FanPost

Money is NOT the problem

There will be at least 50 posts this off season of rosterbation. We've already had 2 or 3. There have been countless debates about Barbasol from Winnipeg or The Who Hearer from Boston and a number of other names being floated here and there. Of course we can't forget there's also our very own Flip-the-puck-but-don't-shoot-it guy who's asking to break the bank.

The Red Wings though are in a luxury position. They have 4 UFA forwards and 1 UFA defenseman. That is pure cap space coming off the books. $10,863,000 of space to sign new, younger, talent and extend current, young talent. That's a lot of money to throw around.

Without resigning any FA (restricted or unrestricted) forwards, the Wings have 10 under contract for next year. That leaves only 2 openings for starters. On the blueline, there are 5 defensemen already under contract. **side note: these calculations have Tatar and Lashoff in GR since they were there before game 7 vs Chicago and are not guaranteed roster spots like DeKeyser and Nyquist and likely Andersson**

So as it sits right now:

FORWARDS
Todd Bertuzzi ($2.075m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m)
Johan Franzen ($3.955m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Mikael Samuelsson ($3.000m)
/ Darren Helm ($2.125m) /
Patrick Eaves ($1.200m) / Cory Emmerton ($0.533m) / Jordin Tootoo ($1.900m)
DEFENSEMEN
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m)
Danny DeKeyser ($1.350m) / Carlo Colaiacovo ($2.500m)
Kyle Quincey ($3.775m) /
GOALTENDERS
Jimmy Howard ($5.292m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)
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CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $51,787,879; BONUSES: $850,000
CAP SPACE (17-man roster): $13,362,121

That's over $13M in cap space total for 2 starting forwards, 1 defenseman, and 1 scratch forward. Not to mention that Mikael Samuelsson, Todd Bertuzzi, Carlo Colaiacovo, and Kyle Quincey are all possible buyout targets that would free up more space.

So clearly, money is not the problem for the Red Wings. But what IS the problem?

Unfortunately, there are multiple issues with the Red Wing off season that clouds the future. First and foremost is roster space and aging veterans. Samuelsson and Bertuzzi. I am not a hater of either of them. If there was a way to cut them but then invite them to camp to let them try to earn a spot, I'd be all for it. Unfortunately, it's not possible. They both have 1 year left but I don't want to waste another year of Datsyuk and Zetterberg getting older. I'd rather cut ties early.

As with most people on WiiM, I think we'd all rather see Bertuzzi stay and Samuelsson go if we had to choose one. I agree. While Sammy is younger and a RH PP shot, his cap hit is almost $1M more (though that's not a big deal as said earlier, money is not the problem). The primary reason Samuelsson should go over Bertuzzi is that he's so one dimensional. He's not going to use his body, he won't fight to protect someone else, he won't get in guys' heads, he isn't a SO guy, he isn't capable of being net front, he doesn't skate well, he's not a great passer, **really, shall I go on?** He has a HUGE shot from the point. So huge in fact he can't aim it. That's all he really has to offer. I dare say...it's not enough.

So Samuelsson get's a compliance buyout. But what about Colaiacovo and Quincey? Well...with money not being a problem, you can't say that Quincey is the necessary one. There's only a $1.225M difference in cap hit and they both are UFA after this coming season. They both have had the injury bug bite this past season, but that's been more a consistent issue with Cola. Frankly, I could easily see the Wings hold onto both of them or trade either of them to get the rights to someone like Burmistrov. When healthy, they're both very similar players. They don't do any one thing great nor do they do any one thing poorly. Quincey takes a few more risks while Cola plays a little more safe. Sometimes that bites them both in the ass. Either way, I do think that one of them gets moved and I think it will be Colaiacovo because his cap hit is lower. But I think the primary reason for him being moved is because of the backlog of defensemen in GR that will be pushing for a spot in camp. Billins, Lashoff, and Almqvist will be viable options for 7th defenseman.

So where are we at now:

FORWARDS
/ Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m)
Johan Franzen ($3.955m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) /
/ Darren Helm ($2.125m) /
Patrick Eaves ($1.200m) / Cory Emmerton ($0.533m) / Jordin Tootoo ($1.900m)

Todd Bertuzzi ($2.075m)

DEFENSEMEN
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m)
Kyle Quincey ($3.775m) / Danny DeKeyser ($1.350m)


GOALTENDERS
Jimmy Howard ($5.292m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)
OTHER
Buyout: Mikael Samuelsson ($0.000m)
------
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $46,287,879; BONUSES: $850,000
CAP SPACE (15-man roster): $18,862,121

So now we're at $18M+ of cap space and 6 open starting spots. So how about we address the RFAs. Smith, Kindl, Nyquist, and Andersson.

Jakub Kindl - offensive defenseman; paired well with Dekeyser; growing into his size better each year. 26 years old. Coming off a 3 yr / $2.65M contract ($883K cap). Tied career high in points with 13. New career high in goals with 4. Played in fewer games due to lockout. Suggestion: 4 years / $14.5M = $3.65M Cap Hit

Brendan Smith - balanced defenseman; struggled with consistency on both ends of the ice and with Quincey; still shows loads of talent; needs a camp to redevelop chemistry; likely to be the next Kronwall (without the crushing hits). 24 years old. Coming off rookie year and entry level contract of 3 yr / $2.625M ($875k cap). Suggestion: 2 yr / $3.5M = $1.75M Cap Hit (retain RFA status if possible)

Gustav Nyquist - excellent skill player with plus speed and puck handling; needs to develop some size but not too much, just enough so he doesn't get pinned to the boards as often or knocked off the puck as much; should be a top 6 forward in 2013-14. 23 years old. Coming off 2 yr / $1.525M ($875k cap). Suggestion: 3 yr / $3.75M = $1.25M Cap Hit (retain RFA status if possible)

Joakim Andersson - a grinding centerman with face-off skills; not a huge point production; excellent PK and defense from a young player; instilled confidence in the young line. 24 years old. Coming off 3 yr / $1.837M ($875k cap hit). Suggestion: 4 yr / $3.85M = $962k cap hit

So now we are here:

FORWARDS
Gustav Nyquist ($1.250m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m)
Johan Franzen ($3.955m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) /
/ Joakim Andersson ($0.963m) / Patrick Eaves ($1.200m)

/ Darren Helm ($2.125m) /Jordin Tootoo ($1.900m)

Cory Emmerton ($0.533m) / Todd Bertuzzi ($2.075m)

DEFENSEMEN
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m)
Danny DeKeyser ($1.350m) / Jakub Kindl ($3.650m)
Kyle Quincey ($3.775m) / Brendan Smith ($1.750m)
GOALTENDERS
Jimmy Howard ($5.292m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)
OTHER
Buyout: Mikael Samuelsson ($0.000m)
------
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $53,900,379; BONUSES: $850,000
CAP SPACE (19-man roster): $11,249,621

There are still 3 starting positions available and $11M+ in cap space.

So how about the Red Wing's UFAs. Should they sign any of them?

I'd be ok if they didn't. WAIT! What about Damien Brunner? I'm not sold on him being any better next year than he was this year. And I could see another team (like Winnipeg) who has a ton of money to throw at him, way over paying. To me, he's a 3rd liner right now unless he learns to adjust his game during the course of the season. He became a one-trick pony. He pulled the puck back so many times that even Ken and Mick were commenting on it each night. For $2-2.5M, he'd be ok as a 2nd/3rd tweener. But I don't think he should be considered a lock for top 6. Suggestion: Let him test the market.

Danny Cleary can ride off into the sunset on his broken body with our thanks and gratitude for sacrificing himself on the alter of servitude. The guy busted his can for 8 years with us. To me, he's in the McCarty/Maltby category of "we love him, every other team hates him." He can join the organization as a scout and camp coach, but he shouldn't be a viable option as a roster lock, even if he had a good camp. Suggestion: Offer him an invite to camp though.

Valtteri Filppula is the cat fight of the offseason. Will Holland play his "Red Wing Loyalty Card" and resign him or let him walk like Osgood, McCarty, Lebda, or Kopecky? Guys who probably wanted to stay, but also wanted more money than they were generally worth at the time. Actually Tomas Kopecky is a prime comparison to Filppula. 3rd line Center / 2nd line winger; slow developing player; never fully reaching potential; frustrating a fan base; an enigma. Kopecky never had the same potential or skill as Filppula, but I always remember him as being a "potential" kind of guy. He could over power lower skill levels (72 points in 77 games in his final year with GR) but he always seemed way over matched when he played against similar players and non-existent against better players. Filppula is just like that. Suggestion: Don't resign him.

I don't think I need to address Ian White.

Cat fight number 2 is about Drew Miller. Drew Miller is a great character guy for the Wings. If given to choose between Miller and Cleary, I'd take Miller. Younger and healthier. But it's not between Cleary and Miller. It's between Miller and Eaves or Miller and Tootoo or Miller and Eaves and Tootoo. First off, I don't think Tootoo gets bought out. So eliminate that. Second, I don't think Eaves is bought out. So there's 2 bottom line wingers. Miller isn't a center, so by the sole fact that Tootoo and Eaves are already under contract, I don't believe Miller comes back. Doesn't mean I don't want him, just don't have a roster spot for him.

So we're still in a quandary over 1 top 6 and 2 bottom 6 positions. An easy fix to one of them is Tomas Tatar.

So for my final lineup, without signing any outside players (though I do actually believe Brunner will be signed, so I included him):

FORWARDS
Gustav Nyquist ($1.250m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.800m)

Johan Franzen ($3.955m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Damien Brunner ($2.250m)

Tomas Tatar ($0.840m) / Joakim Andersson ($0.963m) /Todd Bertuzzi ($2.075m)

Patrick Eaves ($1.200m) / Darren Helm ($2.125m) / Jordin Tootoo ($1.900m)

Cory Emmerton ($0.533m) /
DEFENSEMEN
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m)
Danny DeKeyser ($1.350m) / Jakub Kindl ($3.650m)
Kyle Quincey ($3.775m) / Brendan Smith ($1.750m)
GOALTENDERS
Jimmy Howard ($5.292m)
Jonas Gustavsson ($1.500m)
OTHER
Buyout: Mikael Samuelsson ($0.000m)
------
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(these totals are compiled with the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $56,990,379; BONUSES: $1,010,000
CAP SPACE (21-man roster): $8,319,621

With $8M+ left over in cap space, the Wings shouldn't have a problem making a run at UFAs like Nathan Horton, David Clarkson, or Dustin Penner to move Brunner to the 3rd line and Bertuzzi to the bench.

This is a fanpost written by a WIIM community member. The views and opinions expressed here are that member's and do not necessarily reflect the views of the site itself.

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