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Red Wings GM says Alfredsson decision will wait until September

Aug 15, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

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With 49 points in 68 games, Daniel Alfredsson tied Niklas Kronwall for the Detroit Red Wings’ team lead and appears pretty eager to play another season. On the other hand, he’s 42, presenting plenty of questions about how much longer he can be a valuable contributor.

It sounds like the Red Wings aren’t ready to answer that question just yet. GM Ken Holland told TSN 1020 that the decision won’t be made until September and even told Ian Mendes that a training camp tryout isn’t out of the question. Holland sounded unconvinced either way, noting that Alfredsson plans on staying in Detroit with his family in the interim.

Holland cites the team’s significant uncertainty regarding injuries as a factor in the situation.

(Kukla’s Korner’s George Malik found the audio, with the Alfredsson discussion kicking in around the eight-minute mark, if you want to hear more.)

It’s probably fair to say that the biggest argument against bringing back Alfredsson revolves around age, or at least the idea that he might take opportunities from players who are in the meat of their prime years. Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar had a big impact on the team’s surge to a playoff spot amid injuries to a wide array of players, yet Winging It in Motown points out that Alfredsson received heavy usage on the power play; would those minutes provide valuable opportunities to Tatar, Nyquist or even Anthony Mantha?

Training camp could indeed provide a valuable opportunity to make such an assessment, even if doesn’t really provide a big window of observation. There are some solid arguments for both sides of the equation, so it’s easy to see why the Red Wings aren’t making that call just yet.

  1. lowenni - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:16 PM

    I’m a little confused. I know Alfreddson is only coming back for Detroit if he does continue to play, but is it Detroit that’s holding out on signing him or is it him deciding if he wants to play another year? Has he said he wants to play but Holland hasn’t decided if he wants to resign him? If anybody can clarify I’d be appreciative.

    • James O'Brien - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:56 PM

      The Red Wings seem more hesitant, although there’s at least a slight chance Alfredsson will decide he can’t go.

      • lowenni - Aug 15, 2014 at 11:12 PM

        Thanks. I’m surprised they potentially don’t want him back, even with his injury concern, cause he produced for them last year and gives them that right hander that they lack (on defense and offense). If he’d take 2 mil or less I would resign him.

  2. jinx21fan - Aug 15, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    These were the type of deals the Wings were doing when they were serious contenders. Signing Alfredsson makes no sense for where they are as an organization. It seems like keeping the streak alive actually has some sort of priority in Hockey Town.

    Ask Flame’s fans how fun it is to have a team that just has a goal of sneaking into the playoffs year after year.

  3. polegojim - Aug 16, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    Ok Jinx… you and other are making statements just hear read your own words.

    Lets try this again… Alfie TIED THE WINGS IN POINTS LAST YEAR.

    41 or 42… with his TALENT… he has enough to be a large contributor.

    THAT is what matters most.

    • jinx21fan - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:18 AM

      Easy there cowboy, don’t have a stroke on me now.

      I did not at all question his TALENT, in a supporting role he could be helpful to a team. Say like the Bruins, that could use a cheap depth player to help offset the loss of Iggy. They, meaning the Bruins, can actually claim to be a legitimate Cup contender. Adding a veteran scorer makes some sense. The Red Wings on the other hand are not legitimate Cup contenders, sorry Detroit fans. Don’t be greedy now, you had a very good run. It makes no sense for them to use a roster spot on a 42 year old. It’s time to see what you have in the system. And to think, Holland got criticized for signing veterans when it made sense.

      • polegojim - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:40 PM

        You still don’t get it. Holland isn’t getting criticized for signing veterans who PERFORM… like Alfie.

  4. cliffatola - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:31 AM

    This kind of courtesy should be extended to Datsyuk in a couple years not Alfredsson. It is time for Holland to cut bait and move on. The Red Wings had some young guys step up and play really well for them last year and to sign him for what could likely be a part time role is going to do them no good at all in the development of these other more promising young players.

    • cheliostwin - Aug 16, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      A few months ago comments from Holland indicated that Alfredsson had a spot if he wanted it, but it sounds like Alfredsson’s indecisiveness is starting to rankle Holland. I’m guessing Holland and Babcock are trying to figure out who will be where when the season starts, but this big question mark of whether Alfredsson will return or not is making the decisions harder.

      • rbbbaron - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:50 AM

        That few months ago was before Holland decided to bring back Quincey and Cleary and leave himself little cap space to offer Alfredsson, who because of the retirement question is last in line to be dealt with. This is just pathetic posturing on Holland’s part– it’s obvious he can’t offer a guaranteed salary of more than ~1.5mil and will have to make it bonus-heavy, and for Holland to position himself as being able to anything other than that is laughable (or at least it should be…we have seen Holland bury guys in GR before due to “having too many forwards”<<<who's fault was that?). It might be that Holland is thinking about next off-season when Nyquist, Andersson, Jurco and Smith will be due for raises and no cap hit bigger than Cleary's 1.5mil will be coming offer the books (though there's no guarantee that Cleary won't be back for 2015-16…). Holland still wants Alfredsson, after all he once again failed to do something about the right-handed problem; it's just that he might be coming to the conclusion that Cleary could earn all or most of the bonus money in his contract and that paying too much for Alfredsson next off-season due to bonuses will leave him in a serious bind.

  5. xjokerz - Aug 16, 2014 at 5:32 AM

    A detroit team that was up on te bruins last year in the playoffs despite not having a healthy team oh and missing zetterberg ? Get off the crack pipe bruin fans

  6. dencar2014 - Aug 16, 2014 at 6:31 AM

    Can we trade Alfredson for Cleary????

    • cliffatola - Aug 17, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      You should have said can we trade Alfredsson and Cleary.

  7. jmcurran28 - Aug 16, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    Alfie made some great contributions last year. His overtime goal against Pittsburgh with .4 seconds left in overtime last year was one of my personal favorites. We will see what happens come September.

  8. 4everwingsfan - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:10 AM

    I hope he gets signed. Depth, you can never have to much of it.

  9. dencar2014 - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:58 PM

    I think Alfie can still contribute but they definitely have to get Dekeyser done first .

  10. dencar2014 - Aug 17, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    I very much agree that a cap issue is looming and you have to lay that at the feet of Holland. Giving Cleary a million dollar bonus for “appearing” in a mere 10 games is nuts!!! I hope when ownership extended Holland they gave him some fresh batteries for his calculator.

  11. dencar2014 - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    On the Alfredsson Cleary thing , I might have mis-spoke. If it were a choice, I’d take Alfie. To leave room for some deserving youngsters, I’d prefer neither.

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