As the 2003 free agent season approached, the Red Wings avoided allowing grinder Darren McCarty and defenseman Jason Woolley to hit the open market.
McCarty, who has played his entire career for Detroit, signed a four-year, $8.75 million deal late Monday.
“I’m happy,” said McCarty. “The most important thing to me was term. Maybe I could have gotten more on the open market, but I’m happy with what I’ve got.”
Woolley was signed to a two-year deal that is believed to be worth less than the $1.3 million per season he earned last year. The defenseman joined the Red Wings in December in a trade from the Buffalo Sabres. He played college hockey in East Lansing at Michigan State.
As the midnight deadline passed, Sergei Fedorov, Igor Larionov, Jesse Wallin, Patrick Boileau and Steve Yzerman became unrestricted free agents. Yzerman is the only one of the five not expected to test the market.
Defenseman Dmitri Bykov has decided to return to Russia to play for Ak Bars Kazan next season, rather than playing for the Red Wings.