Khan takes a good look at the remainder of the free agent class. We'd say that one or two of them look interesting, but why get your hopes up when they're just going to sign with the Rangers anyway.
The article has the full list of players. This is a cut-and-pasted version of the most intriguing cases:
P.J. Axelsson, Boston ($1.85 million) -- A defensive-minded winger and penalty-killer who would not provide much offense.
Todd Bertuzzi, Calgary ($1.95 million) -- The one-time premier power forward, briefly a Red Wing, has good hands around the net. But he lacks discipline, is injury-prone and has a questionable work ethic.
Mathieu Dandenault, Montreal ($1.7 million) -- Moved back and forth from forward to defense during much of his nine seasons in Detroit but played mostly on the blue line for the Canadiens. The Red Wings are better off with a full-time forward.
Mike Grier, San Jose ($1.8 million) -- He is what you want in a third-line winger: big, physical, works hard down low, has good defensive instincts and can chip in some offense.
Manny Malhotra, Columbus ($1.5 million) -- A center with good size (6-2, 217) who skates well, is responsible defensively and kills penalties. He has underachieved offensively throughout his career.
Travis Moen, San Jose ($925,000) -- A good-sized (6-2, 215), solid role player and penalty killer who would provide grit and a physical presence on the fourth line and would not cost much.
Scott Nichol, Nashville ($750,000) -- He's small (5-9, 175) but energetic, works hard, gets involved physically, agitates and is good on the draw.
Rob Niedermayer, Anaheim ($2 million) -- He's a good skater and dependable defensive player with decent size (6-2, 200) and can play center or the wing.
Mike Peca, Columbus ($1.3 million) -- He would not provide much offense, but he's a good open-ice hitter, penalty killer and faceoff man who tends to get hurt a lot because of his aggressive style.
Brendan Shanahan, New Jersey ($800,000) -- He turned down a one-year, $4 million offer from the Red Wings in 2006, thinking the team was in decline. It helped younger players develop with more ice time. It's unlikely he would want to return or, at age 40, the team would want him back.
Mats Sundin, Vancouver ($8.6 million) -- He would not leave Toronto when the Red Wings wanted him at the trade deadline in 2008. Highly unlikely he would come here now at a much-reduced price. And he probably would take half the season to decide.
Petr Sykora, Pittsburgh ($2.5 million) -- He has good speed and a good shot and scored 25 goals during the regular season. But he was a regular scratch in the playoffs, which raises red flags.
We've done too many "farewell" posts already this offseason. It would be nice to do a "welcome" one, but then again, it's only July 10th. Trying not to flip out.
Wings preseason schedule:
You can bank on a humongous scouting report of Farjestads BK from us.
For something completely different, Sports Illustrated did a Konstantinov feature that you should definitely read.
"In May 2008 Hockey Hall of Famer and Red Wings great Ted Lindsay took the stand in U.S. District Court in the case of Konstantinov et al v. Findlay Ford Lincoln Mercury et al. Terrible Ted, then 82, a blunt talker whose worn mug is the face of Old-Time Hockey, put his right hand on a Bible and swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This was Lindsay’s truth: Eleven years earlier, Vladimir Konstantinov was 'the greatest hockey player in the world' and perhaps on his way to being the best defenseman of all time. Lindsay’s assessment of Konstantinov—the Vladinator, Vlad the Impaler, a shot-in-the-dark 11th-round draft pick in 1989 who became an essential part of the Red Wings’ Stanley Cup teams in the ’90s—might have been overly generous, but Lindsay has never been hauled back into court on a perjury charge."
"Konstantinov played six seasons in Detroit. In 1995-96 he compiled a plus-60 rating, the highest since Wayne Gretzky’s plus-70 nine years earlier. The following year he would finish second to the Rangers’ Brian Leetch for the Norris Trophy. He was 30, entering his hockey prime.
“'Vladi was a step ahead of me,' says fellow ’89 draft pick Nicklas Lidstrom. 'He was playing the game real hard. Whether he was playing against (enforcer) Stu Grimson or going up against Gretzky or (Mario) Lemieux, he would play the same way. He was never afraid of laying a hit on a tough guy. He was an excellent skater, strong on his feet. (He was) fearless on the ice'.”
Nick Lidstrom saying Vladi was a step ahead of him. That's unbelievable.