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2013-2014 Red Wings Roster Moves, Injuries, Whatever Thread

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Ilya Kovalchuk pulled a dick move today........retiring to the NHL to go finish his career in Russia.

Now, Ilya can do whatever he pleases, but he couldn't come up with this a week before free agency started?

He's gonna be hated in New Jersey.

Could you imagine how pissed people here would be if Pavel did that a week after free agency opened and all of the good players were gone?

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I'm still trying to make sense of the Kovalchuk move. Any chance that both Kovalchuk AND the Devils are trying to pull a fast one on the NHL? In other words, given financial struggles of the Devils' owner, was Kovalchuk encouraged to "retire" so that the Devils could be relieved of his contract without requiring a buyout or a big cap hit? And that since Kovalchuk likes Russia and can make money there, it was a win-win? Keep in mind that the Devils were slapped down by the NHL a couple of years ago for circumventing the cap over Kovalchuk. BTW, hard to believe Kovalchuk is only 30 years old, just 3 years older than Brunner.

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There were rumors he wasn't coming back from the KHL after the lockout and has ties to SKA's ownership (who is rich as hell). So I think this was all Kovalchuk wanting to play in Russia (I've read he misses it in the past) and can still get paid (I bet he makes all the money he had remaining on his Devils contract in a few years in the KHL). I doubt the Devils encouraged him to make the move, it just so happens it frees them from the big contract with a minimal cap hit each year. Although the fact that they lost next years 1st round pick because of his contract has got to hurt a bit when he isn't there anymore.

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I don't think its a "dick move" at all.

The reason is, exactly as LS stated, I believe the Devils were fine with this as it saves them $77M. Remember, there is an agreement between the NHL and KHL. If the Devils wanted to fight this, they could've. The fact that they are seemingly ok with the move indicates to me that its all about the bottom line for them at this point.

He's also from Russia. I know if the money were comparable, I'd much rather be home than playing in some foreign country.

I also think this could open the door for more of these situations. The KHL is becoming a big money league and the NHL is going to have to compete for these guys now.

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I talked to Ken Holland at development camp Wednesday, and he said he made Brunner an offer and Brunner didn't like it. Also added that any free agent left on the market after the first day or two is seeing his value go way down.

He quickly dismissed Art Regner's thoughts of buying out Franzen, saying the Wings have Franzen for $3.9M and to get a 30-goal scorer nowadays, it's going to cost in the vicinity of $5.5M. He said Franzen's game isn't perfect, but aside from Lidstrom and Datsyuk, nobody's is.

He also said Jimmy Howard's big contract will be a steal soon, as goalie contracts are going through the roof. Take a look at Rask's deal, for example. Rask is now getting $7.0M a year and Howard $5.3M, and Holland said the difference between Howard and Rask is very minimal, if anything at all.

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I also think this could open the door for more of these situations. The KHL is becoming a big money league and the NHL is going to have to compete for these guys now.

This is interesting to me, but I'm not sure if that many guys will follow him over. It seems like every Russian is rumored to be going back to the KHL for big money (Bobrovsky, Datsyuk, Ovechkin, etc) and they always end up back in the NHL. Watching KHL games it is obvious that it is a step below the NHL, and I think these players still recognize that and are still competitive enough to stay in the NHL. But maybe this will open the door a bit. If the NHL and the KHL get a transfer agreement going it might make it more interesting too.

I talked to Ken Holland at development camp Wednesday, and he said he made Brunner an offer and Brunner didn't like it. Also added that any free agent left on the market after the first day or two is seeing his value go way down.

He quickly dismissed Art Regner's thoughts of buying out Franzen, saying the Wings have Franzen for $3.9M and to get a 30-goal scorer nowadays, it's going to cost in the vicinity of $5.5M. He said Franzen's game isn't perfect, but aside from Lidstrom and Datsyuk, nobody's is.

He also said Jimmy Howard's big contract will be a steal soon, as goalie contracts are going through the roof. Take a look at Rask's deal, for example. Rask is now getting $7.0M a year and Howard $5.3M, and Holland said the difference between Howard and Rask is very minimal, if anything at all.

All of this sounds about right. Brunner reportedly wants a longer contract @ $4.5 million per...which is a lot. You aren't going to replace Franzen's production at that price, no matter how many people like to complain about him. Rask isn't that much better than Howard, and I don't think he deserves to get paid as much as Rinne. The Howard contract was a bit long to me, but otherwise it is great.

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I don't see the KHL being a real threat anytime soon. It hasn't yet come close to achieving what the WHA did in the '70s or what the USFL achieved in football in the '80s. It has a few rich owners willing to overpay, for now, from their own pockets but doesn't have a deep or broad revenue base. However, to the extent that the KHL does turn into a threat, it is the NHL's own fault due to a) multiple labour stoppages that opened the door; and b) not being more progressive in figuring out how to swing a European division.

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Do you think a European division would work? I think the travel time and time zones would make it pretty difficult.

I think resistance/fight from the local leagues would be the biggest obstacle. I think with an unbalanced schedule you could make the distances work.

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What do you mean by an unbalanced schedule? Lumping all of the European involved games into one section of the season to cut down on travel?

I didn't think of local leagues putting up resistance... haven't some teams left their leagues to join the KHL? Maybe teams could get around the leagues fighting it and just leave the league and join the new NHL-Euro league?

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What do you mean by an unbalanced schedule? Lumping all of the European involved games into one section of the season to cut down on travel?

I haven't thought it all the way through, so just spitballin' here, but say there are 8 Euro teams in a 32-team league (I know that assumes some relocation): Helskinki, Stockholm, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Prague, Vienna, Moscow. Each of the 24 North American teams makes one 7-game road trip to Europe every year. 58 of the 82 games of the teams in the European division are played within Europe - to be able to play a home and home against each of the 24 North American teams in the league would require three 8-game road trips to North America per season or four 6-game road trips per season.

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If you did it, would you make the Cup between the European and American winner?

Nope, if the European division was 1 of 4 divisions and the playoffs are contained within divisions for the first 2 rounds (like will be mostly be the case in the NHL starting next year), you'd end up with 3 North American teams and 1 European team in the final four. So you'd have a 50% chance of there being a North American vs. European final in any one season.

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Darren Dreger @DarrenDreger

Detroit avoids salary arbitration with Brendan Smith. They agree to a 2 year deal. $1.25 mil and $1.275 mil.

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Darren Dreger @DarrenDreger

Detroit avoids salary arbitration with Brendan Smith. They agree to a 2 year deal. $1.25 mil and $1.275 mil.

I guess we won't be swapping Smith for Edler then. :/

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I guess we won't be swapping Smith for Edler then. :/

They could still trade him?

Contract seems fair, and I think he should still be restricted after this contract is up.

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Darren Dreger @DarrenDreger

Detroit avoids salary arbitration with Brendan Smith. They agree to a 2 year deal. $1.25 mil and $1.275 mil.

I think it's great that Holland keeps his streak of avoiding arbitration going. Kind of cool how the Tigers and Wings always seem to dodge this process. It's nice to avoid what seems like could be a headache for all parties involved and sour the relationships a bit.

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I hope Brunner's contract demands come down to Earth and they can re-sign him.

I do think the Wings are going to miss his goal-scoring ability. I could see him scoring 25 goals with the Wings this season if he had been signed. Asking a lot of Tatar to replace his production. And I guess as long as Brunner is unsigned there's hope, but it sounds like he's getting close to something with New Jersey.

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I think it's great that Holland keeps his streak of avoiding arbitration going. Kind of cool how the Tigers and Wings always seem to dodge this process. It's nice to avoid what seems like could be a headache for all parties involved and sour the relationships a bit.

Hudler totally ruined it!

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