Detroit Welcomes Nine

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by HFNHL Red Wings, Jul 24, 2006.

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  1. What a difference a salary cap makes. Challenged with limited cap space the Wings were unable to bid on the premier FA’s and even in the past the tier 2 FA’s had received significant offers such that the team was worried it would not be able to lure anyone to the Motor City with it’s modest offers. As it turns out, with a few exceptions, FA offers were moderate across the board and Detroit was able to secure several FA’s.

    While Detroit had a full roster of players for the 2006/07 prior to free agency the team wanted to address two issues that came to haunt them in the first round of the playoffs:
    (i) Depth – the loss of Roberts to injury in the 1st round and having no suitable replacement was a significant factor in the loss
    (ii) Lineup options – More and more HFNHL GM’s are building their team to play a particular style of game and the Wings were looking to insure they had sufficient options to counter any style of play

    With this FA period the team has achieved both goals as they can now claim to have 15 HFNHL level forwards (not to mention a couple of useable injured reserves), 8 HFNHL defencemen, and 3 HFNHL level goalies.
    Unlike the past where the Wings were content to be competitive and build their system, the Wings are entering the 2006/07 season with their eyes set on battling hard for the Cup.

    In the process of signing all the deals the team has gone slightly over the cap (approximately $800k) but the team is not worried as there are a few options available to fix this. The assumption had always been that Gary Roberts would be bought out of the final year of his $3M contract but given the preliminary ratings (77OV) it looks as if the team will not only retain his services but it is expected he will likely play a bigger role with the team than first thought. That means the team will explore various trade options on a number of players to free up a couple of dollars but the team will not rush into anything at this time.

    Now without further adieu the Wings would like to introduce the newest members of the Winged Wheel.

    Travis Green:
    Signed to a two year contract, Travis Green was brought in for his defensive capabilities. He will most likely be used on the 3rd line with fellow defensive specialists Kris Draper and Jere Lehtinen.

    Sean Hill:
    Like Green, Hill was brought in for his defensive capabilities but even more importantly the team needed a big hitter on the blueline. Hill will likely be paired with Sopel on the 3rd pairing and will be a regular on the top PK unit.

    Chris Osgood:
    After a year and a half absence Chris returns to where it all began. Chris Osgood helped lead the team to an unlikely Stanley Cup final appearance back in 2003/04 and it is hoped that as a tandem he and Henrik Lundqvist can provide the one-two punch to get the team back. He will also be asked to mentor the two young netminders (Lundqvist and Niitymaki)

    Petr Tenkrat:
    The team made a significant investment (some say bad gamble) in Tenkrat by giving him a 4 year $1.25M contract. Management is confident that the rule changes will favour Petr and that he will be a valued offensive contributor for several years.

    While the team made several investments in the current roster it did not neglect the future as the team inked 5 new players, 3 of which are goaltenders.

    Adam Cracknel leads the list as the most promising forward. Having completed his final WHL season with 93pts in 72 games he was signed by the NHL flames where he registered 3 pts in 6 AHL games. In addition to his offensive capabilities, Cracknell brings a physical game and is described as a ‘Sutter type player’.

    Next up is Stephane Goulet. An offensively gifted player he comes with the stereotypical QMJHL concerns over his defensive commitment. Goulet will attempt to prove his critics wrong in the AHL next season.

    Jordan Parise left college early to sign a pro contract with the NHL New Jersey Devils and with that organization being a little thin in goaltending prospects he may get a chance to start in the AHL next season gaining valuable experience in the process.

    The second goaltender signed was Adam Dennis who was named OHL goaltender of the year. He is currently playing in a deep Buffalo Sabres organization but has the skills to emerge in a few years.

    Finally the team signed their 3rd tender and 2nd from the NCAA, Jeff Petriasak. While not as highly touted as some of the others Jeff completed his final year with a .929 sav% and averaged .917 over his four years.

    Now that the FA period is almost over for the Detroit organization (the only outstanding offer is that to Jed Ortmeyer) the team will try and sort out it’s roster for the pre-season. The teams pro depth chart is as follows:

    Centre:
    Martin Straka (79OV)
    Brad Boyes (77OV) - to be signed
    Jozef Stumpel (77OV)
    Kris Draper (76OV)
    Jay McClement (71OV) – to be signed

    Left Wing:
    Brian Rolston (80OV)
    Gary Roberts (77OV)
    Jussi Jokinen (76OV)
    Travis Green (74OV)
    Matt Ellison (70OV)
    Derek Boogaard (68OV)

    Right Wing:
    Mike Knuble (79OV)
    Mark Parris (76OV)
    Jere Lehtinen (77OV)
    Trent Hunter (76OV)
    Chris Clark (75OV)
    Ben Ondrus (67OV)

    Defence
    Lidstrom (85OV)
    Marek Malik (77OV)
    Mike Van Ryn (78OV)
    Brent Sopel (77OV)
    Sean Hill (76OV)
    Rhett Warrener (74OV)
    Cory Sarich (74OV)
    Denis Wideman (73OV)

    Goaltending:
    Henrik Lundqvist (79OV)
    Chris Osgood (79OV)
    Antero Niittymaki (76OV)

    Bring on the season!
     

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