Posts tagged “Kris Draper”

Draper Retiring

Disappointing, but expected news today: Kris Draper’s calling it a career tomorrow after being forced out of a spot with the Wings by youth.

Put bluntly, this sucks. Draper is not what he once was, but as the Wings get less finesse-reliant on the backend and more angled toward speed and physicality on the front-end, I’m wondering if we aren’t going to regret letting him go while holding on to a player that increasingly doesn’t look like he fits on this team: Jiri Hudler. As big a soft-spot as I have for Huds, I would gladly take a two-pick trade in exchange for him and keep Draper. He’d likely be a better fit elsewhere and shipping him out would relieve us of some of his drag.

But, unfortunately, we’re keeping Hudler and losing a hard-core leader of men. As well as a monster playoff beard.

The guys who are more directly being tapped to step into Draper’s role have big shoes to fill.

Today in Unlikely Scenarios: Willie Mitchell

Using CapGeek’s new-fangled Flash-based cap calculator (sorry, iPhone/iPad users), I came up with the following lineup/payroll:

CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR
FORWARDS

Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Tomas Holmstrom ($1.875m)
Todd Bertuzzi ($1.937m) / Valtteri Filppula ($3.000m) / Johan Franzen ($3.954m)
Jiri Hudler ($2.875m) / Mike Modano ($1.250m) / Daniel Cleary ($2.800m)
Patrick Eaves ($0.750m) / Justin Abdelkader ($0.750m) / Darren Helm ($0.750m)
Drew Miller ($0.650m) / Kris Draper ($1.583m)
DEFENSEMEN

Nicklas Lidstrom ($6.200m) / Brian Rafalski ($6.000m)
Brad Stuart ($3.750m) / Niklas Kronwall ($3.000m)
Jonathan Ericsson ($0.900m) / Willie Mitchell ($1.500m)
Jakub Kindl ($0.883m)

GOALTENDERS

Jimmy Howard ($0.716m) / Chris Osgood ($1.416m)
CARRY-OVER BONUS PENALTY: $50,000
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter) (these totals are compiled using the bonus cushion)

SALARY CAP: $59,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $59,375,378; BONUSES: $0

CAP SPACE (23-man roster): $24,622

In a Ritola and Meech-less roster reality, the Wings can squeeze Mitchell in if they convince him to take a $2 million paycut. Unless Willie’s thinking a year in Detroit would help his chances at big bucks next summer, however, I’m going to have to say that’s about as likely as Chicago having 23 men under NHL contract is.

Ship Draper to Tampa Bay and the number goes up. But there’s just no way that happens.

Minor Injuries: Datsyuk, Kronwall Skip Skate; More Franzen Details

Update (4:42 PM): Datsyuk is now listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed upper body injury. His status for tomorrow night’s game is uncertain, but it’s possible he could be cleared to play. Babcock claims the injury is minor.

Meanwhile, Kronwall’s still expected to suit up. – Matt

Ansar Khan reports that Pavel Datsyuk and Nik Kronwall skipped practice today with what are apparently minor injuries. Datsyuk’s is “upper body” and Kronwall’s is “lower body.” Both are being tested, but both are expected to be in the lineup tomorrow.

Pavel’s injury doesn’t totally let him off the hook for his uninspiring start to the season as he sustained the injury last night, but his invisibility in Buffalo could have been due to it. Kronwall’s may explain his disappearance after a sorta decent first period, as well.

Khan also has more from Franzen on how he tore his ACL: he and Brent Seabrook collided during the Wings’ first power play Thursday. Apparently, he checked out during the following intermission, though he did put on a brace. The real pain started later. Non-catastrophic (i.e. not obvious major blow-outs) ACL tears are fun that way: sometimes you just don’t know until the next day.

He’ll be having surgery on Friday. No word yet on a more specific recovery period. That should come following the operation.

Also, Brett Lebda apparently will be allowed to venture out of the doghouse tomorrow night, though he’s sure to be on a short leash. Derek Meech will sit. Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby will be back in as well, which likely means Patrick Eaves and Brad May will sit.

Osgood will be back in net.

Datsyuk Skates with Filppula and Hossa

Update (3:06 PM): MacLeod has it from Babcock that Datsyuk is a game day decision (more here, as well as stuff on Draper and Abdelkder). Based on reports of how he looked in practice, it sounds like he’ll be in, barring a setback. Also, more on Rafalski and Holmstrom here. - Matt

Quick update because the news is too good not to pass along: Bruce MacLeod reports from practice: “Datsyuk is practicing as though he’s playing Game 4, centering Filppula and Hossa.” Not a lock, but it’s looking good. More detail from Bruce here.

Also, Draper’s skating with the fourth line as the center, instead of Abdelkader, and Rafalski is skipping out (though expect him to play). Sucks for Abdelkader, but who do you sit if you want Draper back in? My choice: Samuelsson, but his size is helpful. A tough one. And no Holmstrom, either. He took a beating last night, so that’s not surprising. I hope the day off can get him going, if he’s healthy enough to play again.

Datsyuk, Draper out; Lidstrom, Ericsson in

Bruce MacLeod has the news here.Great news on Lidstrom and Ericsson, obviously. Expected, but sucky, news on Datsyuk and Draper.

Apparrently, both Ericsson and Datsyuk took part in the optional morning skate, but obviously in Jonny’s case it was to make up for two days of not skating, and in Datsyuk’s it was just another test drive of his bum foot. Here’s hoping he’s able to go tomorrow, though the odds of him improving enough a single day later don’t seem all that good.

It must be pretty serious pain to keep him out, because even a 75% effective Datsyuk is better than no Datsyuk. From media reports of practice yesterday, it sounds like he couldn’t get around all that well.

Preview/pre-series commentary coming this afternoon.