Yup, it’s August alright.
Accepting an invitation to be a free agent tryout is former draft pick Randy Cameron.
Cameron was the fifth round pick in 2007, but the Wings declined to extend him a contract offer at his signing deadline in June. He was allowed to re-enter the draft, but was not selected.
Making good on his promise was Jim Nill, who told Bruce MacLeod that he expected to invite Cameron – as well as another unsigned ’07 pick, Zack Torquato – to camp:
“You watch them over the two years, their game hasn’t improved to the point where we think they made enough progress,” said Nill. “I told them both to go out and prove us wrong.”
Both Torquato and Cameron will be invited back to Red Wings’ training camp if they’re not drafted later this month by another organization, according to Nill.
Torquato accepted an invitation to the Minnesota Wild training camp.
Newly re-named Red Wings ECHL affiliate, the Toledo Walleye, will apparently be holding tryouts. Unfortunately, spots for this season’s free agent tryout are all filled, but the website has a form to fill out to be contacted for future tryouts.
Red Wings fans may remember the Walleye better as the Storm, as they’ve undergone a re-branding of sorts.
The Red Wings are expected to send one of their goaltending prospects to Toledo for the season, as starts will be limited if all three are kept on the Griffins. Daniel Larsson is a lock to play in Grand Rapids this season, so the battle will come down to Thomas McCollum and Jordan Pearce. One would argue that McCollum is more polished than Pearce, but he’s also three years younger, and would (perhaps) benefit from getting the majority of starts in the ECHL as opposed to playing backup in the AHL.
Thoughts? I know Kyle‘s going to get in on this conversation, and I can’t wait to see who he thinks it’ll be.
My early line? Pearce 3:2.
The Red Wings didn’t bother letting Jakub Kindl get to restricted free agency, signing the top blueline prospect to a 3-year, $2.65M extension.
At the NHL level – where Kindl WILL be playing by the 2010-2011 season – his new deal will earn him $750,000 the first year, $850,000 the second, and $1.05M the third. The cap hit for the duration is $883,333. He will remain a restricted free agent upon the contract’s expiration in 2013.
This is an early report, so I haven’t heard any other relevant details yet, but it’s safe to assume that these three years are One-Way, meaning that even if Kindl is demoted to Grand Rapids (unlikely), he’ll still be paid these figures.
This is very clearly a wise signing by the Wings. Many prospect outlets have Kindl listed as the top Wings prospect at any position, and we all know the Wings blueline-centric philosophy. Kindl has yet to get into a regular season game with the Wings (thanks to the surplus of defenseman the last few years), but has made a habit of being one of the final players cut from training camp.
Expect him to be the top call-up for the big squad in 2009-2010.
The Red Wings announced that they have re-signed restricted free agents Ryan Oulahen and Evan McGrath to one-year two-way deals. There were no financial terms given, but it’s safe to assume they’re worth near-league minimum at the NHL level. For what it’s worth, Oulahen’s contract last season was worth $475,000 in the big leagues, and McGrath’s was worth $633,333.
I’m excited about going into camp with an opportunity to make the team. I had a good experience there last year and I think they know what I can do. Only they know where I fit into their plans for the future, so I’m just trying to get stronger and bigger and faster…Trying to keep improving. I trust what they do with the players there. When they think I’m ready, I’ll be up. And if it’s right away or halfway through the season, it’s great. They know what they’re doing and I trust their decision.
Talk about saying the right things, eh? If you’re asking my opinion, he’s definitely one of the 12 best forwards in the organization now that Hossa is a Blackhawk, and Hudler might be headed to Russia. But, the team’s stance has always been that young players are better served playing big time minutes in Grand Rapids than five, six, or seven in Detroit, and potentially being in the press box.
Justin Abdelkader is 22-years-old, and it’s nice to know he’s ready when Holland, Babcock and Co are…
Per the Red Deer Scene, via Griffins Central and Snapshots,
Coetzee joins another free agent prospect, goaltender Chris Whitley, on the list of announced invitees.
Rebels forward Willie Coetzee, passed over in last months NHL Entry Draft, will still be headed to a big-league training camp this fall.
Coetzee has accepted an invite to the Detroit Red Wings camp, where he will join linemate Landon Ferraro (Detroit’s 2nd round pick, 32nd overall).
The Red Wings confirmed the schedules for the Prospects Camp and a few dates for the Main Training Camp. For a full listing of events, check out the events page at Red Wings Central. In the meantime, here are a few Red Wings-related dates and such:
Sun, Sept. 6 :: 11:30am :: Detroit prospects practice
Sun, Sept. 6 :: 6:30pm :: DETROIT vs. ATLANTA
Mon, Sept. 7 :: 11:30am :: Detroit prospects practice
Mon, Sept. 7 :: 6:30pm :: DETROIT vs. CAROLINA
Tue, Sept. 8 :: 10:45am :: Detroit prospects practice
Wed, Sept. 9 :: 11:30am :: Detroit prospects practice
Wed, Sept. 9 :: 7:00pm :: DETROIT vs. NY RANGERS
Thu, Sept. 10 :: TBA :: team practices and championship games
Fri, Sept. 11 :: charity golf tournament & Dinner of Champions
Sat, Sept. 12 :: RED WINGS ALUMNI vs. MANAGEMENT
Sun, Sept. 13 :: TBA :: scrimmages
Mon, Sept. 14 :: 6:00pm :: GOLD MEDAL GAME
Tue, Sept. 15 :: 6:00pm :: RED & WHITE GAME
The Red Wings have become semi-famous for unearthing hidden gems in the draft throughout the years (though their recent draft efficiency isn’t anything to write home about), and although they gained a reputation for trading away their future for immediate success, they have quite a stable of promising prospects to look forward to.
Now, I won’t pretend to know as much about each of the prospects as Kyle from Babcock’s Death Stare, the chaps at Red Wings Central or Hockey’s Future – all of whom do a wonderful job analyzing and breaking down the Griffins and beyond. But, we here at The Production Line watch the prospects very closely and keep up as much as possible throughout the season.
That said, don’t take this list as a ranking, per se, it’s more of a organizational timeline of when you may be seeing the following names in red and white.
1. Darren Helm (C) – all the makings of a folk hero.
2. Jonathan Ericsson (D) – Babcock’s been itching to have him in the lineup for a few seasons – and he will be, full time, in 09-10.
3. Justin Abdelkader (C/LW) – performed more than admirably in the playoffs – scoring two goals in the Final, but may find himself in Grand Rapids again.
4. Jimmy Howard (G) – now or never, eh, James?
Potential 2010-11 Red Wings
5. Jakub Kindl (D) – an NHL talent, but has a real plus/minus problem on the farm. Will serve as the top defensive call-up this season.
6. Dick Axelsson (W) – finally coming to North America to showcase supposed NHL talent.
7. Mattias Ritola (W) – fit in nicely in spot call-up work in ’08.
8. Johan Ryno (W) – coming BACK to North America, will have to impress to earn another shot from the Wings after coming oh-so-close in ’07.
2 or 3 Years Out
9. Daniel Larsson (G) – he’ll either flat out steal a job from Jimmy Howard or exhaust his waiver options, as is the Wings way.
10. Logan Pyett (D) – big defenseman getting used to the pro game.
11. Cory Emmerton (C) – takes on a leadership role in prospect activities, coming along but is definitely buried behind some veterans on the depth chart.
12. Sergei Kolosov (D) – if there’s some growth on the farm, there might be room for him when the current blueline goes to pasture.
4 or 5 Years Out
13. Thomas McCollum (G) – very clearly the goaltender of the future.
14. Brian Lashoff (D) – savvy free agent signing looked great at this year’s strength and development camp.
15. Jan Mursak (W) – high-end talent took a step backwards spending so much time in the Grand Rapids press box.
16. Tomas Tatar (W) – who knows what path he’ll take…
17. Sebastien Piche (D) – another savvy pick-up will have to get used to the tempo of the pro game.
18. Francis Pare (C) – QMJHL MVP isn’t big, but he knows the game.
Potentially Further Out, But Still Very Exciting…
19. Brendan Smith (D) – as close to a bluechip blueline prospect the Wings have had in some time.
20. Landon Ferraro (W) – it may be a process – or it may be painless – either way he’s the only forward the Wings have taken in the first round (or early second) in a generation.
21. Gustav Nyquist (W) – lots of college eligibility left, and some years of the AHL between now and Motown.
22. Joakim Andersson (W) – will stay in Sweden again this season and has a potentially very long – but possible – road to the NHL.
23. Brent Raedeke (W) – like Lashoff, a clever move to tie him up. Just a matter of how well the undrafted player develops and how many forwards he can jump past.
24. Stephen Johnston (C) – a guy who will excite the Joe, should he ever get there, the Wings have a decision to make regarding his future next summer.
25. Gleason Fournier (D) – will continue to play Junior, one to watch.
26. Max Nicastro (D) – jumping to college hockey next season, could be 6-7 years away from the NHL.
27. Andrej Nestrasil (W) – the Wings are very high on him, he’ll be playing in the QMJHL in 09-10.
28. Nick Oslund (W) – playing college hockey in a program not known for its pro alumni.
29. Travis Ehrhardt (D) – great depth signing, may find it difficult to jump the prospects above him.
30. Nick Jensen (D) – luckily, the Red Wings have five years to evaluate whether they’d like to sign him, and then another three or four to play him in the AHL, if they choose to.
31. Adam Almqvist (D) – playing in a second-tier league overseas, will hopefully begin to blossom now that he’s a draft pick. It’s happened to Wings picks before — and from lower tiers.
32. Jesper Samuelsson (W) – having trouble staying in the Swedish Elite League.
33. Jordan Pearce (G) – not to knock his skill, he’s just got a lot of guys to leapfrog to play goal for the Wings.
34. Mitchell Callahan (W) – might not want to sign a fighter when upon his deadline. Should be an interesting call in 2011.
35. Jamie Tardif (W) – most likely signed to guarantee his place on the Griffins.
36. Julien Cayer (W) – very raw prospect with three more years to impress.
37. Anton Axelsson (C) – supposedly not interested in coming to North America.
38. Bryan Rufenach (D) – needs a hell of a Junior year at Clarkson to open some eyes.
39. Nils Backstrom (D) – highly unlikely to be signed.
40. Gennady Stolyarov (C) – may be stuck in Russia his entire career, but there’s something there.