The Detroit Red Wings got their goalie on Saturday, signing Thomas Greiss to a two year deal.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 10, 2020
The Red Wings didn’t announce financial terms, of course, but even before they confirmed the deal, it was reported to carry a $3.6 million salary cap hit.
The hit feels a tiny bit high to me but I really don’t care, because it’s a two-year deal, which was my biggest hope. They could have dropped $7 million on Marc-Andre Fleury as long as it was only two years. That term gets them through the Seattle expansion draft but not to the point that the rebuild should be done, so there’s a ton of flexibility.
Also, $3.6 million is less than I expected even if I feel like it’s a little high, so it’s a win either way, I’m just nitpicking the amount.
Greiss was one of my top two targets for Detroit, along with Cam Talbot. So the Wings got the cheaper of the two on shorter term. Win all around.
Jersey number geek thoughts: Greiss has worn #1 throughout his NHL career, which won’t be possible here. He wore #40 with Germany but probably can’t have that. He wore #33 early in his career in the minors but it seems like if anyone gets that in the Detroit organization, it’s going to be Kienan Draper. Will the Red Wings hold #35 out of respect to Jimmy Howard? If not, that makes sense for Greiss. With Brendan Perlini gone, #29 could make sense.
Some additional contract talk:
Structure on Greiss deal:
Year 1, $2.8 M
Year 2, $4.4 M https://t.co/iFtXigMVPb
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 10, 2020
I wonder if that structure is with the Seattle expansion draft in mind.
The Red Wings will have to make at least one goalie signed for the 2021-22 season available via the expansion draft. Right now, only Greiss and Kaden Fulcher are signed for that season, so Fulcher would be the one available. But if Detroit happened to pick up another goalie between now and then, someone they wanted to protect, putting more of the actual cash owed to Greiss in the 2021-22 season could serve to scare off the Kraken, making it so that Greiss could be left unprotected but not selected.
Of course, it could also be that, for the 2020-21 season, Greiss is expected to split time with Jonathan Bernier. For 2021-22, with Bernier possibly gone, Greiss would be the starter and would get paid like it.