Tag Archives: unrestricted free agents

Bertuzzi won’t be back with Wings

DETROIT >> Wings general manager Ken Holland confirmed that Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson won’t be returning next season.

As far as the rest of the unrestricted players go, the team will take a wait-and-see approach.

“The other guys I’m not sure,” Holland said. “I basically told the other agents we’re not doing anything right now. Under the CBA on June 27, which is next Wednesday, we can start talking to potential unrestricted free agents.

Bertuzzi, 39, had nine goals, seven assists and was a minus-17 in 59 games last season.

Samuelsson, 37, had one goal, three assists and was a minus-7 in 31 games over two seasons.

“There’s a lot of chatter about trades, but I don’t know if things will come to fruition or not,” Holland said. “If we go out and sign one or two people we’re basically done. These guys might be the best options we’ve got, but right now we want to keep our options open so we can explore.”

There is also no more news regarding who’ll back up Jimmy Howard next season.


Wings waiting on decisions with unrestricted free agents

DETROIT >> As far as the Wings’ pending free agents, Wings general manager Ken Holland said he probably won’t decide for another month on them.

The one that seems to be a lock to come back is Daniel Alfredsson, but only if he feels he can play another season.

“We had an exit meeting with Alfie,” Holland said. “He needs time to determine if he’s got the passion and desire to play again and if his body will let him do the things he wants to do.”

Holland told Alfredsson, 41, they wouldn’t be making a decision until the middle of June.

“There’s lots of time,” Holland said.

The other unrestricted free agents include David Legwand, Kyle Quincey, Jonas Gustavsson, Todd Bertuzzi, Daniel Cleary and Mikael Samuelsson.

“I told Legwand, Quincey and Gustavsson we’re going to take time to have internal meetings,” Holland said. “In late May or early June I’ll reach out to their agents to let them know if we have a contract offer.”

Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan are both restricted free agents.

Wings GM Ken Holland likes new CBA rule

DETROIT — The new rule in the CBA gives teams 48 hours prior to the start of free agency to make a pitch to potential free agents and allows players time to make up their mind is something Wings general maanger Ken Holland likes a lot.

“It’s an opportunity for every team to reach out to unrestricted free agents and make a case,” Holland said. “It’s good for players. In the past players get calls at noon on July 1 and have to make a decision within two hours. That’s a big decision for a player and club. From the club’s perspective, you’d like the opportunity to make contact and tell them about your program. It gives players a chance to hear from a number of teams. It’s a great part of the new CBA.”

Filppula’s time in Detroit appears to be over

DETROIT – Valtteri Filppula’s time in Detroit appears to be over.

And the main sticking point remains money.

“He’s looking forward to July 5,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in a phone interview. “There’s a significant difference. That’s why it doesn’t appear we’re positioned to do a deal.”

Holland last spoke with Filppula’s agent on Monday.

The Wings did make offers to Filppula in August and September before talks broke down.

Filppula, who made $3 million last season, is believed to be asking for about a $2 million raise a year.

“It makes good sense for Fil and his agent to hit July 3 and see what’s out there,” Holland said. “I’ll stay in contact with his agent. If it’s time to leave, it’s time to leave.”

On Wednesday, teams can begin talking to potential unrestricted free agents before the official signing period begins on Friday at noon. This is something new under the latest collective bargaining agreement.

“When players hit the open market they’re probably moving on,” Holland admitted. “Players usually get offers that are better because so many teams are in play. This year is different because of the reduced cap.”

Holland will continue to talk with Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner, the Wings’ other two unrestricted free agents, to try and work out deals.

There seem to be sticking points with both of them.

With Cleary it’s not money, but length of a deal, while Brunner seems to be more about money.

Cleary is 34 and Detroit will more than likely not want a deal of more than two years.

Brunner had his ups and downs in his first year in the league, so it’s hard to set the bar on his value.

Wings could be targeting second-line center once free agency opens

DETROIT – There is indeed a method to the Detroit Red Wings’ line of thinking as free agency approaches.

Detroit seems to be in a holding pattern for now with the NHL Entry Draft taking place Sunday and free agency set to begin on July 5.

“I think there are always trade talks but more often than not they don’t lead to anything,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said earlier in the week. “There’s always a feeling out processes. This is the weekend that teams are motivated and we are motivated to make a move or two between now and unrestricted free agency that we think will make our team a little bit better.

“I think a lot of what’s going on with our team right now are kids,” Holland added. “You watched it during the season, you watched it in Grand Rapids, you watched it in the early 90s, you watched it in the early 2000s, if you’re going anywhere and building anything that’s going to have some sustainability to it it’s got to come through the draft.”

The Wings are set between the pipes with Jimmy Howard as the starter and Jonas Gustavsson serving as his backup.

On defense, seven are signed for next season and one, Brendan Smith is a restricted free agent, will get a deal done bringing the total to eight on the blue line heading to training camp.

Detroit would look at a possible upgrade on defense or it may trim one of its eight on the roster, but there is little depth on the blue line in Grand Rapids so that seems unlikely.

Forward is where things are bit more murky.

The Wings currently have 12 players under contract and two others that are restricted free agents – Joakim Andersson and Gustav Nyquist – will be signed sometime in the near future to bring the numbers up front to 14.

There are still three unrestricted free agents – Valtteri Filppula, Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner – that could find their way back on the roster, but those deals may not happen until the hours leading up to the start of free agency.

If the Wings are unable to sign Filppula they may try and trade his rights to a team so they could try exclusively to negotiate a deal with the center before he hits the open market.

“I haven’t thought about (leaving Detroit), but obviously it’s possible that could happen,” Filppula said during the Wings’ end-of-season locker cleanout. “It’d be tough. It’s been a really great place to be. I’ve been so happy here. We’ll see if we go … if that’s what’s going to happen.”

The Wings did make offers to Filppula in August and September before talks broke down.

Filppula, who made $3 million last season, is believed to be asking for about a $2 million raise a year.

The Wings do have interest in new unrestricted free agent Vincent Lecavalier, who was bought out by Tampa Bay on Thursday.

There is some concern of the pace of Lecavalier’s game at this point of his career.

Detroit is in the midst of building a team that likes to get up-and-down the ice.

There would be interest in the 33-year-old center, who is still good down low around the net. They would jump at a one-year deal for the right price.

“(The Wings are) a team I grew up idolizing,” Lecavalier said during a conference call Thursday. “(Detroit) and Montreal were my favorite teams. Steve Yzerman was my favorite player.”

Yzerman, who spent his entire career with the Wings, is the Lightning’s general manager.

Centers Stephen Weiss, Matt Cullen and Patrik Elias could also garner some interest from Detroit along with wingers Jarome Iginla, David Clarkson and Nathan Horton.

There is also a chance the Wings could decide to use one or two of their allotted contract buyouts, but would need to do so by July 3 since that player or players has to go on waivers.

Teams are permitted two amnesty buyouts that can be used this summer or next summer. They would be able to buy out a player at two-thirds of their remaining value of the contract and not have any of the salary count against the salary cap.

Wings still have decisions to make on Cleary, Filppula and Brunner; White won’t be offered a contract

DETROIT — The Wings have a lot more decisions to make this offseason, mainly regarding unrestricted free agents Daniel Cleary, Damien Brunner and Valtteri Filppula.

“We have big decisions to make,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “We’ve got a push of kids. We’ve got 14 forwards under contract now. We’ll only carry 14. We know we have compliance buyouts at our disposal and I’ll explore trades.”

The 14 included restricted free agents Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson.

“If there’s a term and number that works for us, we’ll try to fit them in,” Holland said regarding the unrestricted free agent forwards. “If not, we’ll go in a different direction. We like all these players, but sometimes if there’s a better opportunity elsewhere a player’s got to pursue it.”

Holland did tell defenseman Ian White he won’t be re-signed.

Red Wings not interested in trading for depth

DETROIT – As the NHL trade deadline approaches there’s one thing Wings general manager Ken Holland won’t be dealing for this season … depth players.

“I don’t think we need any more depth up front,” Holland said. “We’d like to get healthy up front. If we can do a legitimate trade to acquire a player that we think is a legitimate top nine or top six forward or a legitimate top four defenseman then we’re going to look. I don’t need any depth. There’s no use for me trading a fourth-round pick to bring in here someone to sit. We have lots of depth up front and we have lots of depth on defense so we don’t need depth.

“Is there a player that someone wants to trade that wants to be a top six or top nine forward, not really when everyone is trying to win,” Holland continued. “Today a couple of teams signed players that were going to be unrestricted free agents. I think between now and Wednesday lots of teams are going to sign some of their players. I’m working the phones and if there’s a legitimate top six or top nine forward or a legitimate top four D, behind that I don’t think we have (much interest).”

The trade deadline is 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Holland will miss the Wings’ charter flight to Phoenix just in case a deal for what he’s looking for happens.

“I think we wake up Wednesday and because of history we’ll have 20-30 trades, but lots of deals will be made for depth,” Holland said. “I’ve had some conversations with some teams about the odd depth player and I really don’t have an interest. Again, because of the development of (Jakub) Kindl, (Brian) Lashoff, Brendan Smith, because of the signing of Dan DeKeyser on defense, we’ve got nine guys here and had to trade away Kent Huskins to make room.

“Because of the development of Joakim Andersson, who we really like,” Holland continued. “(Tomas) Tatar and (Gustav) Nyquist have gotten an opportunity. Because Patrick Eaves is healthy. Because we signed Damien Brunner, who can play in the NHL. You look and we don’t need any depth.”