I think the combination of being in a holding pattern and the potentially $1.75 million Modano will cost absolutely is a factor in signing someone like Mitchell.
Can't really say until he actually signs somewhere and we can see the contract he got. The $1.25M they spent on Modano may have been the difference, but maybe not.
I don't think you really want to shape your long-term defense around a guy with a wonky head. Besides, while Mitchell is a good player, there are plenty of similar-quality Dmen that hit the free agent market every year. We won't be looking back wistfully on "the summer we missed out on Willie Mitchell." If the Wings have the money they'll get their man.
The Wings wouldn't be shaping their long term defense around Mitchell. He's 33 years old already which isn't young for a guy who plays the physical game he does. And as you point out, he's got the concussion issue. But like I said, he's a pretty good example of a player out on the market that could help the Wings D, and unless Holland pulls some shrewd moves quick, they have zero shot at him because of the Modano signing.
More than specifically Mitchell, it comes back to that a higher priority for the Wings should be shoring up their blueline than signing a Modano. He's a nice addition, but to me our questionable bottom pairing and aging top pairing (with a combined age of 77 years old when the season starts) is more of a priority for the Wings continued success.
I know I'm fixated on this issue, but when you talk about team defense with the Wings, the problem isn't the forwards. Zetterberg, Dats, Helm, Cleary, Flip, Eaves, Miller, Draper. That's a lot of defensively responsible forwards. Last season a lot of the problem was the actual defense, particularly around their own net.
Edited by haroldsnepsts, 08 August 2010 - 08:58 AM.