The Red Wings opened free agency on Sunday with four signings but on Monday it was all about who was leaving the team. Jiri Hudler and Chris Conner are both now former Red Wings, with Hudler heading on to the Calgary Flames and Conner going to the Phoenix Coyotes.
Neither’s departure is a surprise. Conner was looking for a place where he might be able to latch on full-time (and as I said yesterday, Detroit already has too many forwards) and Hudler was essentially replaced by Detroit’s signing of Mikael Samuelsson.
I honestly don’t think the $4 million per year for for years that Calgary ponied up for Hudler is awful, but it’s still too much. I joked on Twitter today that Hudler and the Flames are a perfect dysfunctional fit so it’ll be interesting to see how that works out.
It’s tough for the Wings organization to lose Conner but you can’t blame the guy for leaving. I expect the same from most of the veterans the Wings have had in Grand Rapids.
With no decisions (at least none made public) from Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, the Wings are in a holding pattern on the buying front. I think they’re going to miss out on Parise but I’m not certain about Suter.
Suter’s the one they need, there’s no one else like him available. If Parise goes elsewhere, the Wings will look at Alexander Semin, but Semin is smart enough to know to wait until Parise signs to get his own bidding war.