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In yet another installment of 5 Questions, today the subject is the always hated Detroit Red Wings. Gladly answering my questions, and graciously taking my abuse, is the author of a really good Red Wings blog Behind The Jersey. So without further adieu, here we go:

1) Is Hasek re-signing a good thing? Obviously he is still a top flight goalie (even if he flops around like Christiano Rinaldo (Portuguese soccer player infamous for diving) and his cap number will be much better than signing any other goalie of his caliber, but Admit it... you wanted to make a run at Giguère? Also with the way Hasek has kinda spaced out on teams do you trust him?

Hasek re-signing is probably the best news for the Wings this off-season. Why? Because he's not going to try to break the bank and aside from JS Giguere, there is no other goaltender I would feel comfortable with out of those available this summer. Yes, Wings fans would love to have seen Giguere on our team, but he's likely going to get $6 million or more and if the salary cap only goes up to $48.5 million, the Wings really couldn't afford him and try to re-sign defenseman Mathieu Schneider.

I still worry about Hasek re-injuring his groin during the season or postseason, but the Wings have taken extra precautions to make sure he stays as healthy as possible (ie. no back to back games and he comes in early to thoroughly warm up that muscle). If his groin does go, it'll hopefully happen before the trading deadline allowing us to try to pick up someone. Last time Hasek injured his groin while playing for the Wings in 2003, he gave up the $3 million he would've been paid for the rest of the season because he felt he didn't deserve it.

Hasek just wants to win and that's an attitude our team needs in its goaltender. Plus, the players have a lot of confidence in Hasek and that shows in their play on the ice. You couldn’t say that two seasons ago with Manny Legace in net during the playoffs.


2) Well with Hasek (likely) resigning for a lot less than say a Giguere would have signed for, that means the Beige Wings (what I call your team) have more money to be spent on other players. Are you going to re-sign both Schneider and Markov?

It doesn’t sound like the Wings will re-sign both Mathieu Schneider and Danny Markov. GM Ken Holland is meeting with Schneider’s agent over draft weekend to talk about a contract. With the recent signings of Kimmo Timonen (6 years, $37.8 million) and Andrei Markov (4 years, $23 million), Schneider has seen his market value rise over the past few weeks. Holland has said he probably can’t afford to pay Schneider more than $5.25 million and Schneider could get $6 million on the open market. Basically, Schneider will have to decide if he wants to stay in Detroit where he has played his best hockey or go elsewhere for slightly more money. I personally believe Holland will be able to re-sign Schneider.

Unfortunately, Holland won’t be able to fit both Markov and Schneider under the cap if both try to get the money they’re worth. Markov will only be re-signed if Holland fails to re-sign Schneider or if Schneider only signs for a small raise (he made $3.3 million this past season). I like Markov and would like to see him return for another year, but I don’t think Holland will have the room under the salary cap to retain him.


3) Is Markov worth re-signing? He seems to be a top-4 defensemen on a Conference finals team, but maybe he's not worth his salary. Detroit seems to be pretty loaded on D, and may want to spend the money on some offense to replace (surpass) Bertuzzi and Lang?

Yes, I believe Markov is worth re-signing for the right price. The Wings aren’t known for being extremely physical (although they did beat two physical teams in Calgary and San Jose in the playoffs) so it was nice having a more physical defenseman in Danny Markov.

Personally, I think the Wings will re-sign Bertuzzi because it sounds like Bertuzzi really liked the name and would be willing to take a bigger pay cut to stay. Robert Lang is definitely gone- thank goodness!

That money will go towards giving Hasek and Schneider a raise as well as signing a second-tier forward. It has been rumored that the Wings may bring back Slava Kozlov who had a great season in Atlanta. With the salary cap expected to only be between $48 and $50 million, someone like Ryan Smyth would seem out of the Wings’ price range.

4) Admit it, it wasn't the same without the Avs in the playoffs huh?

Yes, it was weird to see the Avs fail to make the playoffs, but I don’t think that’ll happen for a second year in a row. While I still dislike the Avs, I don’t hold that hatred towards the team that I once had (although I still can’t stand Roy and Lemieux to this day).


5) How does it feel to be cheer for the most hated team this side of Canada? The Yankees of Hockey, except with a lot less titles? And what the hell is up with your owner? How can he raise prices on a city that's struggling economically at the moment? How do Beige Wings fans feel about that? Obviously they're not happy, but what's the consensus on the owner?

Yes, I know there are quite a few teams who have fan bases that despise Detroit (ie. the Avs and Canucks), but the Red Wings have remained one of the most popular franchises for years. In a lot of weaker markets, the Wings’ road games draws thousands of Red Wings fans much to the dismay of the home team’s fans. I went to my first road game in Chicago and I really enjoyed hearing “Lets Go Red Wings” chants throughout the arena.

Owner Mike Ilitch did not raise ticket prices this season. He has not raised ticket prices since before the lockout. The problem is the Michigan economy is so incredibly awful that the ticket prices (especially those in the upper bowl) should have been lowered, but instead remained the same price. Obviously, Wings’ fans wish the ticket prices were a bit more affordable, but they had sold out last year at the same price so Ilitch probably believed that they would again this year.

Opinion regarding Ilitch varies from fan to fan. Most people appreciate what he has done to spend the big money to take the organization from the “Dead Wings” to making the playoffs for 16 consecutive years. These same people also think that the team could be more fan friendly (ie. hold more public practices) and that the organization takes their fans for granted.


My analysis: Detroit is going to be a very strong team, again, next season. As UFA inches closer, Markiv might be a viable option to steal away from the Beige Wings. He's a pretty good defenseman and we would be taking him from a hated rival, that is enough for me to want to get him. I think Hannan, out of San Jose, is a better option, but Markov might be a good contingency plan. Thankfully it looks like Ryan Smyth, the FA Detroit seemed to want the most, is out of their price range, opening up his signing to the Avs.