- Brian Manzullo of the Detroit Free Press: There is some talk that the some free agents may not want to sign with the Red Wings due to coach Mike Babcock’s hard-nosed style. Babcock responded on Detroit Sports 105.1 radio with:
“Maybe they don’t want to come because Mike Babcock has a one-year contract,” he said. “The way I look at it here, if you don’t want to be coached, don’t come here. If you want to be pushed to be the best that you can be, that’s what we do here. You know what? The proof is in the pudding.”
“If (the Wings) are concerned about (free agents not liking him), then I should coach somewhere else.”
- David Staples of the Edmonton Journal: Four issues that RFA Justin Schultz and the Oilers face:
1. Oilers GM Craig MacTavish has identified Schultz, 24, a restricted free agent, as one of the core Oilers, putting him in the same company as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. These three other players are locked into long-term deals that pay $6 million per season.
2. Schultz is coming off a season with mixed results, a season not worthy as a stand alone season of a big money, long-term deal.
3. In the NHL, teams pay for point scoring and it’s not unreasonable to expect a 40 to 50 point season soon out of Schultz.
4. Schultz made $3.7 million last year, and he won’t be keen take a pay cut, even if his two-way play wasn’t stellar. (Correction: I misinterpreted CapGeek, which listed his potential bonus, not his paid bonus, which was far less, and meant Schultz made about $1.7 to 2.0 million last season.)
Staple’s thinks signing Schultz to a long-term deal in the $4.5 to $5 million per season range would be a good bet.
- Chris Kuc: Sheldon Brookbank is talking to a few teams, with a source saying that a return to the Blackhawks is still possible.