The Detroit Red Wings have agreed to terms with defenseman Chris Chelios, the Detroit Free Press reported on Wednesday. The report stated that the 44-year-old signed a one-year contract worth $850,000.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is also working to bring back expected Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom and forward Brendan Shanahan.
Detroit hopes to sign Lidstrom for around $7 million per season but the Tampa Bay Lightning’s recent signing of Brad Richards to a salary cap maximum deal of $7.8 million annually could drive Lidstrom’s value up. The Red Wings worry that they will be unable to upgrade in goal if Lidstrom’s price is too high.
Shanahan is coming off a season where he made $2.28 million and had an offensive resurgance, scoring 40 goals. Teams could outbid Detroit for his services but he his rumored to only be interested in returning to the Red Wings or going to the Boston Bruins.
“I talked to Brendan in Latvia; we sat for a couple of hours,” Holland said. “Brendan said he’ll talk with his wife and his agent and get back to me. Then we’ll decide if we’re going to negotiate or if he wants to hit the market.”
Also up in the air is the status of captain Steve Yzerman, who was expected to retire following this season but may be reconsidering after being one of Detroit’s better players in their brief playoff run.
Of Yzerman, Holland said, “I’ve told him I don’t need to know until the middle of June. When he feels he’s made his decision, I’m sure he will call me. He is making a decision on his career. I want him to have all the necessary time, but there is a time frame, heading into the draft on the 24th of June, that I would like to know.”
Holland’s only offseason move other than the Chelios signing was to agree to a deal with Swedish goaltender Stefan Liv.
Liv, the alternate goalie for Sweden in both the Olympics and the World Championships, is expected to compete for a spot on the team but spend next season in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins.