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Saturday, July 01, 2006
Okay, so the Wings' big move on the first day of free agency was re-signing Chris Osgood to a two-year contract. Of course, it's a move they've been expected to make for weeks and one I'm surprised they couldn't get done before yesterday. It's a good signing, not the least because it gives the Wings some actual goaltending now that other desirable UFA goalies such as Dwayne Roloson and Martin Gerber are no longer available. Of course, people, including Ken Holland are still talking about the need to get a "real" #1 goalie (as though Osgood never had that role). The biggest-name unsigned UFA goalie is Ed Belfour*, who I hope the Wings wouldn't touch with a bargepole. Beyond that, there are goalies available via trade, such as JS Giguere, Martin Biron, and Evgeni Nabokov, none of whom would come at a particularly affordable price in a trade. Giguere and Nabokov (in particular), have pretty steep salary price-tags as well, at $3.99 and $5 million respectively, as Brian pointed out in the comments. And like he said, it's looking more and more like an Osgood/Howard goaltending tandem may be the way to go. The Wings don't have a ton of choices now. In other news, two of the defenseman the Wings could have best used and afforded, Willie Mitchell and Jay McKee, signed with other teams yesterday. McKee will get $16 million over four years with St. Louis and Mitchell will get four yers, $14 million with Vancouver. Both of these guys would have brought needed toughness and grit to the Wings and it's not too encouraging that Holland didn't bring one of them to Detroit. Of course, there are other players still available but, except for the obvious re-signing of Osgood, it was not a strong start to free agency for the Wings. I am not impressed and neither is IwoCPO. Welcome to the Cap Era. *Dominik Hasek is also a UFA but he is not coming back.