-The Wings are no longer in the bidding for Tampa Bay goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, whose demands for money (reportedly more than $7 million per season) and term (five years) were too much.
-Former Wings goalie Chris Osgood is the leading candidate to return to Detroit.
-The Wings have offered 43-year-old defenseman Chris Chelios a one-year contract.
``I don't see Chelios being a top-four (defenseman),'' Holland said. ``If he plays less minutes, it'll keep him fresh and he can provide us with an important ingredient.''
-Defenseman Mathieu Dandenault will not return. He's getting offers of more than $2 million a season from a number of teams who like his speed and versatility.
-``I don't know what it's going to take to sign Datsyuk and Zetterberg,'' Holland said. ``My thoughts and their thoughts aren't close. It's a little bit of a guessing game on how much money we'll have.''
A league source said Datsyuk's agent, Gary Greenstin, is asking for ``way more'' than the $3.8 million a year the Wings are paying Robert Lang. Greenstin said Datsyuk should be paid like one of the top players in the NHL
-``Our core is in place. We'll let the top-end guys go. I'm looking for the right deal. I think this first wave (of free agents) is a wave we won't be involved in.''
It's not *that* bad, but it's pretty obvious this season's Wings team is going to be very mediocre. The coaching change makes so much sense now, doesn't it? If Holland can get Zetterberg and Datsyuk signed for a reasonable sum we should be OK up front. But the D is going to be weak and the goaltending will be downright scary.
Very worrisome. I don't care that we aren't getting the Bulin wall, I never thought we could afford him. I am worried about losing Datsyuk. And Dandy too. He is one of our quickest players (the past few playoffs should have demonstrated that as an overall weakness for the team), and I figure that players like him would become more valuable commodities with the new rules changes and CBA.
I'm not worried about the loss of Dandenault at all. Sure, he's fast. He also has hands of stone. And versatility is great for a baseball player but doesn't matter in hockey. So fine, let him go.
As far as team speed, I'm also not concerned. The fact of the matter is Mowers and williams are going to be regulars, as well as a few more youngsters. Holland has 12M left to sign 10 or 11 players. At least a handful of those are going to be kids playing for the minimum. They will most certainly be faster than the old farts they're replacing, like Hull and Hatcher.
Chelios is still a solid player. I think it's great he'll probably be back. I went to many Mechanics games and Cheli can still bring it. Great move on Holland's part.
But still, even if both Cheli & Kronwall sign that would give us 5 D-men under contract: Lidstorm, Fischer, Kronwall, Rivers & Cheli. I see one, maybe two top-four defenseman there. The D is going to be brutal.
And don't even get me started on the goaltending. Legace makes double what a backup should, and we don't have enough money to afford a real #1. Osgood may not even fit the budget the way things are shaping up. We could be looking at a Legace / MacDonald tandem
I actually wouldn't mind a Legace/MacDonald tandem. I'm not a huge fan of Legace, but I have faith in Macdonald being able to be a horse and pulling us through a good number of games. He won't be the re-incarnation of Hasek back there, but I think he'd stand a fair shot of being better than Ozzy. Or, if you really want a different look back there, maybe Martin Prusek? No real experience, but a ton of upside and should be uber-cheap.
The only thing that worries me is the same thing that worries everyone else and that's Datsyuk's wanting to be paid like a "superstar." What exactly does he think that entails? And what has he done to earn it? He's either got a ton of money thrown at him in Russia or this is just a lot of posturing BS. If it's the latter, he'll get signed. If it's the former, the wings are already out of the running.
i think datsyuks agent is throwing stuff into his head honestly... this is a joke, datsyuk has never expressed this before, i dont see why its happening now.. what a joke, i see dats comming back by late august after a few more ppl are signed lower then expected
The biggest probalem with the Datsyuk/Zetterberg situation is that Holland can't get anything else done until he gets them under contract. He has to sit around watching all the FA go to rivals and there's nothing he can do.