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Red Wings not close on deals for Tatar, DeKeyser

Jul 19, 2014, 2:20 PM EDT

Detroit Red Wings v Tampa Bay Lightning Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings have a pair of key restricted free agents to get deals done with, but things aren’t close to getting done at the moment.

Red Wings GM Ken Holland addressed the progress in talks with forward Tomas Tatar and defenseman Danny DeKeyser. The long and short of it is there’s not much going on as George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press shared.

“Tats is overseas, and I’m waiting to hear back,” Holland said. “On the DeKeyser front, we met them in early June. We talked briefly at the draft, and we haven’t really talked much in July. I’ve made what I think are pretty good offers. They haven’t really countered. We’re just in the waiting process.”

Tatar and DeKeyser make up part of Detroit’s youth movement.

Tatar, 23, had a breakout season last year with 19 goals and 39 points in 73 games. DeKeyser, also 23, had four goals and 23 points in 65 games and became one of the steadier players on the Red Wings blue line. Deals will get done for these guys but it’s a question of years and money.

  1. snipedanglecelly13 - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Don’t mess this one up holland!

  2. blynasty - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    You sign Quincy for big money but can’t sign DeKeyser?!

    • blinkyhowe - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:06 AM

      If Quincy is worth $4 mil Danny’s worth more. But my guess is he’s trying to pay him less. Hey..at least he has Cleary signed….

  3. lowenni - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    Two key pieces to the Wings’ future. Tatar has amazing hands and has an underrated two way game, I think he’s gonna be a star in this league one day. People are gonna start taking notice of him if he can get consistent top-6 minutes this year, I think he can be a 60 point guy one day. DeKeyser is as steady as they come and while he’ll never be a 50 point guy like Kronwall or Lidstrom, he shows the cerebral defensive game that Lidstrom became known for. Holland better do everything he can to get these guys locked up.

  4. rbbbaron - Jul 19, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    A week or so ago, one of Holland’s faithful apologists here wrote about how the Quincey signing was no issue because they’ve got so much cap space. I responded with a “not really” when you consider that Holland is likely to sign Cleary and Alfredsson in addition to locking up these kids and keeping an eye on next year when more of the kids will be due for significant raises. He responded confidently that Cleary ain’t coming back…

    Any one holding out hope for a surprise free agent signing from Holland has to understand that it’s only likely to happen if Alfie calls it a career. (Holland’s haul this off-season might a strong enough signal to Alfie to do just that…)

  5. partsman193509 - Jul 19, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Holland best not screw up the deals with Tatar and Dekeyser or everybody will run his a$$ out of town. He has screwed up enough as it is.

  6. budzo83 - Jul 19, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Panic in Hockeytown!

  7. tigers182 - Jul 19, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    I’m waiting for Holland pass on signing these two and bring back Uwe Krupp and Andreas Lilja.

    • rbbbaron - Jul 19, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      Well, I don’t think Krupp’s coaching job in Germany is a full-time gig, so yeah he should be availabe :-)

  8. cliffatola - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    I swear everytime I read something about my Wings on this site, I often wonder just how much Nill did for Holland when he was there.

  9. adamal17 - Jul 19, 2014 at 11:59 PM

    Has everybody forgotten that these two are restricted free agents and that the wings as a whole have rarely ever signed an RFA before mid August… Get off of Hollands case in this matter. The only reason Sheahan resigned so quickly is because he agreed with Hollands first offer…maybe because he wasn’t cut after being the first person in Michigan charged with the Super Drunk crime…in a purple telletubby outfit…not on Halloween. Again; they are RFA’s…it’s the club’s right to get what they think is correct. settle down. I think everyone would freak if he handed these two exactly what they wanted on the first call. He’s made some sketchy moves this off season but this is not one of them. It’s called negotiating…since there’s this little thing called a salary cap and hopefully we can lock these two up for three years each on a bridge deal and not give them a boatload of money right away.

    • cliffatola - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:10 AM

      As embarrassing as it was for Sheahan, after that the kid has done a great job. I don’t think DeKeyser would do it but Tatar has the talent and some team in the KHL could likely offer him enough money to pull a Hudler. I think Tatar is a better player and if he did he would have to come back through Detroit to get back into the NHL if he chose but it is a slippery slope these days.

    • rbbbaron - Jul 20, 2014 at 4:45 AM

      The problem is Holland needs to know what Alfredsson’s plans are. He’s only got 8mil to work with, Alfie could command half of that (he’s the best FA still available) and then Holland is only left with 4mil to service both Tatar and DeKeyser. If either Tatar or DeKeyser’s camp makes it clear they want more, which yeah everyone would agree they could easily fetch more than 2-2.5mil elsewhere, then you could see offer sheets coming. Holland is in a vulnerable position.

      • adamal17 - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        Offer sheets are a thing of the past. You’ll only see them with desperate teams that have GM’s who are on their last resort…They just won’t be a factor in the salary cap era like they were in the past. Alfie will be a wing next year if he wants to play and his salary won’t be an issue no matter what he commands. His contract last year was for around 2.5 million with bonuses for playing ten games and scoring a couple points…that will be the same for this time around if he decides his body can take it…after playing 60 or so games I would venture to think he won’t be making more than 3-3.5 total though. If you actually read the article and can put two and two together you’d realize that Holland most likely did what he’s doing with Alfie; told both players/agents that this is what we have to offer right now; enjoy your summer off and we can pick this back up when you guys feel like we should. If he really thought there was an offer sheet possibility then they’d of been locked up before July.

      • rbbbaron - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:05 PM

        You might want to check your sources: last year Alfie was paid 3.5mil in guaranteed salary, 2mil in bonuses. My guess is that now he’d command at least 3mil guaranteed and whatever the rest would be bonus (hence Holland would have 2-2.5mil for Tartar and DeKeyser each). Again, if he decides to give it another shot in hopes of winning a cup and word gets out that Holland lowballs him for 3-3.5mil total… like last off-season he’s going to be weighing things in terms of salary and chance of winning; if Holland doesn’t make him a fair offer then only family considerations would be keeping him here because there are other teams who can offer him more of both.

        There were only 29 other teams interested in DeKeyser when he was finished at Western. I don’t think he has hurt his stock since then. And Wings fans aren’t the only ones who see Tatar’s potential; if I’m a GM thinking strategically and I want one of the kids, then I’m going to make an offer for one or both to try and jostle something loose (San Jose has done it before with Chicago…and they’re supposedly looking to rebuild). Even if Holland matches this time around, it’ll make things harder for him next off-season when Nyquist, Sheahan, Smith and Andersson are due for significant raises. The incentives are there.

      • elrock7 - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        Alfie is no Selanne, Holland should have given him a June 30 deadline to make up his mind.

        It is ridiculous to have to wait for a washed up 40 yr old to make up his mind. Solid work Kenny!

      • cliffatola - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:33 AM

        You know what that courtesy of giving a guy all summer to decide if he wants to come back should only be extended to a guy who is going to have his number hanging in your rafters soon after his career is over. That being said, so long Alfie it is time for you to move on.

      • adamal17 - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:18 PM

        rbbbaron- The Sharks put an offer sheet on Hjalmerson because they knew the Hawks would match it and have to not sign Niemi. Which look who’s their goalie now…they would have taken the D man if they got him, but it was a tactic. Philly did it with Weber…because it was SHEA M-F-ING WEBER…and Nashville was cash strapped; not cap strapped. Everyone knows the Wings would match any reasonable offer…but that will not happen. If you seriously think either one of these guys will get an offer sheet (they have to sign it as a contract…it’s not just an open season to throw money around at a guy) then you should maybe watch a different sport. There is a reason that they don’t happen in hockey; because it’s a gentleman’s game and no one wants to p!ss off a fellow GM bc it will get every other GM mad at them. Offer sheets are not a concern for these guys or Holland. If they wanted to leave for the money then you’d be hearing a lot more about this than just the fact that they only talked twice all summer…because they don’t need to talk.

      • rbbbaron - Jul 22, 2014 at 1:26 AM

        Other GMs aren’t kicking the tires because they themselves don’t know what Alfie’s plans are– that has a lot to do with the potential success of the tactic. If word gets out that he wants another season and also doesn’t immediately takes Holland’s first offer, that’d be the time to pounce.

        Ah yes, a gentleman’s game; wouldn’t want to piss off mighty Ken Holland. Because it’s not like he’s in danger of not being around next season. And it’s not like there aren’t other GMs under pressure to deliver (Wilson not the least of them). Should Holland get gamed yet again, I’m sure many a GM would shed a tear for a guy who inherited a bunch of hall-of-famers and road them to 3 stanley cups. The fear of retribution is why they all refrain from poaching management talent from his organization…

        “If you seriously think either one of these guys will get an offer sheet (they have to sign it as a contract…it’s not just an open season to throw money around at a guy) then you should maybe watch a different sport.”
        Naw, really?! I thought players are automatically trapped in those offer-sheet-thingys, lol. Thanks for coming across like a dick.

  10. aarondul - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    So lets sign Cleary and Quincy. Never mind the real talent we have.

  11. Simon Says Sport - Jul 20, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Yeah seriously holland you need to do whatever you damn well can to sign these 2 players. Future of the wings right here.

  12. drocity - Jul 21, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    As others have alluded to, the signings of Cleary and Quincy are problematic for many reasons. First of which is the money payed to players of marginal (and questionable) value to the team. However, here is where those bad signings have a less visible but greater cost to the organization. DeKeyser looks at a guy like Quincy and what the Wings are going to pay him and thinks not only is Danny a better player but has much more potential. Quincy is a known quantity with a known established value on the ice. Setting his market value too high also pushes DeKeyser’s value higher.

    Cleary is slightly different in that his value is declining, yet his market price was set at a level consistent with past (an unlikely to repeat) performances. However, again, potential performance is important. Is Tatar going to take less money then Dan Cleary just because he is younger? I wouldn’t. Tatar is not only younger, but a better player and will contribute much more on the ice. Cleary’s leadership might be indispensable in the playoffs, but good luck getting there without Tatar.

    So now a team already with Cap problems has even worse Cap problems. At this point, I hope they do not sign Alfredsson. What is his contract going to look like next to Cleary?

    • rbbbaron - Jul 21, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      Tatar (or his agent, rather) might look to see what Kreider gets from NYR in their arbitration. They are both young forwards with well-recognized upside and put up similar numbers last season. NYR management thinks a little 2mil is what he should get while Kreider is looking for 2.8mil. If Kreider is awarded something upwards of 2.5mil, then I’d worry about an offer sheet for Tatar. If I’m a GM with cap and roster space (and there are a few out there), I wouldn’t be afraid of throwing Tatar an offer sheet for a few years @ 3mil; seeing as it that he’d only get a 2nd rounder in exchange, Holland would probably have to match and then that’d have ripple effects for being able to secure DeKeyser and Alfredsson.

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