I've had this discussion with a few people and the general feeling is that they won't be able to keep Hossa past the end of this season. Well I don't know.
One school of thought is that the Red Wings will call up some kids and give the ice time to players like Helm and Leino, and see who turns into the next Fillpula, or Hudler, or Zetterberg, etc. Another thought process is that the Red Wings could move a couple contracts out like Stuart and Cleary to free up around $5-6 million and give the money to Hossa for a long term deal. Well that's a nice thought but don't forget Zetterberg and Franzen have extensions kicking in.
Here's a look at who the Red Wings have under contract for next year and what they're making. (we don't know what the salary cap will be set at next season but its expected to be relatively the same as it is now) All the money is in terms of millions obviously.
So that's $52.4 million committed to 9 forwards, 8 defensman, and 1 goalie. At least 4 forwards are needed and 1 goalie to fill out the required 22 man roster (assuming Meech is sent to the minors and the Wings carry 7 and not 8 d-men) So going with what they've got, they have roughly $4 million dollars to spend on 5 roster spots.
Notable RFA's -
The Red Wings have two key restricted free agents they will most likely try to keep in the fold. First off Jiri Hudler, who posted 57 points and has developed into a really terrific player, and 2nd is Ville Leino, who has been impressive in his callups. He could be a cap casualty and get a 2-way deal to keep him off the books when he is in the minors.
Notable UFA's -
Besides the aforementioned Hossa, the Red Wings will probably be forced to let Mike Samuelsson walk, and possibly back up goalie Ty Conklin.
My guess is that the Red Wings offer Hudler a long term deal similar to that of Filppula and save some cash on him in a way that only the Red Wings seem to do. This will leave the Wings with somewhere around $1 million in cap space, and the only way I could see them keeping Hossa is by moving a lot of pieces around. Overall it doesn't make sense and logic dictates that with the Red Wings incredible track record at the draft they probably let Hossa go to free agency.
For fun here's a crazy way they could keep the superstar, involving the Toronto Maple Leafs:
First their roster if they let Hossa walk...
Hudler - Datsyuk - Holmstrom
Franzen - Zetterberg - Cleary
Leino - Filppula - (UFA or draftee)
Maltby - Draper - Helm/UFA or draftee
defense if fine. Now let's see if they make some moves with Toronto (for fun, if anyone rips into me you're an idiot)
Dan Cleary $2.8
Jiri Hudler (RFA seeking $3 mil)
Brad Stuart $3.7
to Toronto for
Matt Stajan $1.7
Nik Kulemin $1.5
Ian White $0.8
Detroit is getting some servicable players back and the trade breaks down like this. Cleary is moved for Stajan (Stajan posted over 50 points for Toronto this season). Although Stajan was slightly more productive, Dan Cleary is the gritty Red Wing with a little more value. Cleary is a typical 20-20 player.
Hudler for Kulemin. Hudler has been developing into a star and this is the tough part for the Red Wings. However Kulemin has been praised by everyone and was one of the bright spots on the Leafs roster. He is a 21 year old, potential sniper with a lot of upside. The Red Wings save some money for now and get a guy with lots of potential moving forward.
Stuart for Ian White. This part of the deal the Red Wings are dumping salary and getting a guy back who is a decent d-man. The Wings can still role Lidstrom-Rafalski-Kronwall as their big minute guys and use the feisty Ian White in the 4-6 role, all the while saving close to $3 million.
In total here the Red Wings save around $5.5 million, and could use the extra space to negotiate a spot for Hossa. Also in this situation the Wings would have around $4 million cap space already. Suppose they give Hossa around $6.5 million per season, they would have around $3 million to fill out 5 roster spots which is very doable.
Red Wings post Leafs trade:
Hossa - Datsyuk - Holmstrom
Franzen - Zetterberg - Kulemin
Stajan - Filppula - Leino
Maltby - Draper - Helm
Lidstrom - Rafalski
Kronwall - Ericsson
Lebda - White
Hope y'all enjoyed