Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Frk Inks Entry-Level Deal

In what continues to be a stagnant summer for Detroit, the Red Wings have officially announced that Martin Frk, the Wings' 49th pick overall in the latest entry draft, has signed with Detroit to an entry-level contract.  Frk played last season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL, where he logged 16 goals and 13 assists in 34 games.

An assessment of Frk shows that scouts feel his shooting ability is pro caliber, but many worry about primarily his skating and overall conditioning.  With the system Detroit has in place, Frk will no doubt get the proper care he needs to develop fully into a reliable NHL forward.  If he is able to bring his conditioning and skating up, paired with his already devastating shot, he could wind up becoming a star sniper in the Red Wings' future roster.

During what has an uneventful summer, Detroit fans have been divided, but many feel this offseason has been a huge disappointment as management has not been able to do what they feel is necessary to fill--any more than partially--the gaping holes left by retirement and otherwise departing players.  With the loss of Nick Lidstrom and Brad Stuart on the blueline, defense has been the key concern is Hockeytown, and many fear the best solutions have already been gobbled up by the competition.

Though the signing of Frk is a solid one, perhaps the locking up of prospects is the only thing Wings fans have to look forward to before the next season starts--whenever that may be...

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Quincey Gets Raise, Wings Evade Arbitration

Detroit did what they had to today to keep their blueline from crumbling any further.

Reports are coming in that Kyle Quincey and the Detroit Red Wings have agreed on a 2-year contract, paying Quincey $3.55 Million this coming season, and $4 Million in the next.  This currently makes Quincey the 2nd highest-paid defenceman on the Detroit roster, and unless something drastic happens between now and the start of the season, it will likely stay that way at the beginning of the 2012-2013 campaign.

As of now, only Niklas Kronwall ($4.75M) is paid more to patrol the blueline than Quincey, and Jonathan Ericsson ($3.25M) is right behind him.  The remainder of the Red Wings' defence core consists of Ian White ($2.875M), Jakub Kindl ($0.883M) and Brendan Smith ($0.875M).

Detroit still needs to find some way to plug the enormous hole left by the departure of Nicklas Lidstrom to retirement and the defection of Brad Stuart to San Jose.  Quincey was by no means Top 4 defense caliber during his short tour at the tail end of last season, but perhaps being put through training camp and having time to properly work with his teammates will help him turn his game around.  Detroit has too many woes back at the blueline to foster 4 3rd-pairing D-men if some big help isn't acquired (and assuming a young/average player is brought in to fill out the roster).

The summer is drawing on, and as the halfway point of July has come and gone, Detroit's options are thin.  It seems as though the question has shifted from "What will they do?" to "What can they do...?"

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

UFAs Gone Wild: Wings Weep as Suter, Parise land in Minnesota

It is a worrisome day for Wings fans.

After all the hype and nigh-certainty that the two biggest names on the UFA market were coming to Hockeytown for a run at the Cup, Detroit fans were shocked to hear that Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have both signed with the Minnesota Wild, both landing 13-year, $98 Million contracts.

Isn't that cute?  They match...!

Detroit was desperately hoping to land Suter, arguably even more than Parise, as the void left by the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom and departure of Brad Stuart have left the Wings' blueline dangerously thin.  Losing out on Parise means that the Wings are still lacking a high-offense forward to take over the spot that Jiri Hudler vacated when he signed with Calgary.

Thus far, the Red Wings have signed backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson, Swiss forward Damien Brunner, Nashville pest Jordin Tootoo, and Detroit returnee Mikael Samuelsson.  Many fans were baffled by some of these moves, excited about others, but most all agreed they were simply precursors to the big deals the Wings would ink with Suter and Parise.  Now, Detroit is still left short on the blueline, and the offense still has a huge question mark hovering over its head.

So now that plan A has failed, it's time to see what Ken Holland and the rest of the Red Wings' management have up their sleeves as a contingency plan..