Parise, Suter Create Log Jam, Defencemen Still Needed

The Detroit Red Wings made no moves on day two of Free Agency. Almost all of the NHL followed suit.

This was because premier free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are still contemplating offers of $90 million from a bunch of NHL teams. If it sounds ironic, it is.

While media and fans sit on social media waiting for both superstars to sign, so do players and general managers. Without both players signing, second tier players don't know what the market is.

The Red Wings don't look good for a destination for Parise as of now, but Suter certainly is. There were numerous 'reports' that he is leaning towards Detroit, none more blunt than Nick Kypreos

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Too Many Forwards, What Does It Mean?

Something has got to give. The Detroit Red Wings made four signings today, two of which are forwards. This is a strange predicament the Red Wings are in. They have $17 million left in cap space and are still in on the Zach Parise sweepstakes.

Parise will likely make a decision by tomorrow, but with Jiri Hudler out of the picture, the Red Wings still need a top line winger, which might come in the form of Parise or Alex Semin (or possibly Hudler, although unlikely).

The Jordin Tootoo and Mikael Samuelsson signings give Detroit 16 forwards under contract, not including Justin Abdelkader, who is an RFA, or Tomas Holmstrom, who is UFA.

In a league where you usually dress 12 forwards a game, 16 is too many. Factor in a spot for Abdelkader and a Parise type player, and that's 18 forward spots. What is Ken Holland going to do?

Red Wings Sign Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo

The Detroit Red Wings are finished making free agent signings today, locking up four players.

Early in the day, they agreed to terms with goalie Jonas Gustavsson to back up Jimmy Howard. Next came the expected announcement of inking Swiss forward Damien Brunner to a one year, two way deal.

The head scratchers came when the Wings brought back Mikael Samuelsson, who was on the 2008 Stanley Cup Champion team. After stints with the Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers, Samuelsson is back in Hockeytown. He is a right handed shot that can play the powerplay.

Gustavsson Signs 2 Year Deal With Detroit

Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson has signed a two year deal with the Detroit Red Wings for $3 million a year. The cap hit is a modest $1.5 million.

Gustavsson played last year with the Toronto Maple Leafs, posting a 17-17-4 record with a 2.92 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

Gustavsson signed with the Leafs in the summer of 2009, and if anyone remembers, the Red Wings were one of the teams in the mix for him.

Jimmy Howard will start next season, but Gustavsson will push him for games. Joey MacDonald is also in the mix, but 'The Monster' will most likely push him out of the way. MacDonald has back issues and a one way contract, and if Gustavsson beats him out of the backup role, MacDonald will be waiver to Grand Rapids.

Gustavsson's first choice was to go to Detroit. His rights were traded to Winnipeg a few days ago, but nothing transpired.

Snubbed; a look at three potential future Hall of Famers

 

A ‘Russian Rocket’, a ‘Sudden’ Swede, a Burnaby Joe, and the John Stockton of hockey make up the 2012 class of Hockey Hall of Fame inductees.

Pavel Bure, Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic, and Adam Oates, were all elected into the Hall Tuesday.

They are all more than deserving entries. But, which now eligible names did not make The hall's first ballot cut? And will they ever see Hall of Fame glory? Three notable eligible players make the list.

Jeremy Roenick

Patrick Roy may not be able to hear him with his, "two Stanley Cup rings plugging his ears," but the Hockey Hall of Fame will almost certainly consider the American super...

Babcock Adds to Brunner Hype

With the news of the Detroit Red Wings agreeing to terms with Swiss forward Damien Brunner, head coach Mike Babcock had some very interesting things to say in the media regarding Brunner's role next season.

Babcock sees Brunner as a top six forward right now and has him pencilled in on the top two lines.

Here are some quotes from Babcock:

“Can he adjust and play the North American game? We’re going to give him every opportunity. He’ll be a top-six forward to start with us and see where he goes with us.''

“I know a lot about him because I went to the World Championships (in May) and watched him play. The thing for us is he’s high, high paced, he scores, looks like he has tons of skill."

Wings Draft Six Big Bodies

The Detroit Red Wings finished up the 2012 Draft today, selecting six players; none of which are under six feet tall. here are all the players the Wings took with insight from various scouting reports:

Martin Frk - RW, Halifax Mooseheads, 6'0, 204 lbs

“Martin is a goal scorer. He wants to score, is hungry to score and is that player who is lurking for the chance to score. He plays a straight ahead game and is more of a shooter. He has a good shot and can beat goaltenders with it down the wing and it's a heavy shot. His skating is good in straight lines and he creates separation between himself and defenders. He has good balance with a low center of gravity and is hard to knock off stride. His agility is adequate but not a necessary requirement for the style of game he plays. He uses his body to push to the scoring area and hold off defenders. He recognizes openings and opportunity and with a playmaking center who can get the puck to him, Martin has the abilities to be a good goal scorer at the NHL level.'' - Craig Button (TSN)

Swiss Star Damien Brunner to Sign With Detroit

The Detrot Red Wings dipped into the free agent market a little bit early, reportedly agreeing to terms with Swiss League scoring star Damien Brunner.

Brunner is a 26-year old, right handed forward played for Zug the past four years. He is very skilled and can score points, as evident in his Swiss League stats, where he has scored over a point per game in the past three seasons.

The Red Wings haven't officially signed him because it isn't July 1st yet, but the terms of the deal have been agreed on and reports suggest it is a one year, two-way contract. This is very low risk, high reward for the Red Wings. If Brunner shapes out to be Jiri Hudler's cheaper replacement; excellent. He's faster than Hudler and shoots right on a team full of lefties. If Brunner can't make the cut in the NHL, he can be sent to Grand Rapids without having to clear waivers.

2012 NHL Draft Liveblog presented by TCL

As the 2012 NHL Entry Draft takes place in Pittsburgh, follow along in The Checking Line's liveblog! 

There will be plenty of discussion between readers and writers about trades, picks, and prospects. Chat away as the time ticks down before your favorite team's selection.

The live blog will open at 6:30 p.m. and run until the draft ends, or until the commentary stops! 

 

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Draft Day 1: Trades, Save Us!

For all the hype that goes into the NHL Draft, Detroit Red Wings followers will once again wait until day two for something to happen. Draft wise, that is.

The highest pick the Wings have had in the past few years was 19th overall; they drafted Jakub Kindl. The last time they picked in the top 10 was in 1991 when they took apparent 'Heir to Yzerman' Martin Lapointe 10th overall. So, from 1992 until now, looking at some of the Red Wings' first rounders is shocking to see how bad some of the picks actually were.

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