You may have noticed that we haven't said much about Jiri Hudler. We made our peace with his significant raise, and now he'd dead to us. For two years, at least.
Now, we have Patrick Eaves to talk about.
By most if not all accounts, this appears to be a very good signing.
The Red Wings have signed free agent right wing Patrick Eaves to a one-year contract.
In accordance with team policy, additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
A former first round pick of the Ottawa Senators in 2003, Eaves has played in 242 career games with the Senators and the Carolina Hurricanes.
He scored 20 goals in just 58 games in 2005-06, his rookie season in the NHL. Eaves followed his impressive debut with career-highs in assists (18) and points (32) in 2006-07.
Patrick Eaves' uncle Murray played for the Red Wings' organization in the late-80s. He amassed 207 points in two seasons at Adirondack.
On February 11, 2008, Eaves was dealt with Joe Corvo to the Hurricanes in exchange for Cory Stillman and Mike Commodore. In 85 games with Carolina over the past two seasons, Eaves posted seven goals and 12 assists.
Bruce MacLeod's take:
"Eaves' salary is $500,000 ... which makes this a marvelous signing for the Wings. He's just 25 and has a lot of skill. I'm sure Eaves was looking for an opportunity to prove himself, wanted just a one-year minimum deal to get himself a bigger contract next season. For the Wings, they get skill and potential at a price that couldn't be lower."
Hockeytown Static with a nice video find.
Animal Drew mentions the most important thing of all:
"And guess what? He shoots right."
Christy mentions the actual most important thing (that pesky cap number) at Winging It:
"My gut reaction was...really? That's our big summer signing? Obviously I knew we couldn't afford a big name, but I wasn't sold on this signing. That is until I learned it was for $500,000. It's funny how a salary number can completely alter one's opinion on the deal. There is definitely upside with Eaves and it's a risk I'd be happy to take for close to the league minimum. Plus, it should still give us room to sign one more forward to fill out the roster."
For whatever reason, the little scouting reports at Sportsnet.ca are highly addicting. Sifting through multiple teams can consume a couple hours before you know it. Here's Eaves' player profile:
(click to enlarge)
Lastly, the summer MVP of Red Wings blogging weighs in, and is a big fan of this move:
"I actually really love the idea of Eaves as a Red Wing — I think this is a system for him. He’s very similar to what Dan Cleary was before he came a Red Wing. A first round pick that hasn’t entirely panned out (Cleary never scored 20 goals though) but has stuck in the NHL as an energy guy. Eaves will be right up there with Helm, Draper, and Lebda for fastest skater on the team, he has that kind of speed. He’s not incredibly skilled but like Cleary, he’s got a great wrist shot and his hands aren’t made of stone. He’ll probably end up on the 3rd or 4th line this year, but if he shows any signs of life offensively, I could see him being kept long-term and eventually moved into a 2nd/3rd line swingman. But I’m getting ahead of myself here."
And now let us aesthetically please ourselves with some lineup contemplation:
Datsyuk - Zetterberg - Holmstrom
Cleary - Filppula - Franzen
Leino - Helm - Eaves
Maltby - Draper - Abdelkader
If Mr. Eaves is as mobile as advertised, the 3rd line could look like the human embodiment of lightning.
Good work, Kenny.