Tag: 2011 free agency

Ty Conklin

Detroit Red Wings officially announce Ty Conklin’s one-year contract

1 Comment

As we speculated last night, the Detroit Red Wings will indeed roll with a familiar face as Jimmy Howard’s backup during the 2011-12 season. The team confirmed that they signed Ty Conklin to a one-year contract, although they didn’t disclose how much money he will make. Ansar Khan reports that it will be less than $1 million, so it sounds like Conklin will receive a little bit less than what’s been the going rate for experienced backups during this off-season.

Red Wings fans should be familiar with Conklin, who helped save the team’s 2008-09 season. Conklin was supposed to serve as Chris Osgood’s backup, but he played nearly half the campaign by going 25-11-2 with a .909 save percentage, 2.51 GAA and six shutouts in 40 games played.

The Red Wings needed to let Conklin go to make room for Jimmy Howard in 2009. This allowed Conklin to sign a two-year deal with the St. Louis Blues. He was fantastic in 2009-10 (10-10-2 with an outstanding .921 save percentage and 2.48 GAA in 26 games played) but had a dreadful 10-11 (8-8-4 with an abysmal .881 save percentage and 3.22 GAA in 25 GP). Obviously, the Red Wings are hoping they get the “good” Conklin instead of the 10-11 version this season.

Either way, if Howard is healthy, fans probably won’t see a ton of Conklin. Howard played in 63 games for two straight seasons, so it’s possible that Conklin will appear in the least amount of games since he played in just 16 during the 06-07 season.

The good news for Detroit is that they have flexibility because they also Joey MacDonald locked up to a two-way deal. They might need some strong play from whomever gets the nod in net (ideally Howard, of course) because their defense could go through a bit of a transitional period with Nicklas Lidstrom moving toward retirement, Brian Rafalski already there and some new pieces in place.

Report: Red Wings stick with nostalgic backup plan, look primed to sign Ty Conklin

Chris Osgood, Ty Conklin

As it turns out, the Red Wings’ backup goalie will, indeed, be an aging former St. Louis Blues netminder with prior experience as a goalie for Detroit. It just won’t be Chris Osgood, who announced his retirement Tuesday afternoon.

Instead, Ansar Khan reports that the team is likely to sign Ty Conklin to be Jimmy Howard’s backup. Khan writes that the team will announce the one-year deal “worth less than $1 million” in the near future (possibly Wednesday).

Red Wings fans should be familiar with Conklin from his solid work with the team during the 2008-09 season. While he was technically Osgood’s backup during the season, he helped the team stay afloat while the veteran struggled a bit, going 25-11-2 with a .909 save percentage, 2.51 GAA and six shutouts in 40 games played.

Khan points out that the Red Wings allowed Conklin to depart via free agency during the summer of 2009 because they needed Howard to make the jump to the NHL level. Conklin spent his last two seasons with the Blues. He was strong in his backup role in 2009-10 (10-10-2 with an outstanding .921 save percentage and 2.48 GAA in 26 games played) and awful in 10-11 (8-8-4 with an abysmal .881 save percentage and 3.22 GAA in 25 GP).

Naturally, the Red Wings probably hope that Conklin approaches his 09-10 form (or better yet, his slightly better 07-08 run with the Pittsburgh Penguins), but it’s unlikely that he’ll get all that many starts behind Howard. The Red Wings’ franchise goalie played in 63 games for two straight seasons, so it’s possible that Conklin will see his least amount of work since he played in 16 games during the 06-07 season.

Either way, the Red Wings have some flexibility with Joey MacDonald locked up to a two-way deal and plenty of familiarity with their trio of goalies. They might need some solid work from whomever is in net too considering Nicklas Lidstrom’s age, Brian Rafalski’s retirement and the under-the-radar issues the team dealt with on defense last season.

Alexei Yashin update: Agent claims that one NHL team sent an offer

1 Comment

Earlier today, we discussed the far-fetched chance of Alexei Yashin returning to the NHL for the 2011-12 season. For the sake of discretion, we’d like to reiterate just how unlikely it would be to see the oft-criticized Russian center back in the league. (Dobber Hockey’s amusing “projection” of his NHL stats serves as a good indicator of the long odds.)

That being said, it’s still an amusing hypothetical situation to discuss on a slow day in mid-July. Yashin is looking for a new contract, after all, so it’s not like an NHL return is impossible.

Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov is often a great source of information on Russian hockey player news, whether he’s running an interview or translating reports that would be indecipherable for folks who admit that English is their first (and only) language. Chesnokov translated a report from Sovetsky Sport in which Yashin’s agent Mark Gandler claims that he received an offer from one NHL team.

Is there an interest in Alexei from the NHL?

“We have already received one offer.”

From the Islanders?

“I will not discuss what the club is. We are considering the expediency of the offer.”

Gandler added:

“We will meet with Alexei this week for the first time. We will discuss everything. We are not in a hurry. At this moment we have not had any serious negotiations with any club. It would have been unreasonable to do that until we are sure that everything is good health wise. As far as the leagues are concerned, we will look at both sides [the NHL and the KHL].”

Chesnokov points out the legitimate possibility that this supposed NHL interest is just a negotiating ploy, reminding us that Gandler tried to create a similar stir last year. Chesnokov also tabs foreign team Avtomobilist as a club that might be interested in keeping Yashin overseas.

So, again, it’s safe to say that Yashin’s NHL return would be a long shot. It’s like investing in an old sports car that certainly drives fast and loud, but has enough issues in its repair history to indicate that it is a lemon. If he wants to come back, the price would have to be right for both sides and both sides would need to be comfortable with that situation.

It’s still an entertaining scenario to imagine – even if it’s from a pure rubbernecking standpoint – though, isn’t it?