Latest on the Red Wings and Sharks – April 23, 2012.

The early playoff exits of the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks has given rise to speculation over potential changes in the off-season. 


Summer of change ahead for Sharks?

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland intends to explore every avenue, including trades and free agency, to improve his team, though the club will retool, rather than rebuild. The Wings also have the cap space to bid competitively for top UFAs like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter if they hit the market this summer.

As for the Sharks, their situation is a little more complicated, as GM Doug Wilson faces a shake-up of his roster. LeBrun said if it were up to him, he’d be ready to trade almost everyone but Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Dan Boyle and Ryane Clowe. He also wondered if Wilson might revisit his interest in Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash.

USATODAY.COM: Kevin Allen weighed in with his take on potential moves for the Red Wings, Sharks and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

MERCURYNEWS.COM/CSNBAYAREA.COM: David Pollak believes a roster makeover is likely for the Sharks, noting Patrick Marleau, Martin Havlat, Dan Boyle and Brent Burns were disappointments, though the four also have expensive contracts with movement/trade clauses. He also suggested Daniel Winnik could be the only notable UFA to be re-signed, while all their RFAs are likely to be re-signed.

Kevin Kurz focused upon the Sharks free agents, which include “Unrestricted free agents: Torrey MitchellDominic MooreJim VandermeerDaniel WinnikColin WhiteBrad Winchester. Restricted free agents: Justin BraunAndrew DesjardinsBenn FerrieroTJ GaliardiTommy Wingels.” Kurz also believes Winnik could be re-signed, but also feel Winchester could be back, and suggested it’s possible Ferriero might not receive a qualifying offer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given their contracts, it’s doubtful Marleau, Havlat, Boyle and Burns will be moved. Don’t expect Thornton to be dealt, or Logan Couture. I doubt Wilson wants to trade Clowe, but he could be among the few quality players that might be of interest to rival clubs which he could move. One also has to wonder about Joe Pavelski, who lacks a trade clause, as there could be serious interest in him. The problem for Wilson is the players he might wish to move could prove untradeable because of their salaries and/or movement clauses, while those he’d prefer to retain (Pavelski, Couture) are those who would attract the most interest from other clubs.

DETROIT NEWS/DETROIT FREE PRESS: More anticipation the Red Wings will be busy shopping in this summer’s UFA market, while Fabian Brunnstrom could get a second chance to crack the Wings lineup next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve noted over the weekend, the Red Wings will be among the favourites to land Parise and Suter if they hit the UFA market. Trades are also possible, but at this point, it appears they’ll make their biggest moves via free agency.


  1. If there’s a team that begs to be blown up, it’s the Sharks. When are teams going to learn that you can’t keep buying players and expect to be a cup contender?

    LeBrun’s comments above are close but wrong. Everybody on the Sharks should be available except Couture and any player south of 24 years old.

    I’m not sure I agree that they couldn’t trade a lot of these guys. Briefly looking at Capgeek, none of the Sharks contracts are outrageous. Thornton has two at $7, Marleau has two at $6.9, Boyle has two at $6.6, and Havlat has three at $5. The problem is the no movement clauses.

    I can’t imagine there aren’t teams that are close and wouldn’t mind getting their hands on any of the players mentioned above. Teams like Buffalo, Tampa, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Dallas might be serious contenders by adding one of the above players.

    • JD,

      Just make sure you remember why those contracts are outrageous for the most part:

      When was SJ NOT a competitor in the Western conference. You have to pay your talent that does well.

      They also traded for 2/3 of Minnesota’s best players (never understood taking decent players off losing teams and expecting to do better).

  2. As I’ve said since the beginning of this years playoffs, it could be an interesting offseason with so many teams with high expectations or there years of high expectations in the sharks case, there could be some significant moves. I find it interesting that it list joe Thornton as an untouchable as I would say he receives the most criticism for under achieving. As for the wings, age has caught up to them, I don’t see lidstrom coming back or Holmstrom. If they do sign both Suter and Parise They become automatic favorites IMO.

    • There’s a decent chance they’ll get both of them, however, I think going out and getting the massive names is something Detroit has never done (Rafalski I guess).

      I really hope that doesn’t change the tide in one of the great US markets; and causes the yearly favorite to suffer.

      Keep in mind, we don’t know what kind of stats Suter will have not playing with the best Dman in the league in Shea.


    I think Buffalo & Washington would be great trading partners with San jose ….they both have a little of what the other needs, and some major deal could be useful to both these clubs. Havalat would be a great fill in for the departing Semin!

    I agree with JDBiGC about the fact that the contracts are moveable ( depending on movement clasues )for some teams looking for veteran depth and skill ….teams could definetly use a Thronton …Marleau , Clowe or Pavelski …and even a Niemi for sure ….could be an intersteing off season as the pool widens !!


    They will will be looking to land as much top end talenty as they can …Babcock explained this in his post season interview that they need depth ….so let the Parise & Suter rumours begin ….Still feel Tim Thomas will land there as well!!
    Sounds as if they are wiulling to go all out this time to reinforce the future and look to go deep next year !!!
    They will open the wallets this time …they have been a BIG BEAR in hybernation for too long …and they just got poked in an early exit this year by a stronger more skilled team …they will do (almost) anything to get back in CUP contending shape !!!!

    They are in rough shape …they will be active such as Detroit in looking to make an Impact move also …what a terribel trade Kassian was for Hodgson !!!
    Kesler will be on the block and if you PKG him with Luongo that could be a away out for Gillis to move Luongo and get some assets back as well !!!

  4. Joe Thornton is a true #1 centre.. and not every team has one.. I don’t think he goes anywhere.

    Marty Havlat is a very good player IF he can stay healthy… which this year he could not.

    I agree with the fact that the trade Hodgson for Kassian was a bad move for Vancouver. Why give up a good young centre like Cody Hodgson for a tough guy… I just don’t get it…

    I see Detroit making a pitch for both Parise & Suter. They are good friends who want to play on the same team… and a contending team. The question is… how many contending teams can compete to sign both players… It will be an interesting off-season for sure.

    • I definitely thought the Hodgson trade was beyond stupid.

      22 year old kid, putting up a point every two games, great defensive game and could definitely be a second line center anywhere in the NHL (except VAN and PIT) for a kid who fits the bill of a power forward with an edge… but on a high scoring team only managed a few points and spend 31 minutes in the box (keeping in mind, he’s also a year younger than Cody, however, Hodgson is much further along in development).

      I know people said Vancouver was soft… but this was an overreaction that may have been the first step on the road to ruin for the President Trophy winners.

  5. Don’t see the Sharks getting rid of Boyle – he is a veteran presence and leader on the ice. What I can see is SJ unloading Murray, Vandermeer and White and then signing Brad Stuart (at a hometown discount) to help shore up the D and mentor the youngsters.

    I think SJ would be a great partner for the Sabres – maybe a trade of Vanek, Roy and Weber for Pavelski and Clowe would be beneficial for both teams. San Jose gets potential scoring threats and Bflo gains the leadership they need. Plus, a change of scenary wouldn’t be a bad thing for those mentioned. I would also love to see Buffalo go after Steve Downie – would give them a little more grit.

    To me, I think SJ needs to change their coach – McLellen just isn’t the answer to me. In looking at both teams – SJ just wasn’t consistent enough while Bflo only played half a season and were burnt out for the last 3 games. I am giving Lindy and Darcy a pass – for another year seeing what they can do with their hands untied. I like the moves Darcy made at the trade deadline and am anxious to see what happens once the season is over.

  6. @ Beergoggles

    Read through some of yesterdays posts and found your post on Colbourne …IO have seen a number of Marlies games this year and was also at the last Sabres game when he was a call up ……he is a huge kid ….skates aimlessly with destination …and doen not have a mean streak and very rarely uses his body in any occassion …..he is NOT NHL material …Ive been posting this all year here and in every trade scenario I do I look to move out Colborne before any othr talented young Leaf prospect …….

    In thinking today about the last few days in the playoffs it looks as if Pittsburgh really needs to address there defense big time !!!!!!

    I would make a HUGE & SERIOUS pitch for Stall to becoem the Leafs # 1 center and I would bsolutely give give up a Jake Gardner or Luke Schenn or Franson in a deal to do so!

    My deal would be Kulimen, Schenn, Komisarek and Colborne for Niskanen and Stall.

    If Gardner was a dealbreaker I would do
    Komisarek or Connolly ( salary dump)


    it and bring up Holzer & Blacker next year anyways.

    Thoughts ?????

    Sorry to other posters this was a conversation that didnt get resolved and has nothing to do about todays posts.
    Apologies !!!!!!!

    • That trade doesn’t make sense for Pitts.

      You lose one of the most important pieces of your team, for plugs. You could get in free agency. Like, why get rid of your best two way center, penalty killer and a gamer.

      Additionally, Staal***** <– how you spell it, Pittsburgh is right at the cap, even next season (59 mil, for 18 players) so, they couldn't take on Connolly or Komi's contract along with Kulemin & Gardiner.

      Try again.

    • Nobody WANTS to play in Toronto… stop with these ideas already… this article has nothing to do with them either. Keep dreaming.

  7. @ Mio Kid

    just so you know both Crosby and Stall are UFAs after next season ….Crosby will be a HUGE signing …Staal will command at least $6million if Hemsky and Grabovski got $5.5 million so Staal gets at least $6 ….and he would be a 3rd line center ..they cant put all the teams funds into just the centers!It has become apparent that they need defensive help …so I was purely suggesting that the Leafs are hungry and seriously looking for there top center and Staal would be the best long term option for the Leafs ….The Leafs are very deep at defense and have some players in that position that would not be to costly so Pitt could get two high end defenseman for the same price as they would pay Staal for per season …sometimes you have to address other areas of the team ….that have been long ignored and have become a liability in game play !!!

    Kulimen has played with Malkin on many of Junior teams and they were very good together he also could help with defesive play as thats where he is strong and in a good year can get you between 20 & 30 goals just like Staal …..Gradner or Schenn are also very young and the perfect price for the deal and long term for Pittsburgh cap wise so that would be a good starting point for them ….if Connolly were a part of the trade to help the Leafs with cap space he would take up the Center position for only one year and Pitt would be opne to bid in a Strong UFA market so it doesnt heyrt them long term either …..It actually makes very good sense for noth teams I M O …you have to see the business side and not just look at the names on teh back of the jerseys ….it allows Pitt to get youger and perfect with the cap and allows Leafs to get the Center and Sign Staal what he is worth long term !!!

    • Jordan Staal . . . .to Montreal!

      It even rhymes!

      Plekanec at 5 mill X 3 years gives cost certainty plus high skill and speed

      plus the 3rd pick overall
      plus a forward prospect or two


      Staal, bigger and younger, but will probably come in around 6 and a half million and not affordable with Sid

      plus 28th pick overall
      plus Simon Despres

      and that’s the talk at the home of
      24 STANLEY CUPS!

      da rat

    • I think you might need to look at the business side… and not the front of the jersey (I.E like 99% of your Leafs Nation mates, you’re suggesting a trade that heavily favours the buds).

      Trade doesn’t work for Pitts.

      If you think they can’t afford Staal & Crosby; you’d be crazy. They have four guys on D making +3.5 million, they would shed one of those contracts before they’d have to pick up a plug like Connolly. Additionally, I think because of Crosby’s injury plagued past couple seasons and the fact he’d be willing to take a little hit to mak,e a contending team again, I doubt we see him at 8,7 next time around (probably about ~7-7.5).

      Also, might want to take a look at your post. Most teams in the NHL, don’t have a top line center, Pittsburgh has 2 and a true definition 2nd line center (probably best in the game). Any team in the NHL would sell their souls to be that deep down the center. When you have skill like that, you can plug anyone into the wings and be productive.

  8. * The problem with Vancouver keeping Hodgson was that they already have their 2nd line center, so having him on the third line is a waste. They needed Grit and went out and got a kid that still has potential. They might have gotten something better elsewhere sure, but Cody was becoming a waste there. Better to try and fill another need.

    * Parise and Suter to Detroit would be a huge pull and would add alot to the Wings. I am afraid both contracts though would be very long term front loaded deals.

    The term and salaries are not terrible for the likes of Marleau, Burns, and Havlat. And I don’t think the no movement clauses will be as much of an issue as many teams would be interested in these guys so San Jose could find a partner they’d be willing to go to. I just don’t know if Wilson has it in him to move them.

  9. For anyone that doesn’t think Ilitch the owner of the red wings will go after both Suter and Parise here is a piece from an article about him.

    he stunned the industry when he invested $214 million in free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder in January despite already having an MVP-caliber first baseman, Miguel Cabrera, who will make $21 million in 2012.
    “Fans want to see the stars,” Ilitch says. “And if you want stars, you have to pay the price.”

  10. @Slap
    I think Miokid is right. Throwing Kulimen, Schenn, Komisarek and Colborne at them may not be of interest. They won’t want Komi and we have already talked about Schenn and Colborne’s short comings so I think they wouldn’t be enough to do the deal. You are right though I would think Kuli and Gardiner would almost get the deal done along with this years high second rounder. The problem with trading the guys you are suggesting ie Kuli, Schenn, Komi or Connelly are that their trade values are at an all time low. I’d rather sell when values are high and buy when values are low. So I do agree that if you could get a boat load for Kessel you sell well his value is high because I doubt his value will ever be higher and could dip if they don’t find him a center or he gets injured with his small frame in Carlyle’s defensive system.

  11. I would say Malkin gets traded before Staal is shipped out.

    • There were rumours two years ago that Pitts was thinking of moving him. Didn’t look into it so much, simply because he’s such an amazing player in his prime… and there’s no need to move him.

      It will be an interesting off-season for Pitts and Vancouver. Both had teams heavily favoured to win everything, and they both played like crap in the first round.

      Both teams are right near the cap going into 2012-2013, so it’ll be fun to see what their GMs can do (you also don’t want to play as much with the lineups, I mean, both were +100 point teams).

  12. I can’t see Pittsburgh moving Malkin. There is no way they can get equal value for him. They automatically lose any trade they make that sends him out. Mind you sometimes you gotta take a step back before you jump forward but I don’t think Pittsburgh is willing to do that.

  13. Kulemin, Colbourne, Schenn, and Komisarek/Connolly isn’t even going to get T.O. a sniff at Jordan Staal. Why should it? Komi & Timmy are the textbook examples of ‘salary dump’, and have zero trade value. Colbourne continues to show why he got passed by younger guys on the Bruins depth chart. Schenn might have some reasonable value as a reclamation project- he’s still young enough that he might turn out to be a good top-four blueliner. And Kulemin is a responsible two-way winger…but is coming off a 7-goal season, which means his value has dropped a LOT since the end of the 2010-11 season.

    I could see Shero taking Kulemin and Schenn as part of a deal, but instead of Colbourne and the useless Connolly, Burkie better plan on coughing up that 5th overall pick and probably Gardiner as well. T.O. fans may find that price ridiculously high, but consider this:if you don’t think these guys are worth keeping, why should someone else want them?

    • I stand corrected. Komisarek and Connolly don’t have zero trade value- they have negative trade value.

  14. I cannot see Malkin being traded because if Crosby goes down again, he will have to take over.Everyone talks about Staal as a perfect defensive centre. Well, he has worked at it because when you are the third line centre behind Crosby and Malkin you have no choice. This guy could be a number one centre on any team, and know better than anyone how to play without the puck, but he will never get the chance in Pittsburgh, and you can bet his agent will remind him of that as his contract runs down, and teams start calling.
    After Crosby and Malkin he holds the biggest value on their team, and the Pens could get some more help on the wings and D for sure in exchange.

    • There is a need to move him, because that would be to make room for Staal cap hit and to give Staal more mintues.