I think free agency this year will be a lot more like last year than previous years with Bouwmeester and Campbell. I don't think there's a big "prize" like that, where everyone is bidding. Bieksa gets a lot of talk right now, but I think that will settle down.
I just don't think Wiz will take what we would offer... he's most likely going to get a big payday and I don't want the Wings overpaying for him (anything over 4/4.5), so unless he takes less to come home, I don't see the likelihood of him coming here very high...
Not necessarily directed at you, but I don't think the Wings are as stingy as some people seem to believe. We've been cap strapped the past couple summers but we're not now. History has shown that we will spend when we can. We don't need to bargain hunt and we don't need to try to dictate the market. I think Holland is too good to get frozen out of all the good free agents because 'we' think players are worth $1-2M less than what the market says they are.
With the cap going up as fast as it has been, you have to pay more for good free agents than you did two years ago. You can't give raises to playres who already have contracts, saving too much is a waste, and you can only have 23 players. That means the best way to spend the extra money is by drawing free agents.
I think you're pretty close on Wis's value (I'd say $4.5-5). We have a lot of money, more than any other contender and we're maybe the most respected organization in the league, and we really only have one major hole to fill. Shouldn't be any reason to think we aren't the front runner for at least one of the top available defensemen. Since Wis seems like both the best fit and pretty likely to see July 1st, I think there's a very good chance. Not to say that he (or anyone else) is a lock, but a lot of people seem really pessimistic when it comes to all the good FAs this year.
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