Tuesday, January 04, 2005

1/4 Notes

The Detroit News has an interesting piece today in which they discuss the difficult personnel decisions the Red Wings front office will be faced with under a new CBA. All of this is assuming there is no salary reduction mechanism put in place under a new system (i.e. The rollbacks either the NHL or the NHLPA proposed). The Wings currently have 11 players signed for next season and will spend $37.4 million on just those eleven. There are three players that have options, Curtis Joseph, Brendan Shanahan and Mark Mowers but the News expects only Shanahan and Mowers to return. This is because the option on Joseph's contract is only activated if he wins a Cup or six playoff series over the three years of his contract. The paper points out that if there is no season, he can't accomplish either one of those goals and that means he won't be with the team next season. That came as a surprise to me since I don't ever remember hearing those contract terms. I'm not sure that I mind, however. Joseph's been a good goalie but hasn't lived up to the rather high expectations we fans have here in Hockeytown. It probably is time for someone else to have the job. Anyway, if the Wings just bring back Mowers and Shanahan to add to the 11 they already have signed, their payroll would stand at $40.75 million, a number which is likely to be well above any salary cap level imposed by the NHL. They are obviously going to have to do something about that, beyond not signing players. A lot of players will be forced to take pay cuts if they want to stay on the team. Other than the Joseph thing, there isn't much new information in the article, except for the tidbit that Henrik Zetterberg is seen, "as the one who will carry the torch after Yzerman retires." So they think he'll be the next captain? That goes against the impressions I've been getting. To me, it seems like Kris Draper is next in line, even though he is not even an alternate captain at the moment. We may very well have that question answered next season, especially since it looks like there will not be a 2004-2005 season for sure now. Steve Yzerman has said that he can't see himself playing again if the NHL takes a whole season off and that scenario is becoming more likely by the day. (via. DetNews)


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