Report: Red Wings Re-sign Chelios

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.

Game Over: Wings eliminated with loss to Oilers

The Detroit Red Wings carried a two-goal lead into the third period Monday night but couldn’t hold off a comeback by Edmonton, falling to the Oilers, 4-3. The loss eliminates the Red Wings from the playoffs.

It marks the third time in five years that Detroit exits the postseason in the opening round and the fourth time in five years that the Red Wings didn’t advance to the Conference Finals.

The Red Wings seemed in control early, dominating the game and opening the scoring with 5:24 remaining in the first period with a highlight-reel goal by Henrik Zetterberg.

After a weak pass by a falling Mikael Samuelsson failed to get the puck to Zetterberg, he stepped up on defenseman Jaroslav Spacek to poke the puck away from him. Zetterberg then picked it back up and skated around goalie Dwayne Roloson, shooting into a mostly-open net.

The Red Wings extended their lead with 5:58 remaining in the second period when Robert Lang scored on a power play.

In a set play that had worked all season but had yet to yield results in the playoffs, Lang sent the puck from the left wing boards down to Steve Yzerman at the bottom of the left circle before cutting to the slot. Yzerman sent the puck back to him for a one-timer that snuck through and put Detroit up by two.

The Oilers pulled to within one at 2:56 of the third period when Fernando Pisani banged in the rebound of a Jarret Stoll shot on an Edmonton power play. Just 3:44 later, Pisani added another to even the game, faking out Detroit netminder Manny Legace and putting the puck between his legs on an Edmonton rush.

Johan Franzen, who was caught out of position on Pisani’s second goal, put the Red Wings back out in front with 9:53 remaining, scoring on the rebound of a Kirk Maltby shot that bounced off the post.

Ales Hemsky‘s disputed power play goal with 3:53 evened the score again. A shot on net was deflected down to Hemsky with what appeared to be a high stick. Then, after banging away at the puck a couple of times, Hemsky looked to have kicked it into the net. After replay, the goal was allowed to stand.

Hemsky scored again with 1:06 remaining, giving the Oilers the only lead they needed on a tip in from the side of the crease.

Two of Edmonton’s six power plays yielded goals while Detroit scored only once on their four tries on the night.

Legace made 26 saves on 30 shots against but Roloson stopped 33 of the 36 shots he faced.

The winner of the Calgary – Anaheim series will determine Edmonton’s next opponent. Should Calgary win, the Oilers will be hosted by the Flames. Should Anaheim win, the Mighty Ducks will host the Colorado Avalanche and the San Jose Sharks will host the Oilers.

Detroit captain Steve Yzerman returned to the lineup for what is expected to have been the final game of his career. Goaltender Chris Osgood was scratched for the third game in a row.

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