On the Detroit Red Wings …
George Malik of Kukla’s Korner: Red Wings RFA forward Tomas Tatar spoke CAS.sk about his free agent status and filing for salary arbitration. (through Malik’s translating the article) His agent, Rich Winter has been working with Red Wings for awhile on a new deal, and it doesn’t sound like it’s going well.
“Detroit offered me a contract, and even with a few options–for a year, or four or five. We’re still talking about the length, and of course, the financial amount of the contract. However, we aren’t going anywhere, and there’s been time enough,” Tatar told CAS, who may be headed to an arbitration court.
“Arbitration is the last option, I have to sign off, it’s just a mandatory contract. Unless I agree with Detroit, I’ll go to the court, where they’ll give me a year’s contract. That would probably be my last season in Detroit. We’ll see in a few days or weeks before it all comes together,” said Tatar.
Craig Custance of The Athletic Detroit: Red Wings GM Ken Holland didn’t have much to say when asked about Tatar’s comments.
“I don’t have any comment other than I’ve talked to Ritch Winter a number of times,” Holland said. “If that’s the way Tats feels, that’s the way Tats feels.”
The Red Wings know that Tatar’s deal will likely cost them more than Gustav Nyquist’s $4.75 million per season. Over the past three seasons, Tatar’s 75 goals are more than Phil Kessel (74), Johnny Gaudreau (72) and Jordan Eberle (69)
“The player has to make a good deal or the club has to make a fair deal,” Holland said. “If you can’t get a fair deal done, you have to go through the process.”
Given the state of the Red Wings, it may be better for them to look at trading Tatar for draft picks and prospects. If they re-signed Tatar to a long-term deal and the Red Wings continue their rebuild, he’ll be 30 years old in three years when some of the their young prospects are ready.
Issues of moving him now are his offseason shoulder surgery and that the 2018 draft is far away and teams may not be willing to give up a first round pick just yet.
They could agree on a one-year deal and see where things are at the trade deadline. Risks are that he gets injured and that wingers don’t usually bring in a big haul at the deadline.
If the Wings signed him to a long-term deal in the $5.5 million range, it would mean they are paying Tatar, Justin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist $14.5 million a season.