Sunday, August 01, 2004

Jiri Fischer re-signed by Detroit

The Red Wings have signed Jiri Fischer to a one-year, $1.5 million contract on his 24th birthday (7/31/1980). This leaves center Pavel Datsyuk as the lone restricted free agent for the Wings, with Mathieu Dandenault, Jason Williams and Jiri Fischer all signed in July. Boyd Devereaux was a restricted free agent, but was signed by the Phoenix Coyotes early in July. The Wings drafted Fischer in the 1998 draft (25th overall, 1st round). His size (6'5" and 228 lbs) and poise at the blue line have made him a highly sought after budding defenseman whenever the Wings engage in trade talks. The native Czech made $1.18 million last season, and his $1.5 million salary for 2004-2005 is just above his 10% qualifying offer ($1.298 million). While the Wings have touted Fischer as their future defensive superstar, his playoff meltdown this past season was extremely disappointing. In Game 4:
"A Jiri Fischer goof at the Wings' blue line led to a Nieminen/Donovan 2-on-1. Cujo made the save of the game as Nieminen passed across to Donovan at the backdoor. Cujo stacked his pads and robbed the Flames. It was a pivotal save, as it kept Calgary from gaining any more momentum."
In Game 5:
"Fischer put himself 10 feet out of position in an effort to level Jarome Iginla along the boards. Iginla calmly sent the puck forward to Conroy who was then free to come in on Joseph all alone. Fischer tried to get back in time but he was too late and Conroy beat CuJo high to make it 1-0 Flames."
The Flames went on to win Game 5, 1-0. Dave Lewis built a doghouse and swiftly threw Jiri in it in Game 6, benching him for his Game 5 gaffe and relative sloppiness all Calgary series. And looking back at the Wings' 4-2 series win over the Predators, Jiri had one or two dumb penalties each game. Hopefully Jiri can regain his confidence and mature into the steady defenseman he has the potential to become. Being a top ten defenseman is not out of the question for Fischer. The Wings are still very far apart in their negotiations with Pavel Datsyuk, but remain hopeful to sign the team's MVP sometime in August. Signing Chris Chelios is a mere formality, as he has agreed to a base salary of approximately $2.5 million for one season, and only negotiating bonus clauses keep Cheli from inking the deal to stay with the Wings. Chelios is training in California. The Wings will sign Mathieu Schneider only if he agrees to a salary in the neighborhood of $4 million. But with the Blues' signing of defenseman Chris Pronger for $10 million, Schneider is sure to argue that his 14 goal, 32 assist season and seventh finish in Norris voting merits a raise from his $3.75 million salary last season. Word is that Schneider is looking for a deal around $4.5 to $5 million. Steve Yzerman will return for his 22nd season with the Wings if he decides to forego retirement and is fully recovered from his eye injury. UPDATE The Detroit Free Press reports that the Wings have signed Jiri Fischer to a 3-year, $5.2 million contract. Mlive reports that Fischer will earn $1.5 million, $1.75 million, and $1.9 million the next three seasons. I initially reported that it was a one-year deal since no news outlets had reported of the signing yesterday, so I could only see that he was signed through next season via his NHLPA profile. One-year deals are very popular this summer, with the looming lockout and uncertainty as to the format of the new CBA, which could set a salary cap. But I'm glad to see that Jiri will be here for three more seasons!


Post a Comment

Bookmark this post On the Wings

Search this site

<< Home

[Powered by Blogger]