free agency they moved on and signed Daniel Alfredsson (one year, $5.5 million) and Stephen Weiss (five years, $24.5 million).

“I made him a contract offer prior to July 5 because obviously I wanted to retain him,” Holland said. “I like him on the team, the coach wants him back, I know all of the players want him back. He’s a leader in the locker room. He’s a good pro. He’s versatile. He can play either wing, up and down the lineup, third, second, first or fourth lines. He’s vocal. For all those reasons that’s why I wanted to re-sign him in July. We then signed Weiss, signed Alfredsson and along with the (Jimmy) Howard signing things got tight.

The Wings’ two-year offer to Cleary was just below what he got from Philadelphia. It was the addition of the third year that brought the number down even more, but all three years averaged around $2 million a season.

The Wings are already two over the roster limit of 23 as they head into training camp next week in Traverse City and $637,000 over the salary cap.

“We’re not far over the cap right now,” Holland said. “We met with him (Wednesday) because obviously we have interest and out of respect. He’s meant a lot to our franchise. Everybody here believes we’re a better team if he’s on our team, but we have to weigh if we can make it happen.”

Holland had extended Cleary an invitation to training camp on a pro tryout, but with no guarantee of a contract. Coincidently, that’s how he began his career in Detroit in 2005.

Cleary, who had nine goals and six assists in 48 games during the lockout-shortened season last year, has flourished since he joined the Wings for the 2005-06 season.

He’s spent eight seasons in Detroit and has reached the 20-goal plateau three times.

He was also the team’s second leading scorer in last year’s playoffs with four goals and six assists in 10 games.

Cleary was a first round draft pick, 13th overall, by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.