Dandenault Inks One-Year Deal with Wings

The Detroit Red Wings signed restricted free agent swingman Mathieu Dandenault to a one-year deal on Tuesday. Dandenault will reportedly earn $1.6 million.

The deal allows Dandenault to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season because he will be a ten-year NHL veteran making below the league average salary.

Dandenault began his career playing right wing before being shifted to defense. During the 2003-04 season he also spent time playing center.

Detroit general manager Ken Holland would not rule out the possibility of negotiating a long-term deal with Dandenault at a later date.

Shanahan Re-signs with Wings

Power forward Brendan Shanahan signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, ending speculation that began on Tuesday that a deal was near.

Reportedly, the contract is worth $3.5 to $4 million and includes a player option for a second year.

The Red Wings did not exercise their $6.5 million team option on Shanahan, making him an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Detroit was the only team that Shanahan spoke with, however, as he negotiated the less expensive deal.

Shanahan, a fan-favorite who has spent eight seasons with the Red Wings, scored 25 goals and added 28 assists last season while playing in all of Detroit’s games. He scored only six points in 12 playoff games.

With Shanahan’s signing, the Red Wings will likely focus on coming to terms with defenseman Chris Chelios. The two sides are reportedly close to a deal. Detroit will also be negotiating with restricted free agents Pavel Datsyuk, Mathieu Dandenault, Jiri Fischer and Jason Williams.


The Red Wings also announced the signing of four players likely to join the Grand Rapids Griffins next season. Defenseman Brett Ledba spent last season with Notre Dame in the CCHA, center Eric Himelfarb played with Barrie of the OHL, defensman Bryan Helmer spent 2003-04 splitting time between the Phoenix Coyotes and the AHL’s Springfield Falcons, and ceter Eric Manlow split the season between the New York Islanders and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL.

NHL Releases 2004-05 Season Schedule

The National Hockey League’s labor situation may cause the partial or complete cancellation of the 2004-05 season but if it is played, the schedule of games is set. The league announced its schedule for the upcoming season on Wednesday, following a tradition of making the announcement the day after Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game.

The Red Wings will open their season in Edmonton on October 14 on an abbreviated road trip through Western Canada. The Wings will then face Vancouver before heading back to Detroit to host the Carolina Hurricanes in their home opener on October 20.

The Red Wings’ schedule includes only one home-and-home series, a season-ending affair against the Minnesota Wild on April 8 and April 10. Detroit will play 24 of their 82 games on consecutive nights.

Detroit’s first matchup of the season with the archrival Colorado Avalanche is in Denver on December 8. The Avalanche make their first trip of the season to Detroit on January 29.

The Red Wings will face the Calgary Flames for the first time since losing to them in six games in the second round of the 2004 playoffs on November 24 in Detroit. The Wings will visit the Flames for the first time on December 11.

The annual New Year’s Eve game will feature the Red Wings hosting the Vancouver Canucks. Gametime is at 7:00 PM, unlike most Detroit home games which start at 7:30 PM. The Red Wings will have played at home on December 31 all but six years since 1950.

Detroit’s preseason exhibition schedule was also released in the past week. The Red Wings will face only five teams in nine games.

Hasek to Sign with Ottawa, Devereaux Heads to Phoenix

The Detroit Red Wings lost two players to free agency on Monday as the Ottawa Senators announced that they would sign and name Dominik Hasek as their starting goaltender on Tuesday and the Phoenix Coyotes came to terms with forward Boyd Devereaux.

The terms of Hasek’s deal with the Senators are unknown. He was set to make $6 million last season before he voluntarily stopped collecting his salary in February after a season-ending groin injury.

Devereaux’s deal with the Coyotes is reportedly a one-year deal with a base salary of $650,000. The contract includes an option for a second year and performance-based bonuses that could raise Devereaux’s salary to $1.6 million over two years.

The Red Wings did not attempt to resign Hasek and had given him permission to speak with other teams at the end of the season. Hasek helped Detroit win the Stanley Cup in 2002 before retiring that summer. The Red Wings signed Curtis Joseph to replace him but Hasek returned to the team in the summer of 2003, creating a logjam in the crease. Joseph will be the starter in Detroit next season.

Detroit did not tender Devereaux a qualifying offer by the July 1 deadline, making him an unrestricted free agent. The Red Wings could have kept him off the market if they had offered him a deal based on the $1.6 million he made last season. They had hoped to bring him back at a reduced price but Devereaux was hoping to find a team where he could get more quality playing time.

Remaining free agent Red Wings include Chris Chelios, Brendan Shanahan and Mathieu Schneider. Brett Hull and Steve Thomas have been told they will not be brought back next year. Restricted free agents include Matheiu Dandenault, Pavel Datsyuk, Jiri Fischer and Jason Williams. Kris Draper already signed a 4-year deal with the Red Wings.

Wings Sign Draper to Four-Year Deal

The Detroit Red Wings have signed unrestricted free agent Kris Draper to a four-year deal, the team announced on Thursday. As per team policy, the terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The Red Wings were rumored to have resigned the center on Wednesday, one day before he would have become a free agent, but the rumor was false and Draper was one of the many players across the league who became a free agent at midnight of July 1.

Draper will reportedly earn $11.25 million over the four years of the contract.

Draper had a breakout season last year, scoring 24 goals and 40 points and claiming the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward.

The Red Wings will now focus on bringing back forwards Brendan Shanahan and Boyd Devereaux and defensemen Mathieu Schneider and Chris Chelios, as well as signing their restricted free agents.

Several Wings Become Unrestricted Free Agents

Despite reports to the contrary, the Detroit Red Wings did not sign forward Kris Draper to a new contract late Wednesday night. Draper, who had a career year last season, has become an unrestricted free agent along with Brendan Shanahan, Chris Chelios, Mathieu Schneider and Boyd Devereaux.

Brett Hull, Steve Thomas and Dominik Hasek also became unrestricted free agents but the Red Wings had already notified them that the team would not attempt to resign them. Hasek is reportedly close to a deal with the Ottawa Senators.

NHL free agency began at midnight on Thursday. Unrestricted free agents across the league include Ottawa’s Peter Bondra, Colorado’s Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne, Los Angeles’ Jason Allison and New York’s Eric Lindros.

Detroit captain Steve Yzerman is also an unrestricted free agent but he is expected to sign with the Red Wings as soon as he recovers from his season-ending facial injury.

Draper is reportedly close to a deal and some rumors say he had even signed a new contract but nothing is done yet between him and the club.

Shanahan and Chelios both intend to stay in Detroit and are close to deals. Schneider and the Red Wings are far apart and Schneider is expected to garner interest from Los Angeles and the New York Rangers, teams he had previously played on.

The Red Wings are interested at brining back Devereaux at significantly less than the $1.6 million he made last season.

Restricted free agents on the Detroit roster include Mathieu Dandenault and Jiri Fischer and forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Jason Williams.