Posts tagged “Free Agency”

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.

On Hossa

Brief thoughts on Hossa:

… I didn’t really want him to re-sign, so I’m not disappointed in that way. I am, however, disappointed in his choice of destination. Chicago is probably the only team in the League that I would have found offensive, and now I’m finding it hard not to be pissed at the guy. It’s hypocritical, I know, but I maintain that a decades-old rivalry trumps the hatred generated by losing to a team once in the Finals.

Again, any other team, I would have been fine, and that includes Anaheim.  Chicago, though? Not so much. This has far too direct an effect on the Wings’ to just let it float.

… Not sure how this works for Chicago going forward. Kane and/or Toews just got infinitely harder to re-sign, unless Tallon has their unofficial assurance that they won’t demand big bucks. If I were a Chicago fan, I’d be a mix of happy and completely incensed. Great to have Hossa, sucks to have the team’s future tossed out the window.

… Hossa’s a fool if he thinks Chicago offers a better shot at winning than the Wings. This was about the money. $20 million is a big difference, but so is the Cup. Unless Chicago pulls off a miracle cap-wise, the Hawks will be hard-pressed to beat smarter teams for the Cup, even in the next 12 years.

… Thanks for a good year, Marian. Good luck in Chicago. Hope you like it. You’ll be there for a while, whether you enjoy it or not.

Hossa’s Gone

Update (01. Jul, 2:16 PM): Staggering, mind-blowing deal: 12-years, $62.4 million with Chicago. Wow. More to come after work. – Matt

Sportsnet, via Winging It In Motown:

Sportsnet has learned Marion Hossa has turned down a contract offer from the Red Wings that would have kept the all-star with the Red Wings for the next 10 years.

A source compared the length of the deal to the deals Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg signed. It’s believed the deal-breaker was the average salary which fell between $3.75 million and $4 million.

That report would have a little more credibility with me if it spelled “Marion’s” name right, but the basic facts are probably correct. Holland has effectively confirmed the rejection by telling Ted Kulfan, “It certainly appears [he’ll test the market].” There’s just about zero chance he’ll resign after market opens tomorrow.

What I don’t get is the so-called sticking point. If the deal is structured so that he gets $6+ million a year for a few years, with compensation progressively decreasing over the latter years, what exactly is so bad about it? Who cares if the average salary is $3.75 to $5 $4 million? To me, it just proves he’s caring about the money this year, not winning.

Thanks for your time here, Hossa, and good luck wherever you land. Hope the money’s worth it.

Vancouver GM Nonis speaks out

Dave Nonis isn’t on my list of outspoken GMs (at least, not like Brian Burke was when he was in Vancouver), but he had a lot to say at a BC Chamber of Commerce meeting today, speaking out against the NHL’s free agency age and the scheduling format. When talking about free agency (and making some good points, by the way), he, of course, found a way to fit in some jealousy of the Wings:

“The Detroit Red Wings could have a five-year run if they did a good job of recruiting, trading, drafting and developing. You could keep those players together.”

What, Dave, you mean the Wings could spend a lot of money to keep guys in town while other teams stood around with empty pockets? Are you, a GM of a small market team, actually saying that was a good thing? Hmm.

And, yes, Dave, the new NHL scheduling format sucks, but wouldn’t it be a little less special for Ovechkin or Crosby to come to town if they were doing it more often?
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