Detroit Red Wings: My Offseason Plans

Adam GreuelSenior Analyst IJune 28, 2008

A big dream of mine has always been to be a NHL GM for the Detroit Red Wings. Now that July 1 is only three short-days away, I have decided to play the part.

As of right now, the Wings have $39.523 million tied up in our roster, leaving me with $17.177 million to spend.

Here is the lineup, as of June 29:

Holmstrom ($2.25 M)-Zetterberg ($2.65 M)-Datsyuk ($6.7 M)

Hudler ($1.015 M)-????-Franzen ($942k)

Cleary($2.80 M)-Draper ($1.583 M)-Maltby ($883k)

????-Kopecky ($500k)-Samuelsson ($1.20 M)

Lidstrom ($7.45 M)-Rafalski ($6.00 M)

Kronwall ($3.00 M)-????

Lebda ($650k)-????

Meech ($483k)-Osgood ($1.417 M)


Now, here are our RFAs and UFAs, with details on whether I would re-sign them or let them go, and what type of contract I would offer them.



Aaron Downey—He didn't play in the playoffs, despite being a regular on the fourth-line during the regular season. I would let him walk.

Dallas Drake—He plans to retire.

Darren McCarty—Solid fourth-liner through the course of the playoffs. I would re-sign him. Contract Offer: One year, $600,000

Mark Hartigan—Goodbye.

Chris Chelios—He has stated that he would sign for the league minimum to stay as a seventh defenseman for insurance. I would sign him. Contract Offer: One year, $600,000

Andreas Lilja—Reports are saying the he is close to re-signing. This has caught me by surprise, if I was the GM, Lilja would be long gone.

Brad Stuart—I would definitely re-sign him, if he didn't have a wife who must stay in California to maintain visitation rights to her children from a previous relationship. He will likely only sign with a team in California.



Valterri Filppula—Will develop into a solid second-line player. Contract Offer: Two years, $3,000,000

Jonathan Ericsson—Still has waiver options, unlike Kyle Quincey and Derek Meech, yet is still favored to make the team. Contract Offer: One year, $800,000

Kyle Quincey—Will likely stay on the roster as a seventh defenseman, as he is out of waiver options. Contract Offer: One year, $800,000

Jimmy Howard—I would name him as the backup if I was the GM. Contract Offer: One year, $800,000


With these re-signings in mind I would be very active come July 1.

I would first start off things with a bang, trading winger Mikael Samuelsson to the New York Rangers for a third-round pick. I would also help our defense's situation by trading Derek Meech to the New Jersey Devils for a fourth-round pick.

To replace Brad Stuart, I would go after Brooks Orpik, a very good defensive defenseman. I would offer him a contract of $15,000,000 over four years, or $3,750,000 a year.

To fill our holes on offense, I would sign winger Andrew Brunette (One year/$1,500,000) and winger Markus Naslund (One year/$2,750,000).

With these additions in mind, the roster heading into the '08/'09 season would look like this:

Holmstrom ($2.25 M)-Zetterberg ($2.65 M)-Datsyuk ($6.7 M)

Naslund ($2.750 M)-Filppula ($1.5 M)-Franzen ($942k)

Cleary ($2.80 M)-Draper ($1.583 M)-Brunette ($1.50 M)

Hudler ($1.015 M)-Kopecky ($500k)-Maltby ($883k)McCarty ($600K)  Lidstrom ($7.45 M)-Rafalski ($6.00 M)

Kronwall ($3.00 M)-Ericsson ($800k)

Lebda ($650k)-Orpik ($3.75 M)

Quincey ($800k), Chelios ($600k), Osgood ($1.417 M)

Howard ($800k)

Cap Hit: $50,940,000

With these additions, I believe the Wings would be ready for a cup repeat. It looks better than last year's team, and it has more-than-enough cap space to make a trade-deadline addition. This is how my ideal offseason would happen; so please make it happen Holland!

Ericsson making the team may come as a surprise to some, but Babcock mentioned that it was a shame he wasn't able to fit him into the lineup during the playoffs. Look for both Quincey and Chelios to remain as extra defensemen.