On the eve of free agency, the Red Wings have come to terms with Jonathan Ericsson, meaning they will return five of their top 7 defensemen from last season. Ruslan Salei will not be offered a contract, and Brian Rafalski has opted out of the last year of his 5 year, $30M contract for retirement. Ericsson was taken by the Wings at 291st overall, the last pick in the 2002 draft. Ericsson’s will be under contract with the Wings for three seasons, at a cap hit of $3.25M.
I was offered an opportunity to write a guest post for Center Ice Chat, which is run by Kyle Bauer of DSN Radio. This is the first of what I hope will be many entries on his site. Take a minute to read my post, and then browse around his site. Don’t forget to come back here afterwards though!
Yesterday, I brought you an article by NBC Sports, where the Wings were given top marks for their 9 player draft class, all of which were taken in the second round or later on Saturday afternoon.
Today, Yahoo! Sports gets in on the game, offering up some praise of their own for the Red Wings and their ability to locate, evaluate and harvest talent.
NBC published an article today outlining who they thought were the winners of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Who took home the top spot? You’re very own Detroit Red Wings! Read the full article here from NBC, and follow after the jump for my analysis. Also, click here for all of my draft analysis.
Quick, name the best quality about defenseman Nick Lidstrom!
If you said the calm, simple, almost effortless way he plays the game, you’d be right.
With the draft only two days away, we are nearing the end of my Player Profiles, designed to get you ready for Friday night’s festivities. I’ve scoured the globe examining the best talent that could be available when Ken Holland steps up to the podium to announce the Red Wings first selection of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, at 24th overall. The list of players I have profiled includes:
Joel Armia, the Finnish Ace.
Rickard Rakell, the skilled Swede playing his junior hockey in nearby Plymouth, MI.
Tomas Jurco, of the Memorial Cup winning Saint John Seadogs.
Vladislav Namestnikov, the talented Russian with all those Red Wings connections.
All of the above are supremely talented forwards, and the Red Wings would be thrilled to have any of them. However, if I had to wager a guess on what position the Red Wings will address with their first pick, it would have to be defense.
Late last week, the Red Wings announced the signing of 2009 7th round pick Adam Almqvist to a three year entry-level contract. Today, they inked one of their two third round choices from that year, Andrej Nestrasil, to a similar deal. The deadline to get both players under contract was Wednesday, June 1st.
The Wings stormed out to a two goal lead and never looked back, winning their second straight and dispatching the visiting Minnesota Wild. Though it lacked the same passion and intensity of yesterday’s game against a Nashville squad that is quickly climbing the ranks among the Red Wings top rivals, it was a similar gritty effort that got the job done for the Wings. The win clinched the Central division for the Wings, as the Chicago Blackhawks can now only tie them in points, but would lose out on the tie-breaker.
This is an article I have thought about writing for a while, but now seems like the best time to do it. With the Wings on a three game losing streak, the critics have started to come out of the woodwork to voice their displeasure with the current direction of the team. So, the question is simple…are Wings fans spoiled?