The hockey world mourned with the Detroit Red Wings when legend and ambassador Gordie Howe passed away last Friday at the age of 88. Tributes poured in, and San Jose even included a video tribute during the first intermission of last night’s Stanley Cup Final Game 6.
Howe’s wake will be held at the Joe Louis Arena tomorrow and open to the public to offer their respects. Howe’s death also affects the ramifications of the discussion between General Manager Ken Holland and Pavel Datsyuk on his expected retirement. Datsyuk’s contract will prove to hamper the Red Wings as it was extended when Datsyuk was 35. This of course means the full amount of his final year, $7.5MM, will remain on the books despite his retirement.
Already with the season over, speculation has run rampant over where the contract will be moved should Datsyuk indeed retire. The most likely places for his contract to be dealt to are Arizona, or Carolina. Most pundits have Arizona as the front runner since they have nearly $37MM of cap room to work with according to General Fanager. Once the meeting between Holland and Datsyuk takes place, it’s expected that the Red Wings will move accordingly to rid themselves of the contract. One element that Ken Holland has mentioned is his unwillingness to include a prospect or high draft pick to dispose of the contract. That may prove problematic since teams know how the contract hinders any offseason moves the Red Wings would want to make.
MLive.com’s Ansar Khan answered a lot of questions regarding head coach Jeff Blashill and the hiring of assistant coaches this offseason. Doug Houda and former Wild interim head coach John Torchetti were added in the past few weeks. Blashill came under fire for the regression of many players, namely forwards Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar, who were both expected to carry the team offensively. Blashill lost Tony Granato to the University of Wisconsin, where Granato once played and now serves as the head coach. Additionally, assistant coach Pat Ferschweiler was moved to the press box after the power play was dismal in the Red Wings first round loss to Tampa Bay.