DeKeyser also played youth hockey with Jim Nill's son, so they knew each other. I'm sure that helped. Other teams may have offered immediate icetime (the Wings supposedly had no plans of playing him right away) but ultimately, the draw of playing at home was probably the biggest factor. If we're going to cite it as a reason the Wings lost out on Parise and Suter, we have to acknowledge it as a reason they got DeKeyser.
I'm not surprised Tootoo was waived and I'm not surprised he cleared. I do like him, I was surprised when the Wings signed him, and I was shocked and disappointed when I saw the terms of his contract. He had been making $1.2M per year in Nashville and was phased out of their lineup. Why a 3-year deal and why such a big raise? It's obviously come back to burn Holland. I think he should have offered somewhere between $1M-1.3M per year, and if Tootoo rejected it, move on. You can't pay 4th-line/healthy scratch players that kind of money.
Samuelsson is another story... he made $2.5M per year on his Vancouver contract. He was productive (74gp--30g-23a--53pts, 75--18-32--50, and 54--14-17--31 in the 3 years) but missed some time each season, especially in the last year, split between Vancouver and Florida. Although I hated the signing from day one, it's reasonable to expect that production should have (and maybe would have, barring the injuries) continued, even if it decreased somewhat. You can blame Holland for that signing (I do), but you can't blame him for the lack of results.
I can't trash Holland for signing Samuelsson. It made some degree of sense at the time. But multi-year and NTC did not.
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