HSJ in the morning: discussing the Wings’ best and worst free agent signings since 1998

The Free Press’s Helene St. James examines the Red Wings’ best and worst free agent signings since 1998 this morning. This story parallels St. James’ article regarding the 11 best and 11 worst draft picks since 2008.

I prefer to accentuate the positive, so let’s examine St. James’ “bests“:

1. D Brian Rafalski

Signed: 2007 (5 years, $30 million)

A master at tape-to-tape passes, Rafalski produced 204 points in 292 regular-season games and 40 points in 63 playoff games before retiring early because of injuries.

2. F Brett Hull

Signed: 2001 (2 years, $9 million)

He scored 30 goals his first season and led the star-studded 2002 playoff team with 10 goals while forming the “two kids and a goat” line with Pavel Datsyuk and Boyd Devereaux. Hull ended up staying three seasons, leading the team with 207 points in 245 regular-season games and fourth with 24 points in 39 playoff games. 

3. G Chris Osgood

Signed: 2005 (1 year, $800,000)

Lost on waivers in 2001 after the trade for Dominik Hasek, the Wings brought back Osgood and he ended up staying five seasons. He took over for a struggling Hasek in the 2008 playoffs and backstopped the Wings to the Stanley Cup, and did what he could to help defend it, going 15-8 with a .926 save percentage in the 2009 playoffs. 

She continues at length, and I suppose you could consider this a solid critique of Ken Holland’s regime as Holland mostly made moves via the free agent marketplace.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

3 thoughts on “HSJ in the morning: discussing the Wings’ best and worst free agent signings since 1998”

  1. So the 1-year deal to Alfredsson was a “miss” according to HSJ. He merely led that awful roster in scoring before retiring and leaving no future cap implications.

    But the awful signing of Frans Nielsen doesn’t even make the list!!

    HSJ has no idea what she’s doing. Totally embarrassing.

  2. There are more misses for me and Alfie was not one of them. I have to be honest, I thought Frans would be good if used right. Oh well he was good in the room, LOL. I am not even going to look at salary, term, NMV, NT… KH simply must have been near the top of the list with contracts for players not even close to deserving them.

    HSJ must be going thru menopause, just so terrible. I wonderif menopause causes sight problems?? Glad I live in Canada.

  3. Also like how Cleary was a success based on a couple of cherry-picked stats. What about the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th time Kenny gave him a contract? Do we just forget about those decisions because of that one time it worked out. Just a nonsense article. HSJ misses Kenny spoon-feeding her with propaganda pieces…

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