Red Wings Acquire Staal, Second Round Pick from Rangers

The Detroit Red Wings received defenseman Marc Staal and a 2021 second round pick from the New York Rangers on Saturday in return for future considerations.

I love this deal.  The Wings get a second-rounder to bail the Rangers out of cap trouble.  As I tweeted earlier, Staal only having a year left on his deal is probably why the Wings “only” got a second rounder, but because his deal is expiring it’ll be easier to flip him for even more assets (not that I expect much of a haul there) at the next trade deadline.

The only problem as I see it is that this gives the Red Wings eight defensemen under contract right now who I would want (or otherwise expect) to see in the Detroit lineup on opening night.  That’s Staal, Danny DeKeyser, Patrik Nemeth, Alex Beiga, Filip Hronek, Moritz Seider, Dennis Cholowski, and Gustav Lindstrom.  Plus Madison Bowey as an unsigned restricted free agent.

That’s an easy fix, though.  I’d like to see Lindstrom up but he could go back to GR (assuming the AHL is playing) easily, as could a returning Bowey.  That’d give Detroit seven defensemen without their big-name kids getting buried.

Of course, that assumes Staal even stays on the Red Wings’ roster.  They could buy him out and spread the smaller cap hit over two seasons.  In that case, they’d have the space to do another deal like this.

Between the Staal and the Gagner and Elson deals, it’s been a busy day for Steve Yzerman.

Red Wings Bring Back Gagner on One Year Deal

The Detroit Red Wings re-signed center Sam Gagner to a one year deal on Saturday.

The deal is reportedly worth $850,000 because of course financial terms were not officially announced.

I love this deal if only for the dollar amount.  Do I want a 31-year-old taking away spots from the kids in the Wings’ system?  No.  But at $850,000, Gagner can be buried in Grand Rapids (or whatever the farm system looks like whenever the next season happens) if Michael Rasmussen or Joe Veleno or whoever wins a roster spot (or if Frans Nielsen suddenly returns to form somehow).  If not, he slots in cheaply and can maybe be flipped for a fifth-rounder at the trade deadline.

Random thought: As the 2020 offseason hasn’t started yet, had Gagner’s previous contract actually expired?  That’s usually how I differentiate between someone re-signing (signing with Detroit after their contract expired, having spent time as a free agent) or signing a contract extension (new contract with more years ready to kick in after the expiration of their existing deal, avoiding free agency).


The Wings also announced the signing of Griffins forward Turner Elson to a one year deal reportedly worth $725,000 at the NHL level and $115,000 in the AHL.

That one’s slightly interesting because Elson was making $700,000 at the NHL level under his previous two year deal (not that he actually played any NHL games under that contract) but $100,000 for the first year and $175,000 for the second year in the AHL.  The original deal was signed in February of 2019 so that first year would have been pro-rated but, however you slice it, he just signed for an NHL raise and an AHL pay cut.

DH.N Turns Twenty-four

Today marks the 24th birthday of the site that is now DetroitHockey.Net.

Normally, that would mean the start of the site’s 25th season.  The NHL’s 2019-20 season is still going but the Red Wings haven’t played since March so is this actually the start of a new season?  I don’t know.

Often I use the site’s birthday as an opportunity to muse on what’s next for the site.  Specifically, I focus on what the site will become, in the context of what more there is to do.  Coming up to this anniversary, though, I’ve realized I look at it from the wrong direction.  I shouldn’t be focusing on what more DH.N could be, I should be focusing on what DH.N is now.

Twenty-four years in, DH.N has a lot of baggage.  I’ve fought with the idea of the site not “just” being a blog but, to use The Hockey Rodent‘s insistent terminology, a full service web site.  The thing is, a full service web site had very different meaning in, say, 2003, than it does today.

When I started this site, and continuing for a long time after that, it was meant to be an archive.  I collected photos and videos and historical tidbits.  I wrote what I now call soul-less game recaps because newspapers weren’t putting their archives online and I wanted visitors to be able to go back to a specific game and see what had happened.

For awhile, that made sense.  In 2007, ESPN ran a story on the 10th anniversary of the Detroit-Colorado brawl and linked to DH.N’s videos because, even in the early days of YouTube, we had the best collection of them.  It crashed the site, actually.

For a long time, I felt obligated to keep doing that because it was what I started doing.  Even after YouTube became omnipresent and provided a home for every highlight imaginable.  Even after NHL.com added recaps to every game.  Even after Wikipedia housed every list of captains, award winners, and coaches.

What took me too long to realize is that no one needs that anymore.  I was trying to figure out what the next steps were for a site that was already very much a relic of the past.  What will DetroitHockey.Net become?  Now I can answer: Smaller.

I removed the archive of NHL award winners awhile ago.  The lists of Red Wings coaches and captains and such were recently removed.  I’ll be re-working the Multimedia Archive to just be a collection of my own photos, as I still enjoy taking those at games.  I kept the list of Red Wings draft picks because I want to have that data for myself so I might as well display it.  I kept the diagram of the banners in the Joe Louis Arena rafters because I’m a geek about those things and the JLA rafters were way better than the ones at LCA.

And, of course, the fantasy hockey section of the site was spun off into FantasyHockeySim.com back in 2016.

I’m going to start by recognizing what DH.N is now, rather than what it was or what I once wanted it to be.  Then maybe I can see where it goes from there.


Being a jersey number geek, I also like to use site birthdays to look at the corresponding jersey number.  It turns out that 24 is a pretty quiet number over the lifespan of DH.N.

Bob Probert had left the team in 1994 so when the site was founded in 1996, #24 was vacant.  It wouldn’t be until the Red Wings traded for Chris Chelios in 1999 that it was put back in use, with Probert’s blessing.

Chelios wore #24 for a decade in Detroit but there wasn’t much of a gap once the Red Wings declined to bring him back in 2009.  Brad May signed with Detroit two games into the 2009-10 season and, after one game wearing #20 (which he had also worn in training camp on a pro tryout), he asked Chelios for permission to wear #24.

May wore #24 in Detroit for 39 games that season, then closed out his career with 17 games in Grand Rapids wearing #29 with the Griffins.

For the 2010-11 campaign, newly-signed defenseman Ruslan Salei would be assigned #24 for his lone season with the Red Wings.  Fatefully, Salei left Detroit for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL, along with assistant coach Brad McCrimmon, both of whom were killed with the rest of the team in a plane crash on September 7, 2011.  The next player to wear #24 for Detroit would be Pavel Datsyuk, who wore it for the 2011 preseason in Salei’s honor.

Damien Brunner was assigned #24 for the lockout-shortened 2013 season, his only year with the Red Wings.

It is currently assigned to prospect Antti Tuomisto.