Saturday, July 01, 2006

Wings sign Osgood but lose shot at others

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.


At 7/02/2006 01:14:00 AM, Blogger Brian List said...

Internet rumblings say it's between Belfour, Biron, and Hasek for the Wings. Dunham is also available but he's a backup. A lot of rumblings are also saying the Wings will go with Osgood / Howard and try to pickup a goaltender at the trade deadline (similar to what the Oilers did with Roloson).

A third tour of duty with Hasek just doesn't seem possible. And I don't want Belfour - too old and too many injuries. Biron doesn't have any playoff experience so it's a big question. And we'd have to trade for Biron. After blowing our chances at many free agents, including Gerber, I'd almost be more comfortable with the Wings just sticking with a Osgood / Howard goaltending duo and shop the market later in the season. We don't need to be a President's Trophy team, anyways. Middle-of-the-pack might be the good way to go next season.

With little money committed to goaltending, the Wings might be able to pull off some bigger signings to bring in a physical defenseman and/or a 2nd line forward.

Shanahan is shopping the market and all, but I see him signing back with the Wings in the end. It's his last time to hit the market, so he could be just having fun seeing what kind of offers are out there.

At 7/02/2006 01:37:00 AM, Blogger Brian List said...

Giguere is also available via trade ($3.99 M), as is Nabokov ($5.00 M) and possibly Toskala ($1.375 M). All I see as either too expensive, with lengthy contracts, or unlikely to be given up. At this point, like I said above, we should go with Osgood / Howard. Cam Ward won the Conn Smythe as a rookie...maybe it's time the Wings gamble with a young goaltender in the mix and, if they have to, trade for a goaltender at midseason.

At 7/02/2006 06:09:00 AM, Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Yeah, Holland, I see all those changes happening that you were talking about at the end of last season. The Wings missed out on signing some top role player guys yesterday. I think this will be Holland's last season of GM. I really do. He's just not getting it done any-more. I'm as nostalgic as the next guy. I don't want to see the core group that won the first cup for Detroit in 42 years leave, but those guys just aren't getting it done any-more. The fact that Holland wanted to resign Shanny when he's been absent from the playoffs the past three seasons shows how much he's trying to hold on to the past. If he can't let it go and revamp the team with some new blood and some new grit than I think this will be the end of the line for him. If he signs Balfour of all goalies, a burnt out old guy who makes trouble and dissidence in the locker room, forget it, he's sealed his own fate. Thanks for all the great years, Holland, but you're losing it.


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