News from the diggers today, this time from The Freep's Helene St. James:
Alfredsson, who will turn 42 this December put up 49 points in 68 games with the Wings last season, missing time with groin and back problems throughout the year. Still, he was healthy and productive enough to lead the team in points.
Usage-wise, Alfredsson played both top six and third line minutes and was the most-consistently used forward on the top power play unit. He was given advantageous zone starts, but also faced fairly tough competition. At even-strength, his scoring pace was good for sixth among forwards (behind Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and the Kid Line of Tatar-Sheahan-Nyquist).
For this kind of output, Alfie was paid $5.5M last season. The nature of his deal meant that he only counted for $3.5M against the cap last season, but the extra $2M makes up the bulk of the carryover cap penalty which will see the Wings with approximately $3.2M less to spend than other teams this season.
Fortunately, the one-year bonus-laden contract is something which is again available for Alfredsson. As I wrote previously, this is a way to gain an advantage by turning present spending into slightly smaller cap hits, as the amounts which carry over take up a smaller percentage of future salary caps.
Despite this, I'm curious to see how much Alfredsson will command from Ken Holland. I think that he'd be a valuable asset to keep around as part of the transition plan which calls for bigger roles from wingers like Tomas Jurco and Anthony Mantha in the future, but I'm concerned that he's still one year further into the twilight of his career and that he's not going to be able to provide as much benefit as he did last season.
I don't know what the correct number for Alfredsson is, but I know it's smaller than the $5.5M he earned this past season. I'd also like to see a larger percent of it as bonus salary rather than Paragraph 1 pay. This would allow the Wings more flexibility in their cap spending this year provided they're in a position to gear up as a buyer at the trade deadline.
The team will talk over a potential contract with Alfredsson later in the week.