Qualified Good News on Leino and Hudler

According to Helene St. James, the Wings will have Leino signed to a two-year contract very soon, possibly today. That’s great news, if it pans out. The team needs Leino to stick around, obviously, and he needs the Wings to keep him since they probably offer his best chance at regular NHL ice time right now.

The Hudler news is a mix of good and bad: he’s apparently filing for arbitration this weekend. As George Malik points out, that means teams can no longer tender him offer sheets, which is  a definite good thing. The downside, of course, is that the arbitrator can award Hudler a salary higher than the Wings might like to pay.

They could trade his rights at that point if they wanted to, but as long as it’s not too high, they’d probably bite the bullet and keep him. It just could be the difference between signing a veteran forward or bringing up a not-quite-ready Abdelkader.

Also, most of us would consider this good news: it looks like Samuelsson’s priced himself out of returning.

All in all, this is comparatively great news after the pretty crappy events of the first day of free agency (even though I wasn’t a fan of keeping him, losing Hossa to Chicago wasn’t exactly a highlight of the off-season). The summer could have gone even further south had Hudler and Leino played the Wings tougher in negotiations, but it looks like things are headed to a good conclusion.

Meg and I will be on the road in Metro Detroit and away from the computer today, so if the Leino signing happens, I won’t be around to post on it.