Wings’ Preseason Schedule Announced

The Red Wings released their preseason schedule today. The nine-game campaign kicks off against the Montreal Canadiens, one of three Original Six opponents Detroit will face.

Sept. 24, Montreal Canadiens, 7:30
Sept. 25, Boston Bruins at Halifax, TBA
Sept. 26, Boston Bruins, 7:30
Sept. 28, Atlanta Thrashers, 5:00
Sept. 30, at Montreal Canadiens, TBA
Oct. 1, at Atlanta Thrashers, 7:00
Oct. 3, Toronto Maple Leafs, 7:30
Oct. 4, at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7:00
Oct. 5, Buffalo Sabres, Joe Louis Arena, 5:00

Wings Sign Hossa to One Year Deal

The Detroit Red Wings announced on Wednesday the signing of free agent forward Marian Hossa to a one-year deal.

As per team policy the financial terms were not announced but TSN of Canada reports that the contract is worth $7.4 million.

That amount was the most that the team was willing to pay any player as they were determined to make sure that captain and Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom would remain the team’s highest-paid played.

Hossa was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins team that the Red Wings defeated in the Stanley Cup Finals in June, having been dealt there from the Atlanta Thrashers at the NHL’s February trade deadline.

He scored 12 goals and added 14 assists in Pittsburgh’s 20 playoff games after scoring 29 goals and 37 assists throughout the regular season.

The Penguins dealt Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a 1st-round pick in the 2008 Entry Draft to the Thrashers for Hossa and Pascal Dupuis on February 27.

Hossa was originally drafted by the Ottawa Senators, who traded him with Greg deVries to Atlanta for Dany Heatley in the summer of 2005.

Red Wings Re-sign Lilja

The Red Wings have re-signed Andreas Lilja, hours before he would have become a free agent. It’s reportedly a two-year deal for a little more than $1 million per season.

I would not have been sad to see Lilja go but Ken Holland must want to keep him for the penalty kill. I still want to see Brad Stuart return but if he’s not signed by noon tomorrow, it looks like he won’t be with the Red Wings next season.

Without Stuart and with Lilja, Detroit’s defensive corps is as follows:

Chelios (assuming he signs, as expected)

So that’s last season’s fall lineup plus Quincey, who would have to clear waivers to go back to Grand Rapids. Leaves them in the same spot they were in last February if they don’t make a deal before then.

Conklin Signed to Back Up Osgood

The Detroit Red Wings announced the signing of free agent goaltender Ty Conklin on Tuesday.

Conklin, 32, spent the 2007-08 season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre. He posted an 18-8-5 record with Pittsburgh in 33 appearances.

Detroit GM Ken Holland admitted that Conklin has an edge over Jimmy Howard in the battle for the backup spot behind Chris Osgood.

“When we go to camp, the number two job is up for grabs,” said Holland. “But for Jimmy Howard to be the number two guy, he’s going to have to win the job.”

Conklin’s deal is a one-year, one-way contract for $750,000.

Rolston Unlikely to Become a Wing

From the Freep:

Strike Flint native Brian Rolston off the list of potential Wings – he’s getting offers starting at $4 million and going north, and for far more term, too, than the Wings are willing to consider

I’d rather they get Sundin for one year anyway if they go for a UFA forward. I still like Bertuzzi if it’s for a million or less and only a year. He can always be benched.

Red Wings Sign Stuart to Four-Year Deal

The Detroit Red Wings signed defenseman Brad Stuart to a four-year contract on Tuesday. The deal – worth $15 million – was agreed to just before Stuart would habe become an unrestricted free agent.

Detroit acquired Stuart at the NHL’s trade deadline in February. He was paired with Niklas Kronwall in a highly-effective second-pairing through the Red Wings’ run to the Stanley Cup.

With the signing, the Red Wings’ defensive corps from the Cup run remains intact. Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski remain the top pairing with recently-resigned Andreas Lilja and Brett Lebda as the third pair. The team will carry eight defensemen, one being Derek Meech and the other expected to be current free agent Chris Chelios.

“We’re obviously done on defense,” said Detroit GM Ken Holland. “We’re still looking for a back-up goalie. If we can find a forward on a short-term deal to fill out our needs, great. But will that be this week or later in the summer, who knows?”

Stuart’s deal includes a no-trade clause for the first two seasons and a limited-trade clause for the final two.

“They were pretty sure he could get $4 to $4.5 million,” said Holland. “We paid a little bit more than we wanted to and he took a little bit less than he wanted to. But all deals made a compromises. He’s got a home now.”

Free Agent Fun

The NHL’s free agent season is about to kick off and I’ll be stuck at a lunch for work. I’ll be tracking on my phone as best as I can but feel free to post anything that happens while I’m gone.

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