Red Wings 2009-2010 Off-Season Recap


June 12th 2009, Dooms Day…. “Things” happened that day that Red Wings fans are still not (and may never be) willing to talk about. Let’s fast forward 2 months ahead to August 12th 2009.


Marian Hossa: Hossa led the Wings in goals for the 08-09 Season, but then disappeared when the playoffs started. Taking less money than he was offered the previous off-season, he left for the Chicago Blackhawks, who are division rivals of the Wings and the team they dismissed in 5 games in the Western Conference Finals last year. Hossa’s signing was magnified even further with the impending NHL investigation of the “Terms” of Hossa’s new Contract.

Jiri Hudler: Coming off of his best season (G 23 – A 34 – P 57) the Wings front office was prepared to offer a 1-year contract or go to arbitration (which ultimately happened). After filing for arbitration, Hudler signed a contract with Moscow Dynamo of the KHL. If and when he returns from the KHL, he will likely be better because of his garnered experience, and will still be under contract with the Wings for two years.

Mikael “Groudskeeper Willy” Samuelsson: Is leaving Detroit for Vancouver to likely join a line of his countrymen Henrick and Daniel Sedin. Samuelsson has been a clutch playoff player for the Wings since the lockout, but just a little to expensive for the Wings to be able to fit under the salary cap.

Chris Chelios: The 47 year old Chelios was told by the Wings shortly after the season finished that they would not be offering a him a contract for the upcoming season. Chelios has been a great player for the Wings since his trade from Chicago to Detroit at the deadline in 1999. He is a Hall of Fame player that will now be missed more in the locker room than on the ice.

Ty Conklin: Was key in net for the Wings during Chris Osgood’s struggle during the first half of the season. Down the stretch Conklin faltered, likely because he knew he was not going to be the goalie in the playoffs. Conklin leaves Detroit for St. Louis to compete for a job there.


Patrick Eaves: Eaves is joining the Wings from Carolina by way of Boston. Carolina traded Eaves to Boston who immediately placed him on waivers. Eaves is a former 1st Round pick of the Ottawa Senators, and is coming off of the worst season of his career, totaling only 6 Goals and 8 Assists. It was extremely disappointing for him after getting off to a good start in 07-08 with 15 points in only 36 games, but then suffering a shoulder injury which depleted his production. He has received high praise from the Wings front office, who hopes Eaves will benefit from some of the magic that rejuvenated the careers of players like Samuelsson and Dan Cleary. “His first two years in the league he was great and then he got injured, and he’s never really reached his potential,” said Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill. “We want to get him in a structured environment. He plays hard. He scored 20 goals as a rookie. We look at him as a Dan Cleary.”

Jason Williams: Returning to a familiar scene will hopefully suit Williams, who had his best season as a pro with the Wings in 2005-06, when he scored 21 goals, 37 assists and 58 points. Overall, Williams played 233 games with the Wings from 2000-2007, and scored 49 goals, 67 assists and 116 points. “I’m excited to get back,” Williams said in a phone interview today from London, Ont. “I always enjoyed my time in Detroit, met some great people there and to be able to re-sign is nice. Not many people get traded away and brought back. With what the Wings have lost this year in free agency, they’re trying to get some scoring and hopefully I can provide that.”


With the exception of the last off season, when the Wings stunned everyone with the signing of Marian Hossa, this was just another typical off-season for the machine that is the Detroit Red Wings. Year after year they simply sign 1 or 2 low key free agents and simply replenish their line up from within the organization. This year the Wings will look to get a lot of contributions from 3 players; Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm, and Justin Abdelkader, who were front and center for the Wings in the playoffs but did not play much during the ’08-’09 regular season. The Red Wings may not be as dominate on the power play as they were last year with the removal of Hossa, which may make the task of dominating the ever improving Central Division, as St. Louis, Columbus and especially Chicago add skilled players (and get older). It would be shocking if the Red Wings didn’t make the playoffs this year, but for the first time since the early part of this decade it wouldn’t be a suprise if the Red Wings didn’t win the Division. The excitement for another Cup run is building in Detroit and I personally can’t wait.