HEY WHY CAN'T WE SEE THE GOALIE'S HEAD IN ANY OF THESE PICTURES?
It's been a rough off-season for the NHL's model franchise. Hossa bolts to rival Blackhawks. Samuelsson gets signed by the Canucks. Cap restrictions cause them to sign stop-gaps like Williams (okay) and Bertuzzi (yuck). Dead weight like Matlby and Draper are still on the books. And then Hudler bolts for Russia...
...excpet word is the IIHF isn't going to allow him to honor that agreement. If so, he and his 2.875M cap hit are Detroit property again. That's bad news, because the Wings have already signed replacements and are already above the cap ceiling.
Holland doesn't have a lot of options if things play out like this: even if he sends guys like Draper (1.583M) and Maltby (883k) to the minors and replaces them with the likes of Helm (600k) and Abdelkader (861k) AND if they ran with 7 defensemen rather than the 8 listed on cap geek...they're still under water by about 1.6M with Hudler added in there. Ouch.
Meaning the Wings would have to deep six a couple of the aging vets, promote a couple of kids and give someone away for minimal (read: no salary coming back) return.
The obvious candidate to my eye is Thomas Holmstrom (2.25M). Homer turns 36 in January and has had problems with injuries for years owing to his style of play. He hasn't played more than 60 games in either of the last 2 years and his production is poised to drop off now that he's entering the dreaded 35+ club. He's probably still a useful player (best crease crasher in the league I'd say), but his utility is fading.
Anyways, it's going to be a tough 5 or so weeks for Detroit whatever happens. I wonder if anyone will be able to take advantage?
Last year of his contract. Third line left wing. He can be had for a prospect and/or a pick. Give them Cliche and a pick. Sign me up. This is a no-brainer.
And we know Holland and Lombardi love each other. This is a win-win. Come on, pleeeeeeeease!