Red Wings Offseason 2014: What We’ve Seen Thus Far

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In what some are calling the most disappointing offseason for the Detroit Red Wings in recent memory, assuming no more big moves are made, this team for the 2014-2015 season doesn’t look much different than it did last season. Thanks to the departures of Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson, and pending the re-signing of Daniel Alfredsson, the team did get marginally younger. Here are some of the notable mentions of Detroit’s offseason so far:

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  • Czech Forward Tomas Nosek signed to 2-year entry level deal.
  • Jonas Gustavsson re-signed to 1-year contract at $1.85 million.
  • Riley Sheahan signed to a 2-year contract, worth $950K per season.
  • Danny Cleary re-signed to a 1-year contract, at $1.5 million for the year, plus another possible $1 million in bonuses.
  • Kyle Quincey re-signed to 2-year contract, worth $4.25 million per season.
  • Jordin Tootoo bought out with the last buyout from the lockout-shortened season, and now a UFA.
  • Goalie prospect Thomas McCollum signed to a 1-year contract worth $600K per year.
  • Forwards Mitch Callahan and Andrej Nestrasil both signed to 1-year contracts, worth $555K and $550K for the season, respectively.
  • Tomas Tatar and Danny DeKeyser still pending new contracts.

Pending new contracts for Tatar and DeKeyser, the Red Wings have a little over $8 million in cap space left. After missing out on all of the defense targets in free agency, many of which signed shorter and cheaper contracts with other teams than what Detroit had offered them, if they wish to bolster their blue-line with a right-handed veteran as was the plan, their only real option left would be through trade.

There were a large number of trade rumors going around for a few weeks, with names like Jakub Kindl and Tomas Jurco getting put into the mix. Circulating rumors had Tatar’s name in trade mix, possible going to the Washington Capitals for right-handed veteran defenseman Mike Green. While a good offensive blue-line presence, Green’s defensive abilities and endurance through injury have been called into question. Another rumored possible target is 6’8″ defenseman Tyler Myers out of Buffalo. Kenny Holland has stated in interviews that the trade scene has slowed down across the league now that most of the coveted free agents have been signed, and he doesn’t expect it to pick back up for 5 or 6 weeks or so. Though he will continue trade talks with other GM’s to try and find a fit.

While not a noteworthy offseason by any means, the Red Wings still look prepared to start off next season strong. Once they get their number of forwards figured out, (15 after Tatar is signed to a new deal, and assuming Alfredsson returns, which would leave Jurco the only waiver-exempt youngster left, more than likely forcing him into Gustav Nyquist’s position last season), they’ll look to come out of the gate strong in October and surprise all of us.

-Nathan Webb

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Posted by Nathan Webb
Bleeding whiskey and maple syrup, Nathan is an avid Red Wings fan who fills his lack of interest for other sports with even more hockey. Born and raised in Warren, MI, he's been in the thick of Red Wings culture since day one, and views the game from an analytical and objective standpoint. (@TheSarcastrophe)