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Detroit Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood ended the speculation and announced during a conference call that he has decided to retire from professional hockey. Originally people were assuming Osgood was set to come back, but it turns out he opted for retirement instead.
Osgood leaves the game of hockey (as a player) with 401 career wins. 317 of them came with him in a Red Wings uniform, including 16 in the 1998 NHL playoffs and 14 in the 2008 playoffs. Those two years Osgood led the Red Wings to Stanley Cup titles as a starter. He captured another Cup as a backup in 1997 and came within one game of winning a third ring as a starter in 2009.
Osgood retires as the 10th winningest goalie all-time in the NHL. He finishes second on the Red Wings' all-time list behind Terry Sawchuk for wins with the team. Osgood's list of career achievements also includes two William M. Jennings Trophies, two All-Star Game appearances, and one career goal, which he scored against the Hartford Whalers in 1996.
Although Osgood is leaving the game of hockey as a player, he is staying with the Red Wings as a goalie consultant. He will get to work with the team's goalie prospects and stay around the team even after his playing days are done. Kirk Maltby and Chris Chelios also took jobs with the Red Wings after they retired, and Kris Draper may be next on the list with a decision about his future looming.
On Monday all signs pointed to goaltender Chris Osgood re-signing with the Detroit Red Wings for one season and returning to be Jimmy Howard's backup. Just like when Nicklas Lidstrom re-signed, the Red Wings scheduled a conference call with Osgood, and the Detroit Free Press' Helene St. James even reported that the purpose of the call was to announce Osgood's return.
Early Tuesday morning, however, MLive's Ansar Khan reported that Osgood is actually going to announce his retirement on the conference call. Khan also reported that the Osgood has already accepted a job with the Red Wings to work their goalie prospects.
In addition to the news about Osgood, Khan says the Red Wings are expected to sign goalie Ty Conklin at some point this week. Ken Holland has already confirmed that the team has had talks with Conklin about returning to Detroit to be the team's backup goalie. If Osgood does in fact retire, the door for Conklin to return will be wide open.
While nothing will be official until Osgood announces it on the conference call on Tuesday, Khan's report certainly seems to be the accurate one. Not only does he have information about Osgood's plans after he calls it a career, but Khan also spoke to Osgood's agent and learned this:
Rollie Thompson, Osgood's long-time agent, said Monday night that he had not spoken to Osgood or Holland on Monday.
"There has been no contract talks," Thompson said. "There's been no discussions, so I don't know how there would be a contract."
One thing is for sure: Osgood's call just got a whole lot more interesting. Originally the thinking was he would discuss his return and that would be it. Now it looks like one of the Red Wings' all-time best goalies could be hanging up his skates.
The Detroit Red Wings have announced that a conference call with goaltender Chris Osgood will be held at noon (Eastern Time) on Tuesday. Details about what the call will be about were not disclosed, but chances are Osgood has re-signed for another season with the team.
When Nicklas Lidstrom re-signed earlier in the offseason, a conference call was similarly scheduled to announce the news. Nobody expected Lidstrom to retire over the phone, so it was easy to read between the lines and figure out he was coming back for at least another season.
I would expect this to be the case with Osgood as well. He just met with Red Wings general manager Ken Holland this past weekend out in British Columbia, and if the decision was made for Osgood to retire, chances are an actual press conference would be held at Joe Louis Arena. Since this is just a conference call, I think it's safe to say Osgood has been re-signed as the team's backup goalie for next season.
Assuming the Osgood situation is resolved on Tuesday, the next order of business for Holland and the Red Wings will be to decide what is going to happen with Kris Draper for next season.
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland told Ansar Khan on Thursday that fans shouldn't expect to hear anything about who the team's backup goaltender will be until next week. Originally the plan was for Holland to meet with Chris Osgood in British Columbia on Thursday to talk about next season, but now that discussion won't take place until this weekend.
As a result, Holland isn't planning to make a decision until next week.
"I anticipate early next week I'll know what I'm going to do in goal,'' Holland said.
If things don't work out with Osgood for some reason, chances are Ty Conklin will get a contract offer. The Red Wings have been in talks with his agent, and Holland says other goalies' agents have been in contact as well.
Holland also says that the Red Wings have time on their hands, so there is no need to rush a decision. Even so, it would be nice for all involved to have this situation resolved sometime soon.
It seems the Detroit Red Wings' backup goaltender situation could be figured out by the end of the week. After originally hoping to fill the vacancy when free agency opened at the start of the month, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has spent the last few weeks debating if the team should re-sign Chris Osgood or sign a free agent like Ty Conklin instead.
Earlier this week Holland said he was finally ready to make a decision; he just wants to talk to Osgood first. According to Holland, that discussion is going to happen on Thursday in British Columbia.
Before making a decision, Holland will meet with Chris Osgood in Vernon, British Columbia, Thursday night. Osgood on Tuesday returned to Detroit from his golf trip to Scotland and Ireland.
"We’re going to have a conversation face-to-face," Holland said. "Sometime on Friday or Saturday, after talking to him, I’ll probably have a decision on what we’re doing."
Holland went on to say that he wants to talk to Osgood to make sure he hasn't changed his mind about playing next season. Holland thinks the trip to Europe could have resulted in a change of heart since Osgood had so much time to think things over, but he's not really sure one way or another.
Based on Holland's comments, it sure sounds like the backup goalie job is Osgood's if he wants it. Osgood just needs to make it clear he's ready to play for another season before Holland makes things official.
It was expected that the Red Wings were going to have their backup goaltender situation straightened out by now, but Chris Osgood isn't returning from his golf trip to Scotland until Tuesday (today). He is heading to British Columbia once he gets back to North America, so it looks as though Red Wings general manager Ken Holland won't get a chance to speak with Osgood until Wednesday.
"There’s a couple of guys we have an interest in the open market and there’s Chris Osgood," Holland said. "I want to talk to him before I make a decision."
From the sounds of it, Holland wants to make sure Osgood is healthy and ready to play for another season before deciding anything. At this point it is really down to another season with Osgood as the backup or bringing back Ty Conklin. The free agent market is sparse after the Red Wings were unable to land a guy like Tomas Vokoun, so it's entirely possible they will decide just to go with Osgood, especially with as the Wings' insurance policy. re-signing
Holland also wants to talk with Kris Draper sometime this week to decide what is going to happen with his future. Forward is pretty much set for the Red Wings unless a trade happens, so Draper could be headed for retirement.
Goaltender Joey MacDonald was not originally planning on coming back to the Red Wings next season. He was holding out hope for a one-way deal that would give him a chance to play all year in the NHL, and if that didn't work out he reportedly had an offer to play in Russia.
Things have changed and the plan has been altered, because MacDonald agreed to a two-year deal with the Red Wings on Monday. There were indications last week that something might be in the works with MacDonald, and now he is set to be with the Red Wings organization for the next two seasons.
Re-signing MacDonald helps with the Red Wings' depth at goalie, but he will not serve as the backup goaltender unless an injury happens. Jim Nill said that MacDonald is "a little insurance policy," so chances are MacDonald will be in the same role as last season. He will spend time in Grand Rapids, but if an injury happens to Jimmy Howard or the backup goalie, MacDonald could be called up to Detroit.
Right now it's not clear if MacDonald's deal is a one-way or two-way contract.
UPDATE: MacDonald is in fact on a two-way contract for 2011-12, so he will be able to move freely between Detroit and Grand Rapids. In 2012-13, his contract is a one-way deal.
Although the Detroit Red Wings appear to be set at forward for next season, they signed right wing Chris Conner to a one-year deal on Thursday. Connor's deal gives him a two-way contract, which will allow him to move freely between Detroit and Grand Rapids.
Conner, a native of Westland, Michigan, went to college at Michigan Tech and spent most of last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He started the season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, but he was called up to Pittsburgh after only 11 games in the AHL. He ended up playing in 60 games for the Penguins and scored seven goals during the regular season. He also appeared in seven playoff games and scored one goal.
Conner is expected to compete for a spot with the Red Wings during training camp and the preseason. Since the forward position is pretty full and Connor is on a two-way deal, chances are he will be with the Griffins unless the Red Wings are dealing with a bunch of injuries. Like with Pittsburgh, he could always start the year in Grand Rapids and later be called up to Detroit.
Although the rumors that surfaced on Tuesday about Ty Conklin signing with the Red Wings were not true, it's possible they were just a bit premature. Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said later on Tuesday that no moves involving a backup goaltender will be made until later in the week, but Ansar Khan reports that the team is in negotiations with Conklin.
The club is negotiating with Conklin’s agent, hoping to sign the 35-year-old as its backup goaltender.
A source said Tuesday that Detroit has "a pretty good chance" to sign Conklin.
Holland wants to talk to Chris Osgood before any decisions are made on Jimmy Howard's backup for next season. Osgood is set to return from a golf trip in Scotland on Saturday, so a decision could be made by the end of the weekend.
Khan also reports that the Red Wings are talking to Joey MacDonald. Originally MacDonald didn't have plans to consider a return to the Red Wings since he wasn't offered a one-way deal. MacDonald hoped to land a one-way offer elsewhere, but he could still apparently return on a one-way deal and be the starter in Grand Rapids. While he wouldn't be with the Red Wings, he would be able to serve as the emergency third goaltender.
The Detroit Red Wings bolstered their depth on defense by signing Ian White and Mike Commodore last week. This week they have bolstered their defensive depth in Grand Rapids by signing defensemen to one-year deals. and
Pyett was selected by the Red Wings 212th overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He spent the past three seasons in Grand Rapids with the Griffins and was a restricted free agent this offseason. By re-signing with the team, Pyett will spend at least one more year in Grand Rapids.
Exelby is a much more experienced player than Pyett. Exelby played with the Atlanta Thrashers from 2003 to 2009 and spent the 2009-10 season with the Maple Leafs. Last year, he played exclusively in the AHL with the Rockford IceHogs, and now he is expected to do the same with the Griffins in the 2011-12 season.
While both of these players could theoretically play with the Red Wings in the event of a rash of injuries, neither is expected to spend time in Detroit.
The Detroit Red Wings' final major need this offseason is to sign a backup goaltender. Some of the Wings' options include signing free agent Ty Conklin, re-signing Chris Osgood for one more season or making a trade to fill the need.
Based on everything Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has said over the last month, it seemed like re-signing Osgood was the least likely option to actually happen. Holland has made it sound like the team would prefer to go in a different direction because the risk of signing Osgood is too high with his injury issues. Now, though, Holland is making it clear that if the Red Wings have to bring back Osgood, they are okay with it.
"The market for goalies is pretty picked over," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "We're comfortable with Chris Osgood if we have to do it."
It sounds like Osgood is the Red Wings' last resort, but I doubt he minds all that much. If Detroit can't make a trade or opts against signing a free agent like Conklin, I'm sure Osgood will be more than happy with being the last resort if he ends up getting to come back for one more season.
Defenseman Ruslan Salei, who spent the past year with the Detroit Red Wings, is going to play in the KHL next season. Specifically, Salei is going to suit up for Lokomotiv, which is the team that hired former Red Wings assistant Brad McCrimmon as its head coach.
When NHL free agency opened, the thinking was that Salei would try to sign with a team closer to his home in California. If that didn't work out, Salei's other main hope was that the Red Wings would still have a need on defense and decide to bring him back. However, with the Red Wings signing Mike Commodore and Ian White, any chance of Salei returning to Detroit was eliminated.
Salei's decision to go to the KHL with McCrimmon isn't all that surprising. He probably will get a pretty nice payday, and he doesn't have to wait around for an NHL team to make him an offer. I figured he would end up with a team in the NHL out West, but he's certainly not the first NHL player to go the KHL route.
White is a 5-foot-10 defenseman that spent last season with the San Jose Sharks, Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames. A year ago he re-signed with the Flames after playing there in 2009-10, and Calgary traded him in November to the Hurricanes. Carolina then moved him to San Jose in February, and he played against Detroit in the playoffs.
Because the Red Wings got an up-close look at him for that seven-game series, Ken Holland has a good idea of the kind of player Detroit is getting.
"We've seen him a lot in the San Jose series,'' general manager Ken Holland told Booth Newspapers. "He can play on the power play, he's a competitor. He's a guy that thinks the game. He's got the skills. We've got skilled defensemen in (Nicklas) Lidstrom, (Niklas) Kronwall, others, and he's comfortable playing with them.''
The Red Wings' defense going into next season now includes Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart, Ian White, Jonathan Ericsson, Mike Commodore, Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith. The first five spots seem to be set, so Commodore, Kindl and Smith will likely battle it out for a spot on the third pairing.
TSN.ca reports the deal is worth $60 million over nine years, which comes out to about $6.6 million a season. Richards will provide the Rangers with a potent 1-2 punch along with Marion Gaborik.
It was thought the Red Wings would have an outside chance at landing Richards with their extended amount of cap room and reputation for winning. In the end, $6.5 million a year actually doesn’t seem too far out of their price range and would have gave them plenty of room to sign a back-up goalie.
The Red Wings will be left with an extremely thin talent pool, possibly leaving them with room to spare under the salary cap when the season starts. They’d still like another defenseman to go along with a backup goalie despite having signed Mike Commodore yesterday. Veteran goalie Chris Osgood also remains an option and would be cheap, but it appears Detroit is using him as a last resort. The Red Wings, however, aren’t going to overpay players they deem unworthy of the money:
“We would like to have made a bigger move, but there wasn’t a lot of opportunity,’’ general manager Ken Holland said. “We explored, but in a lot of cases the money or the term went way beyond where we were willing to go. In a lot of cases, we couldn’t provide the opportunity for them to have a bigger role when they looked at our roster.
“(Forwards) look at our lineup and don’t want to come here if they can’t be a top-six forward, and we don’t want to pay them (top-six money) if they’re bottom six.’’
James Wisniewski, one of the Red Wings potential free agent targets, exemplified this more than ever. After signing a six-year deal with Columbus for $5 million a season, he told reporters that Detroit doesn’t pay market value for its players. Hearing this makes me kinda happy Detroit didn’t pursue him, especially with the shoddy market this year.
The Red Wings aren’t done with free agency yet, but they don’t have a whole lot of needs to fill either. Here’s the potential remaining targets left (with last salary in parentheses):
Commodore was bought out of his contract by the Columbus Blue Jackets, where he played from 2008-2011. In 11 NHL seasons, Commodore has 23 goals and 81 assists. Commodore is known more for his physical play than his offensive prowess, but he does bring a right-handed shot on the blue line, something Detroit lost when Brian Rafalski retired.
Ansar Khan notes the potential awkwardness of the deal, as Commodore and Wings head coach Mike Babcock have a bit of history:
Interesting signing, since Commodore has had issues with Red Wings coach Mike Babcock when they were in Anaheim, publicly ripping him a couple of years ago when he played for the Blue Jackets.
At $1 million for one year, this is a low-risk, high-reward signing for Detroit. He came significantly cheaper than someone like James Wisniewski (6 years, $33 million from Columbus) or Christian Erhoff (10 years, $40 million from Buffalo).
The deal leaves the Wings about $10 million under the cap, which is plenty of room to sign a backup goalie and possibly a scoring forward.
Despite negotiations reportedly not making much progress as of Thursday night, the Detroit Red Wings re-signed forward Drew Miller just as NHL free agency was about to open on Friday. Miller's deal, according to Nick Kypreos, is for two years and is worth $1.65 million. That means Miller's cap hit is only $825,000 per season.
Miller joins Jonathan Ericsson and Patrick Eaves as players that have re-signed or agreed to terms with the Red Wings. Ericsson agreed to terms with the Red Wings on Thursday night, and Eaves did the same on Friday morning. Earlier this week it wasn't clear if any of these players would be re-signed before free agency opened, but now all three are set to return to the Red Wings for the next two or three years.
With Miller and Eaves re-signing and the Red Wings withdrawing their offer to Jaromir Jagr, they are pretty much set at forward. If a trade were to happen a spot could be opened up, but for now it looks like no more moves need to made at forward, meaning Kris Draper will not likely be offered a deal to return to Detroit as a player.
Detroit now needs to worry about finding a top-four defenseman and a backup goaltender, as those are the two biggest needs for the team moving forward.
NHL free agency opens in less than an hour, and the Detroit Red Wings have agreed to terms with forward Patrick Eaves, as first reported by Craig Custance of the Sporting News. Eaves' deal is for three years and is worth $3.6 million ($1.2 million per year).
With Eaves agreeing to terms on Friday and Jonathan Ericsson doing the same on Thursday night, the Red Wings can turn their their focus to attempting to sign free agents and re-sign Drew Miller. The last update we heard on the Miller negotiations was that not much progress was being made, so Miller will likely become a free agent. Even so, I'm sure Detroit will continue to try and sign him, and if they don't, it could mean Kris Draper gets another year with the Red Wings.
In addition to Miller and Draper, Chris Osgood is also set to become a free agent at noon (Eastern Time). The Red Wings have already made it known they want Miller back, but that is not the case for Draper and Osgood. Detroit will explore the market before making a final decision on those two, so they could be waiting for a week or two to find out if another year with the Red Wings is in the cards.
On the eve of NHL free agency, the Detroit Red Wings have agreed to terms with defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. Ericsson's deal is "believed to be" worth $9.75 million over three years, which seems like a lot given how Ericsson played last season. I guess this is the offseason of overpaying players across the league, though.
In any case, the Red Wings can now focus on getting deals done with forwards Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller. Ken Holland said on Thursday that progress has been made with Eaves' agent, indicating that a deal is likely before free agency starts at noon (Eastern Time) on Friday. Things aren't looking as good with Miller, though.
The Red Wings also are trying to re-sign forward Drew Miller, but are not close.
"Just had a philosophical conversation (with his agent),'' Holland said. "I made an offer. Can't say we're making a lot of progress.''
If Detroit is unable to re-sign Miller and Jaromir Jagr ends up going elsewhere, it's possible this could be the opening for Kris Draper to return to the Red Wings for one more season.
NHL free agency opens on Friday, meaning the Detroit Red Wings' time to re-sign defenseman Jonathan Ericsson before he hits the open market is running out. The Red Wings have been negotiating with Ericsson's agent about a new deal for a while, but so far the two sides haven't been able to come to an agreement. Ken Holland is trying to get something done, though.
"We've done a lot of talking (with Ericsson's agent) the last 4-5 days,'' Holland said. "We'd like to re-sign him. I don't think money's as big an issue. He's 27, he wants to know where he fits going forward and how it affects his role.
"We'll see between now and Friday if we can get a deal done.''
Holland doesn't exactly sound all that confident in getting Ericsson re-signed. My feeling is if Ericsson hits the open market he will end up signing with another team. Quite a few teams out there are looking for defensemen and/or need to sign some bigger deals to get to the cap floor, so I wouldn't be surprised if a team overpays for Ericsson.
Holland told Ansar Khan that the situation with Ericsson is similar to the situations with Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller. The Red Wings are trying to re-sign them, but it's not clear right now if they will be able to get a deal done before Friday. Even if they are unable to, I think Eaves and Miller are much less likely to sign elsewhere.
Two players that we know will not be signing elsewhere are Kris Draper and Chris Osgood. The long-time Red Wings have basically said that they will play in Detroit for another season or retire, but right now neither player knows if he will be offered.
Holland told both players that no offer will be made before Friday because the Red Wings want to get a look at their free agent options. If they don't see anybody that would be an upgrade and need to fill spots, Draper and Osgood could still be brought back. For Draper, his return could come down to whether or not the Red Wings re-sign Eaves and Miller, and Osgood's return will hinge on the Red Wings not finding a solid backup goaltender at a reasonable price.
NHL free agency begins on Friday. That means that for the Detroit Red Wings, it is important to get their free agents re-signed before they hit the open market. It's not an absolute necessity, but for someone like Jonathan Ericsson, Detroit clearly wants to get a new deal done before the rest of the NHL has a chance to talk to him.
While in Minnesota for the 2011 NHL Draft on Saturday, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland met with Ericsson's agent. Holland said the two sides are "in the same ballpark" and that another discussion with Ericsson's agent is scheduled for Monday.
Salary demands have been the big issue in these negotiations in the past, but now it looks like Ericsson wants to be clear about where he stands in the Red Wings' defensive plans before signing a new deal.
"A little bit of the conversation that's going on with Ericsson's camp is where we see him fitting in," Holland said.
Apparently the agents representing Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller haven't gotten back to Holland yet about offers they received, so for right now not much progress is being made with those two free agents.
The Detroit Red Wings' biggest need this offseason is defense. With Brian Rafalski retiring, Detroit needs to find a top-four defenseman for next season. They also will likely need a defenseman that can compete to be a part of the third pairing, because Ruslan Salei is not expected to be brought back.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has already informed Salei that he will not be offered a deal to return to the team before July 1, the day free agency opens. If the Red Wings haven't filled all of their defensive needs as the summer progresses and Salei is still without a team, then a deal could happen. For now, Holland doesn't want to tie up a roster spot for when free agency opens.
With Salei not being offered a deal to re-sign at all or at least not anytime soon, the Red Wings will go into free agency with Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall, Brad Stuart and Jakub Kindl under contract. Of course, that's barring a trade, but as it stands right now, those are the guys that are under contract and were on the NHL roster last year.
Doug Janik is also under contract with the Red Wings, but he spent almost all of last season in Grand Rapids. Brendan Smith was in Grand Rapids with Janik, but the former Wisconsin Badger is expected to compete for a spot with the Red Wings this year.
Long-time Red Wings Kris Draper and Chris Osgood are waiting to hear if they will be brought back by the team for one more season. Neither has been informed of a decision yet because Red Wings GM Ken Holland has not yet made any decisions. Holland said that he is waiting for free agency to open and for the Red Wings to have an opportunity to evaluate all of their options.
"Right now, we owe it to ourselves to wait till July 1," Holland said. "I’ll talk to both players, but so much is unknown right now. We don’t know who is going to be on the market July 1. Is there somebody out there we think brings something we’d like to our team?
While Holland made it clear no decisions have been made on the status of Draper and Osgood, it certainly doesn't sound like the two players are going to be offered contracts to return next season.
"We owe it to ourselves to look at options. The torch has to be passed. If 40-year-olds aren’t passing the torch, we aren’t going anywhere."
With , the Red Wings will need to find a backup goalie. Osgood wants the job, but the Red Wings aren't sure if he is worth the risk given the injury issues that have plagued him the last two seasons. If not for those issues, Osgood would probably be brought back for sure, but the Red Wings are going to take a look at which goaltenders are free agents before deciding either way. not returning
As for Draper, the problem he is facing is a lack of room on the roster. The Red Wings already have 11 forwards signed for next season, and Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller are both probably going to be brought back as well. Cory Emmerton is also likely going to be on the roster since the Red Wings won't want to expose him to waivers, meaning there just isn't room for Draper as it stands right now. Obviously if players are traded a spot could open up, but it doesn't look good for Draper right now.
The Red Wings have many needs as the NHL offseason begins, and the majority of them are defense related. Brian Rafalski's decision to retire created a big hole in the Red Wings' defense, and with Nicklas Lidstrom potentially hanging up his skates as well, moves will have to be made to shore up the defense for next season.
A move will also have to be made to fill the hole at backup goaltender. Joey MacDonald performed well in the role for the Red Wings at the end of last season, but he is not going to return to the team. As reported by Ansar Khan, MacDonald wants to sign a one-way deal with an NHL team, and the Red Wings are apparently not interested in offering that to him.
MacDonald hopes to land a job with another NHL team when free agency begins on July 1. If he can't, MacDonald reportedly has the backup plan of a one-year, $1 million deal to play in Russia. Since he doesn't want to potentially be stuck in the AHL, MacDonald would rather move on to another NHL team or another league than take a two-way deal with the Red Wings.
What this means for the Red Wings is they will need to find somebody to back up Jimmy Howard next season. Chris Osgood wants the job, but it's not clear just yet if the Red Wings will bring him back. Chances are Detroit will evaluate all of its options at the start of free agency and go from there.
Like Chris Osgood, Kris Draper wants to play another season in the NHL, but he is going to be a free agent this offseason. While the Red Wings have already indicated they want some free agents back, general manager Ken Holland has been noncommittal when asked about what will happen with Osgood and Draper.
While Osgood may only have to worry about somebody like Joey MacDonald taking his spot, Draper has had to compete with many young forwards in the last couple years, and even more young guys are expected to challenge for spots on the roster next season. The Red Wings' forward depth is solid, which could leave Draper on the outside looking in. The 40-year-old wants to play with the Red Wings for one more season, but there's no telling if the Red Wings will want him back or not.
In order to prove to Holland that he is deserving of a spot on next season's team, Draper has been busy working out, and on Wednesday he worked out with Detroit Lions players at Detroit Country Day. Lions players have been holding player-organized workouts because the NFL is in lockout mode, and the trainer that runs them also works with Draper.
Draper impressed the Lions players at the workout and even caught a pass from Matthew Stafford. Draper said he wished the media wouldn't have been kicked out of the session and that Holland would have been there to see him.
"If Kenny (Holland, Red Wings general manager) could've seen me working out, he would have made a decision right away," Draper said. "They (the Lions) wanted you guys to go away, but I wanted you to stay. I want Kenny to see exactly what I was doing."
Draper likely will find out what Holland's plans are for him in the next seven to 10 days. If he is offered a one-way deal, Draper will re-sign with the team and play one more season. If he is offered a two-way deal (like Kirk Maltby last year before he retired) or isn't offered one at all, Draper will retire and join the Red Wings' front office.
Since he still feels he can play, Draper was asked about signing with another team if the Red Wings don't offer him a contract. While he didn't completely say no to the idea, Draper seemed pretty set that he will play for the Red Wings next season or simply retire. At this point his future, like Osgood's, will likely come down to whether or not Holland decides to offer a contract for next season.
A few Detroit Red Wings players went into this offseason considering retirement. Defenseman Brian Rafalski, for example, already announced he has retired from professional hockey. Fellow defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom could do the same thing, but he has not made a decision just yet.
Rollie Thompson, Osgood's agent, told Red Wings general manager Ken Holland late last week the veteran goaltender would like to extend his career one more season.
The interesting thing about this situation is the decision to return doesn't mean Osgood will for sure be back with the Red Wings. General manager Ken Holland hasn't committed to re-signing Osgood, who dealt with injuries throughout the 2010-11 season.
Holland plans on discussing the matter with the front office, coaches and scouts later this month, but for now Osgood's status for next season is up in the air. If Joey MacDonald hadn't done so well as the backup toward the end of the season, I think it would be an easy decision to re-sign Osgood. MacDonald filled in quite admirably, though, and it's possible he could have earned the backup job for next season over Osgood.
For the Red Wings, deciding what to do with Osgood will ultimately come down to what makes the most sense for the team. Taking emotion out of the equation, the Red Wings have to figure out if re-signing Osgood is the right move for the team next season.
The Detroit Red Wings are getting set to formulate their plans for the upcoming offseason. On June 14 and 15, the front office and scouting staff will meet to decide which free agents the Red Wings should re-sign, and they will also look ahead to the NHL Draft and NHL free agency. At that time decisions will be made about guys like Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller, Chris Osgood and Kris Draper.
It is very likely that Eaves, who has been solid for the Red Wings the last two seasons, will be offered a deal to return to Detroit. If an offer does come his way, he will likely accept it.
"I really like it here," said Eaves, 27. "I’ve enjoyed playing with all of the guys here, so now comes the not-fun part."
The chances of Miller being offered a deal seem pretty good, but things are much less certain for Osgood and Draper. The long-time Red Wings are getting older, and their roles on the team are diminishing. Taking emotion out of the equation, the front office will have to decide if it would be worthwhile to bring the two back. Of course, Osgood hasn't decided on playing another season just yet, but it sounds like Draper wants to return.
One player the Red Wings have already made clear they want back is Jonathan Ericsson. The problem is it's not clear if Ericsson and Detroit will be able to agree on a new deal. Ansar Khan reports that Ericsson turned down a deal worth $2 million a year during last season, and it's tough to believe the Red Wings will offer anything significantly more than that for a third-pairing defenseman.
Ken Holland met with Ericsson's agent last week at the NHL Combine in an attempt to bring the two sides closer together. Although Holland said the meeting went well, I get the feeling that Ericsson will test free agency. After all, if Brett Lebda can get a deal for $2.9 million, there's probably a team out there willing to overpay Ericsson as well. That could make it difficult for Detroit to bring him back considering they will not overpay him.
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