Not long after the Florida Panthers dealt defenseman Jay Bouwmeester's(notes) rights yesterday, the Detroit Red Wings could wind up doing the same with Marian Hossa(notes). As Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports this morning, if Hossa doesn't agree to the team's long-term offer of between $4-5 million a year, then the
Stanley Cup jinx sniper will have his rights dealt on Monday. From there, Hossa's new "team" will have two days before the opening of the 2009 free agency period on Wednesday to lock up a deal.
Reliable sources say the Los Angeles Kings, who are looking for a marquee player and have lots of salary cap room, will come hardest after the unrestricted free agent. They could play Hossa with Anze Kopitar(notes).
While Hossa re-signing with Detroit could spell the end for a number of Red Wings in order to make room for his salary, the Kings are ready to spend this summer and have more than enough room to satisfy him.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland met with Hossa's agent, Ritch Winter, during the NHL Draft over the weekend, saying he laid out Detroit's cap situation and how a deal would have to work if he is to return to HockeyTown:
"I've sat with Ritch here and told him to what cap level we're prepared to go. The only way we can make it work is to offer a long-term deal. I would say to you they were hoping to do better. At the same time, they understand the challenges we've got and understand that probably in order to be where they want to be we can't get there.
After speaking with Winter, Holland said he wasn't optimistic about a new deal. Team sources close to Ansar Khan of MLive.com said that Winter is looking for a $6 million a year deal, a number that is too rich for Detroit's blood without Holland having to shed salary.
One early casualty from the Red Wings cap situation is goaltender Ty Conklin(notes) who will not be back and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Jimmy Howard(notes) will be given the full-time back up role behind Chris Osgood(notes).
This begs the question: should Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren have waited to look for a new goaltender until he learned about Conklin's fate? Doesn't he know ConkBlock is 2-0 in Winter Classic's?