TOTALLY late to the party, but the Red Wings finally got off the sidelines and landed a free agent when they signed forward Patrick Eaves to a one year deal yesterday. Mad props to George Malik over at MLive’s Snapshots who basically called this one on July 25th:
I look at someone like the player the B’s are buying out in Patrick Eaves, a 25-year-old who made $1.4 million last season and will receive a buyout of $933,333.34 spread out over the next four seasons (he had two years remaining on his contract), as someone that the Red Wings might take a stab at if he’s willing to play for a highly discounted rate. The 5’11," 190-lb. winger came into the league as a highly-heralded prospect for the Ottawa Senators, but he topped out at 20 goals during his first season and 34 points in his second, with his speed, skill, and forechecking producing very little since his trade to Carolina.
The Patrick Eaveses and Taylor Pyatts of the hockey world offer the kind of, "We’ll sign you to an entry-level deal if you do well in camp, and then we’ll see what you can do" punch that the Wings are looking for, with Dan Cleary serving as the best example of a player counted down and out of the NHL delivering on his promise, and Brent Sopel’s decision to turn down a contract from the Wings to head to Chicago and fade into the background as a non-playing millstone as the worst result.
Nicely done sir. However, since I never miss a chance to toot my own horn, I had a similar prediction over at WIM two days afterwards, albeit buried deep in the article.
I’d prefer to turn my attention to someone like Patrick Eaves or Taylor Pyatt, who both need to really prove that they belong at this level and would be willing to work through camp to land an entry level type deal, a la Dan Cleary.
Final move: Land Pyatt or Eaves to an entry-level deal worth between $500K and 750K.
Anyways, to the winner go the spoils and GJM upped me by two days. No hard feelings though, as I think all of us agree that this was the right move for the Wings. Here’s to hoping that Eaves pans out and gets it done next season.