Saturday, July 16, 2005

Dmitri Bykov Ready to Return

Defenseman Dmitri Bykov, 28, is ready to return to the Wings after two seasons with Ak Bars Kazan. Bykov played 71 regular season games with the Wings during the 2002-2003 season. Then, during the summer of 2003, Bykov signed a two-year, tax-free contract worth $2 million with Ak Bars Kazan. He had previously made $605,000 with the Wings, and at that time stated his intent on returning to the NHL for the 2005-2006 season. It's a mixed message though, as Bykov stated his intention of signing with Moscow Dynamo last month, but a release clause and an NHL deal with the IIHF could get around that. Says Gary Greenstein, Bykov's agent:
"NHL rights on Bykov are still owned by Detroit Red Wings organization but he can not join the team until the end of this season. But next season, of course if there is no lockout, his return to North America is quite possible. In Detroit they follow Dmitri's game in Russia and like it, they show some desire to get Bykov back."
Bykov could be a valuable salary cap commodity - and especially with doubts about defensemen Chris Chelios, Jason Woolley, Jamie Rivers, Mathieu Schneider, and even Nick Lidstrom returning. In addition, Mathieu Dandenault is un-signed, and Derian Hatcher is an obvious buyout candidate. Yikes. The only defenseman the Wings currently have signed and whose status is not in peril is Jiri Fischer. I'd also expect AHL All Star Niklas Kronwall to make the roster. One of many Lidstrom-related hangups with cap room comes with the 20% clause - whereby no player can make more than 20% of a team's payroll. If the cap ceiling is less than $38 million, then Lidstrom's $7.6 million salary will keep the Wings from achieving the maximum spending level.


At 7/18/2005 01:14:00 PM, Blogger Matt Saler said...

It would definitley be nice to have Bykov back. I wonder if he'll be interested in taking an NHL salary after getting all that money tax-free in Russia. He would definitely help the Wings keep their defense reletively strong cheaply if so.

At 7/18/2005 01:25:00 PM, Blogger Brian List said...

Hmm...he was picking up $1 million tax free in Russia - so isn't that the equivalent to approx $2 million taxed in the states? I doubt we'd give him THAT much...

At 7/21/2005 01:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would still rather have Chelios and Hatcher back, maybe Schneider.


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