Sunday, June 2, 2013

Geek News: Datsyuk Wants to Stay, Mule is Parked, Filppula Concedes Possible Departure

After the Red Wings saw their season come to a premature close on Wednesday night, it didn't take long for talks of what the offseason would bring as far as players who might be on the move.  Over the last few days, some of those rumors have seen new light and have revealed in part some of the things to expect from the Wings' bigwigs this summer.  Here are some of the most recent stories coming out of Hockeytown:

Datsyuk Hopes to Re-sign - It seems that people have been blowing smoke over comments made by resident magician Pavel Datsyuk with regards to him playing in Russia after his current contract in Detroit expires.  Datsyuk has since come out and said that not only does he hope to sign an extension to stay in Detroit for the foreseeable future, but that his answer to the media's questions about his desire to play in his home country was just that: an honest answer.  Pavel said that it would be great to play in his native country; however, that is still a far cry from him saying that his CURRENT desire was to play there immediately and more desirable than continuing his NHL career.

No Budging Mule from the Budget - In a recent comment from general manager Ken Holland, it was confirmed that Johan Franzen, a player who has garnered a considerable amount of ire from Wings fans this season, isn't going anywhere soon.  When asked if there was a possibility that the Red Wings might use one of their two Amnesty buyouts to pay out 2/3rds of Franzen's contract and send him on his way, Holland replied with a convincing, "No chance.".  Detroit would have to cough up around $15M up front to the Mule, and because of a thin free-agent market, as streaky and fickle as he's been it would still be hard to replace the production that Franzen brings in every year.  What is frustrating about this is that it's obvious Franzen is more talented than the level to which he actually plays, at times looking completely disinterested on the ice.  His contract isn't terrible, it's just that we know based on his past exploits that we should be getting more bang for the buck out of Franzen, but he seems content in the fact that unless we find someone willing to take him in a trade, he can putter along at his 25-30 goal pace every year with no worries of losing ice-time.

Filppula Preparing for Possible Departure - Nothing is set in stone, but it appears Valtteri Filppula is aware of the fact that, should talks not improve with the team, he may have to look to the market for his desired paycheck.  After making it known that he was looking for $5 million per year, talks between Filppula and the Wings came to a grinding halt.  The Wings are faced with a tough decision here as well: do they let Filppula walk and risk losing him and hope a signing of their own or a younger player can step up to fill the position, or do they bite the bullet, ink Filppula to a new deal and hope for the best?  Personally I would see him gone, but as with the Franzen situation the market is already thin, and replacing a guy like Filppula who is serviceable at his current rate of pay would not be easy.  I would suggest that, if necessary, the Wings sign him to his $5 million deal for 2 years.  I would also suggest that they save one of their buyouts if possible and if after the first year we see no improvement or a decline in production, buyout the 2nd year and send Flip packing.  Now more than ever, it's time for Flip to put up or shut up.