Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Schneider re-signs with Detroit

Ken Holland finally got around to doing what normally would have been done a year ago, signing free agent defenseman Mathieu Schneider to a two-year, $6.6 million contract. Schneider, who became a free agent July 1st, 2004, has played two seasons with the Wings and is a steady contributer offensively as well as solid defensively. He finished in the top 7 in Norris voting in 2003-2004, a fact many commentators said was a result of his playing alongside Nick Lidstrom for much of that season ("My grandmother could play next to Nick Lidstrom and be up there in Norris voting..."). Finishing so high in Norris voting apparently gave Schneider an inflated idea of his own value and the Wings were unable to reach terms with him over the summer leading up to the lockout. Had there been no impending lockout, the Wings would have been more free to throw money Schneider's way but as it was, they had to be careful since they didn't know exactly what was coming. In signing Schneider, my disappointment in Ken Holland for his apparent inaction is lessened. Though it didn't make the main story on TSN (*), I think this signing is a big one. This doesn't make up for the loss of a player like Mathieu Dandenault (as good as he is, Schneider is not that versatile), but the Wings' defense is in decent shape now. I would still like to see Holland sign another defenseman, however. I hope we'll see a move or two with players from outside the organization now that two of the four major in-team signings (Yzerman, Datsyuk, Schneider, Zetterberg) Holland had to do are taken care of. (*) That honor belongs to another story: the Flyers' signing of Peter Forsberg to a two-year, $10.7 million deal. That's the best news I've heard all day. It means no more Peter Forsberg in the Western Conference and fewer headaches for Wings fans. It also means the Conference has lost a major attraction but at least Foppa isn't our problem any more. The Flyers are now over the salary cap and will have to make a trade or two to get back under it. The player most likely to be moved? Jeremey Roenick, according to TSN. They say he may be going to LA but I think he'd fit in a lot better here in Detroit. Philly won't get equal value for him money-wise (otherwise they'd be in the same position they're in now) so the Wings may be able to get them interested in some prospects and/or picks. I think it'd be worth it, though the new draft rules could cause some problems. The Wings may not be able to rely on late round picks so much any more since they can't keep players in Europe for morethan two years under the new CBA. That means early round picks are more worth keeping than they were before. That said, JR is good now and prospects/picks are just potential. I say go for it, Kenny.


At 8/03/2005 11:24:00 PM, Blogger greatwhitebear said...

I'm kinda of the opinion that its time for the Wings to get the youth movement going here. They have a lot of great young talent in guys like Kronwell, Hudler, Grigorenko, Howard, Fippulla, Bootland and Axleson. Time to put these guys on the ice full time and let's see if they can live up to some of that potential.

And they had a great draft, so the future looks pretty good. On to the future!

At 8/03/2005 11:36:00 PM, Anonymous Dan said...

I am going to miss Forsberg on the Avs, I think it lessens the rivalry a bit.......


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