Friday, September 02, 2005

Zetterberg, Datsyuk still not signed

Thanks to for the report

DETROIT (AP) - As the NHL moves toward resuming play, the Detroit Red Wings aren't close to re-signing restricted free agents Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg.
"We're nowhere near a deal with either player," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Thursday. "We've made a number of offers and they've made offers, but we still have a long way to go to reach deals."
It's a priority for the Red Wings to retain the young forwards, but with the league's new collective bargaining agreement the team's salary cap is $39 million US - about half of what Detroit has spent in the past.
"From a club's perspective, if a player doesn't reach your projections in terms of performance, it really will have a negative impact on your ability to compete in the future," Holland said. "So, we have to be careful.
"From a player's perspective, they're looking for the best deal they can get because you can't renegotiate under the terms of the new CBA."
The Red Wings are about $7 million under the 2005-2006 salary cap, and hope to sign four or five players.
Datsyuk had a combined 42 goals and 77 assists during the past two regular seasons - after a 35-point year as a rookie - but didn't score a goal in the 2003 or 2004 playoffs and had just six assists.
Zetterberg had a combined 37 goals and 50 assists in his two regular seasons, then followed up with just five points in 16 postseason games.
Datsyuk is 27 years old and Zetterberg turns 25 next month, making them even more valuable to the Red Wings because the team has many aging players.
"They're both good young players with a lot of ability, but they're not finished products," Holland said. "I've had a number of conversations with their agents, and we'll continue to talk because we want to bring both of them back.
"I feel we've made fair offers and there's not a lot more we can do under the salary cap. I'm not concerned, but the closer we get to Sept. 12, I will be."
The Red Wings will leave Detroit on Sept. 11 for training camp in Traverse City, Mich. They will take physicals the next day, and will have their first workout Sept. 13.
Detroit hosts the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 5 in the season opener.

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