April 5, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings left wing Justin Abdelkader (8) skates with the puck against the New Jersey Devils at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

NHL Free Agency: Red Wings Sign Justin Abdelkader, Carlo Colaiacovo

The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed Justin Abdelkader and signed Carlo Colaiacovo before the NHL lockout begins.

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Former Red Wings Target Shane Doan Re-Signs With Phoenix Coyotes

Shane Doan, a one-time free agency target of the Detroit Red Wings, re-signed with the Phoenix Coyotes on Friday. From the Associated Press report:

The Phoenix Coyotes’ captain signed a four-year, $21.2 million contract with the team on Friday, getting the deal in just before the NHL’s expected lockout.

Doan became a free agent on July 15, but didn’t sign while waiting for the Coyotes’ ownership situation to clear up. He spoke with several other teams, but said all along that he wanted to remain in Phoenix.

The Red Wings were reportedly interested in Doan in July, but the reported asking price for Doan eventually put Detroit out of the running.

Doan has played his entire career with the franchise, dating back to when they were the Winnipeg Jets prior to moving to Phoenix.

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Detroit Red Wings Sign Justin Abdelkader, Carlo Colaiacovo

The NHL will lock out its players if a new CBA is not agreed upon by 11:59 p.m. ET Saturday, but that didn't stop the Detroit Red Wings from taking care of a little bit of business on Thursday. The Red Wings have locked up a pair of players, signing both Carlo Colaiacovo and Justin Abdelkader to multi-year deals.

Colaiacovo has spent the past four seasons with the St. Louis Blues, and the Red Wings have signed him to a two-year deal that's reported to be worth $2.5 million per season. Abdelkader has spent his entire career with the Red Wings, and the Michigan State product reportedly agreed to a four-year deal that will pay him $1.7 million per season.

The Red Wings would have been well under the NHL's salary cap, but there's a good chance that the cap will be lowered when a new CBA is agreed to. The cap was scheduled to be at $70.2 million, and the Red Wings' payroll currently sits at just $61.3 million. Both signings are expected to be officially announced on Friday.

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Justin Abdelkader Hoping To Re-Sign With Red Wings Before NHL Lockout

The NHL lockout looms, but Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader is close to re-signing with the club and securing his financial future.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Abdelkader would like to get his contract signed by Saturday's expiration of the NHL collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players association.

"We're hoping to get something done before the 15th," he said.

If the lockout happens -- and many signs point to it taking effect on Sunday -- Abdelkader said he could opt to play in Europe if the lockout lasts a while. But he isn't sure about that option.

Abdelkader, 25, had eight goals and 14 assists in 81 games for the Red Wings in 2011-2012. He's heading into his third full season with Detroit, his home state team.

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Red Wings Rumors: Detroit Out Of Running For Shane Doan?

It looks like the Detroit Red Wings may have to move on to "Plan D" in their quest to add another forward. First, they struck out with Zach Parise, and then they were unable to pull off a trade for Rick Nash despite submitting a pretty big offer. Now, the Red Wings appear to be out of the running for Shane Doan, according to Aaron Ward.

I don't fault the Red Wings for not wanting to overpay players. However, it's becoming clearer and clearer that in today's NHL, that is sometimes necessary if you want to upgrade your roster. The Red Wings can't just sell players on wearing the winged wheel nowadays, and they can't afford to keep whiffing on targets because of a high asking price.

With Alexander Semin off the market, it's not clear who would even be the Red Wings' "Plan D" at this point. I'm sure they would love to look at a trade for Bobby Ryan, but as they learned with the Nash situation, making a deal for a high-profile player is easier said than done.

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Alexander Semin Agrees To Deal With Hurricanes; Red Wings Didn't Express 'Serious' Interest

Another potential target of the Detroit Red Wings is now off the market. It doesn't seem that the Red Wings care all that much, but forward Alexander Semin agreed to a one-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday afternoon. The deal will pay Semin $7 million.

Back before free agency began, a lot of people thought Semin would make a lot of sense for the Red Wings if they were unable to land Zach Parise. Parise ended up going to the Minnesota Wild, and the Red Wings turned their attention to Shane Doan instead of Semin. In fact, it doesn't appear that the Red Wings had much of any interest in Semin. From MLive's Ansar Khan:

Semin's agent, Todd Diamond, told MLive.com that he had only one conversation with the Detroit Red Wings.

"It never got serious with them,'' Diamond said.

The Red Wings apparently were among the teams concerned with Semin's issues in the locker room. As a player, he's got a lot of talent, but it does say a lot that all he was able to get was a one-year deal nearly four weeks into free agency. He is going to earn a big salary in that one year from Carolina, and it's a pretty good risk to take if you're the Hurricanes. The Red Wings obviously had a different feeling on taking a risk like that, which is why they are attempting to go in other directions to add another forward.

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Rick Nash Trade To Rangers 'In Process,' According To Report

The Detroit Red Wings didn't appear to be serious contenders for Rick Nash since they are in the same division as the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus wanted far too much to begin with, and for the Red Wings to pull off a trade for Nash, it would've taken an awful lot.

As of Monday afternoon, the Red Wings appear to be officially out of the Nash sweepstakes. This is because he is about to be traded to the New York Rangers. A deal isn't official yet, but it's on the verge of being completed.

It'll be interesting to see how much New York ends up giving up in order to make this deal happen. While the Red Wings won't be the team acquiring Nash, he is now out of the division, and the players sent to Columbus in return for him will go up against the Red Wings six times a season.

In general, this news means that yet another potential option for the Red Wings to upgrade their offense is now off the table. They are still waiting to hear from Shane Doan, and there is still talk that Bobby Ryan could be a potential trade target. Their options are certainly dwindling, though.

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Red Wings Re-Sign Kyle Quincey To 2-Year Deal

Defenseman Kyle Quincey is officially back with the Detroit Red Wings. As a restricted free agent, Quincey wasn't really going anywhere in the first place, especially after he filed for arbitration earlier this month. On Wednesday, his return became official with him agreeing to a two-year deal, according to Ansar Khan.

Quincey and the Red Wings had an arbitration date scheduled for July 25. The two sides were able to continue negotiating before the arbitration date, and with a deal now in place, it won't be necessary to have the hearing.

Quincey, who began his career with the Red Wings, rejoined the team during the 2011-12 season after being traded for a first-round pick. The Red Wings were looking to improve their depth on defense for the stretch run and plan ahead for this offseason.

With the Red Wings losing both Nicklas Lidstrom and Brad Stuart and missing out on Ryan Suter, it was important for them to re-sign Quincey. He won't be able to match the talent of any of those players, but strictly from a depth standpoint, the Red Wings needed to bring him back, which says a lot about the current state of their defense.

UPDATE: Quincey's deal is worth $7.55 million over two seasons, meaning he will have a cap hit of $3.775 million a season.

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Red Wings Defenseman Doug Janik Signs 1-Year Deal With German Team

After three years in the Detroit Red Wings organization, 32-year-old defenseman Doug Janik has officially accepted an offer from German team Adler Mannheim on a one-year deal and will head overseas.

Originally drafted 55th overall in 1999 by the Buffalo Sabres, the Agawam, Mass., native bounced around during his NHL tenure before eventually settling into a role in Detroit's system. The Red Wings initially revealed that he had been fielding offers from overseas teams in need of his services, and Janik reportedly told the organization point-blank that he planned to head overseas unless something fell through.

At 6-foot-2 and 209 pounds, Janik has an ideal frame for a defenseman and looks to be a key player for German hockey. Though he only appeared in 29 games over the last three years with the Red Wings and largely spent most of his time with the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit's AHL affiliate, there's no question that Janik possesses NHL talent. Rather ironically, Janik will don the No. 33 uniform for the Eagles, which is the exact same age he'll be when his contract runs dry.

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Red Wings Free Agents Garnet Exelby, Logan Pyett Depart For New Teams

The Detroit Red Wings lost two free-agent defensemen when Garnet Exelby and Logan Pyett signed with new teams earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Pyett signed a one-year, two-way contract worth $600,000 with the New York Rangers. The 24-year-old blue-liner was selected with the No. 212 overall selection by the Red Wings in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and has spent the last four seasons playing with the club's minor league affiliate, the Grand Rapid Griffins.

On Wednesday, the Boston Bruins announced that they had reached a one-year, two-way contract with Exelby, which will pay the 30-year-old $600,000 at the NHL level and $130,000 at the AHL level. Exelby was selected with the No. 217 overall selection in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers.

Exelby has played in 408 games at the NHL level, with the last time coming during the 2009-10 season with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Grand Rapids Griffins Sign Defenseman Nathan Paetsch, Winger Triston Grant

The Detroit Red Wings' AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, added a pair of new faces on Monday by signing forward Triston Grant and defenseman Nathan Paetsch to a pair of one-year deals.

The 28-year-old Grant, who hit the ice for 11 career NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators, tied for 17th in the AHL last year with a whopping 163 penalty minutes. The Griffins will mark Grant's fifth AHL squad over his 435-game career in the league.

The more highly-touted of the two signings, Paetsch broke in as a rookie defenseman with the Buffalo Sabres back in 2006 and went on to produce 42 points over 167 games with both Buffalo and Columbus. The former AHL All-Star played overseas in Germany this past year, and will return to the United States with a prime opportunity to further his career in Detroit's outstanding organization.

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Kyle Quincey Files For Arbitration With Detroit Red Wings

On Thursday afternoon, Detroit Red Wings restricted free agent Kyle Quincey officially filed for salary arbitration prior to the 5 p.m. deadline on July 5.

This means that Quincey has forgone his option of receiving qualifying offers from other teams and can have a hearing with a salary arbitrator if the two sides can't agree on a new contract.

Quincey and the Red Wings can continue contract negotiations in the hopes of coming to an agreement on a new deal prior to having to meet with the arbitrator in late July or early August. If the two sides are unable to reach an agreement, they will meet before the arbitrator, who will determine based upon arguments made by both the player and team as to what the player's salary for next season should be.

If the club is unhappy with the arbitrator's decision they can choose to decline the offer, which would allow the player to become an unrestricted free agent.

A decision must be handed down within 48 hours of the hearing.

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Zach Parise Decides To Sign With Minnesota Wild

The Zach Parise sweepstakes has concluded. The winners? The Minnesota Wild, which also won the Ryan Suter sweepstakes. Parise eliminated the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday afternoon and agreed to a 13-year deal with the Wild shortly after, according to the Star Tribune's Michael Russo.

While the Red Wings reportedly made a very intriguing offer to Parise, in the end he opted to join Suter in Minnesota with the Wild. The possibility of a package deal had been talked about as far back as May, but in the last week it didn't seem all that likely. Things dramatically changed in the last day, however, and now the Wild have become the absolute winners of NHL free agency.

In terms of what effect Parise's decision has on the Red Wings, they still have a need to add a top forward to their lineup. Rick Nash trade rumors have been swirling, and there is talk about the Red Wings pursuing Alexander Semin or possibly even Shane Doan. It's a good bet that they will explore those and other options with Parise off the board.

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Ryan Suter Decides To Sign With Minnesota Wild, According To Report

Ryan Suter's decision is in. This year's top free-agent defenseman has decided to sign a 13-year deal with the Minnesota Wild, according to the Star Tribune's Michael Russo. Just a couple days ago this would have been considered a highly unlikely conclusion to "Suter Watch," but a lot has changed in the last 24 hours, and now the Detroit Red Wings need to look elsewhere to bolster their defense.

With Suter picking the Wild, it's likely that the top free-agent forward, Zach Parise, will do the same. On Tuesday night, Parise admitted that he was talking with Suter about free agency, and speculation suggests that the two players have eyes on becoming teammates. Now that Suter has chosen to play in Minnesota, it would be an upset if Parise doesn't follow suit.

For the Red Wings, this decision is going to sting for a while. Red Wings fans have had eyes on Suter for the better part of the last year, and the need for Detroit to sign him only increased this offseason with Nicklas Lidstrom retiring and Brad Stuart departing for San Jose. The Red Wings certainly gave it their best effort by offering Suter a deal worth a reported $90 million over 13 years, but it wasn't enough to convince him to wear the winged wheel.

What's next for the Red Wings? According to Helene St. James, they will turn their attention to Matt Carle and Carlo Colaiacovo in an attempt to improve their defense. They will also likely explore trades, as there is nobody on the open market that even comes close to the talent of Suter. Detroit may need to get creative in order to make their defense better given the current state of the free agent market.

UPDATE: Parise has in fact agreed to a deal with the Wild.

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Zach Parise's Decision 'Likely' Coming On Wednesday

It looks like Ryan Suter won't be the only one deciding on his future on Wednesday. There is a very good chance that fellow free agent Zach Parise will also make a decision on the Fourth of July. From the Free Press' Helene St. James:

It's worth pointing out that we heard something similar from the Parise camp on Tuesday and no decision was made. Just because a decision is considered "likely" doesn't mean there will be one.

Of course, if Ryan Suter decides on Wednesday as is expected, then it would sort of be surprising for Parise to keep waiting. They are the two big dominoes on the open market, and considering there is a lot of talk about both choosing the same team in order to play together, you wouldn't think there would be a huge gap of time in between their decisions.

All I know right now is that I'm both excited and nervous with this process finally starting to wind down. I'm excited for "Suter Watch" and "Parise Watch" to end, but the possibility of the Detroit Red Wings missing out on both players is terrifying.

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Ryan Suter To Make Decision On Wednesday, According To His Agency

"Suter Watch" is finally coming to a close. A specific time for its end is still unclear, but according to a tweet from Ryan Suter's agency, a decision will be made at some point on Thursday.

As of Thursday morning, the Detroit Red Wings hadn't heard anything from Suter or Zach Parise, according to the Free Press' Helene St. James. This indicates that no decisions have been made yet. However, one from Suter is expected soon, and it appears Parise may make his decision on Thursday as well.

Given all of the recent talk about Suter and Parise potentially being a package deal, it wouldn't be surprising if one decision is quickly followed by another. I just hope that if Suter is indeed first up, he selects the Red Wings. I just have a bad feeling that if Parise decides first and picks Minnesota that Suter will follow suit.

I suppose we will find out for sure soon enough.

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Ryan Suter Meets With Red Wings; No Decision Coming On Tuesday

Oh, technology. On Tuesday afternoon, thanks to FlightAware.com, it was discovered that a plane owned by Mike Ilitch flew to Madison, Wisconsin. The speculation was that the purpose of the flight was for the Detroit Red Wings to meet with Ryan Suter, who lives in Madison, but that was just speculation.

Now, we have some actual confirmation that the Red Wings did meet with Suter. From the Free Press' Helene St. James:

Neil Sheehy, Suter's agent, told the USA Today's Kevin Allen that there will be no decision on Tuesday. Couple that with St. James' report and it looks like "Suter Watch" will continue into July 4 and possibly July 5. While it'd be fitting for Suter to make a decision on the Fourth of July given all of the fireworks that will be going off anyway, it seems he is planning to wait until later in the week.

UPDATE: According to Michael Russo, the Minnesota Wild also met with Suter on Tuesday.

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Red Wings Sign 2008 Draft Pick Max Nicastro

On Tuesday afternoon, the Detroit Red Wings announced via the organization's official Twitter account that the club had come to terms on an entry-level contract with 2008 draft selection Max Nicastro. Taken in the third-round with the No. 91 overall pick, it was expected that Nicastro would come to terms with the team following July 1.

A standout at Boston University, Nicastro would have been signed earlier but ran into legal problems when he was accused of rape following a Feb. 19 arrest, which forced him to withdraw from the university after being suspended from the team.

Once his charges were dropped on June 1, the Red Wings made it clear that they planned to sign Nicastro and assign him to the team's American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.

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Jiri Hudler Leaves Red Wings For $16 Million Deal With Flames

Jiri Hudler is officially done with the Detroit Red Wings. Prior to NHL free agency opening, it was pretty clear he was on his way out because the Red Wings wouldn't meet his desired salary demands, and on Monday, he agreed to a new four-year deal with the Calgary Flames.

Hudler will be making $4 million a season with Calgary. Due to the lack of scorers on the open market, it's no surprise that Hudler was able to cash in with such a nice deal. The Red Wings did want to bring him back, but not at $4 million a season. It was a given that he would find more money on the open market, and that is exactly what ended up happening.

Hudler will essentially be replaced in the Red Wings' lineup by Mikael Samuelsson, who signed a two-year, $6 million deal on Sunday. While there is only a difference of $1 million a season in their contracts, the Red Wings just weren't willing to make up that difference with Hudler and instead opted to bring back Samuelsson.

In other news, Chris Conner, who spent most of last season in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins, has signed with the Phoenix Coyotes.

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Red Wings Still 'In The Mix' For Ryan Suter, Zach Parise

Day one of NHL free agency is starting to wind down and the top two UFAs are still unsigned. Both Ryan Suter and Zach Parise fielded calls from what seems like most of the league on Sunday, and they are planning to wait to make a decision until Monday.

While no firm decisions have been made one way or the other, Suter and Parise have at least started to narrow down the list of teams they are interested in. Luckily for the Detroit Red Wings, both Suter and Parise still have them in the mix heading into Monday.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland also said that the team made "presentations or pitches to the Parise and Suter camps" on Sunday. In other words, their work is done. Now it's up to the free agents to make their decisions.

By this time on Monday, the Red Wings should have a much better idea of what their roster will look like going forward, allowing additional moves to fall into place.

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Red Wings Sign Jordin Tootoo To 3-Year Deal

Mikael Samuelsson wasn't the only forward to sign with the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday evening. The team also added winger Jordin Tootoo, who is joining the Red Wings on a three-year deal after spending the last eight seasons in Nashville with the division rival Predators. Here are the details on the deal:

Both of these signings really came out of nowhere, and both have garnered a bit of a negative reaction from fans. Before we start freaking out too much, though, here is a solid take on the moves from George Malik:

One of the things the Red Wings have been lacking is an agitator, and Tootoo certainly seems like he will do a good job of filling that role on the fourth line. Considering he is only going to cost the Red Wings $1.9 million per season, it's not that bad of a deal (as long as fans don't start bringing whistles to games, that is).

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Red Wings Sign Mikael Samuelsson To 2-Year Deal

The Detroit Red Wings have made another signing on the first day of NHL free agency, and this one involves a familiar face with them signing forward Mikael Samuelsson to a two-year deal. The move was first reported by TSN's Gord Miller, and TSN's Bob McKenzie reports that the deal is for $6 million and includes a full no-trade clause.

Samuelsson spent the last three seasons playing for the Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers. He originally went to Vancouver after leaving the Red Wings following the 2008-09 season. His departure came after four solid seasons in Detroit, and now he will once be wearing the winged wheel.

This move is a bit out of left field, but as Helene St. James noted on Twitter, the Red Wings didn't want to lose him three years ago, so I'm sure they're glad he's back.

Probably the most surprising thing is the inclusion of a no-trade clause. The Red Wings aren't in the business of trading away veteran players who have been with the team before, of course, but it means the Red Wings are essentially locked in to keeping Samuelsson for the duration of his two-year deal.

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Zach Parise Rumors: List Of Teams Narrowed Down, Decision Coming On Monday

Monday could either be a really awesome or really awful day for the Detroit Red Wings. Not only is defenseman Ryan Suter set to make his decision on Monday, but so is forward Zach Parise. The two free agents have spent Sunday fielding offers, and both players are expected to make a final decision on Monday after having a bit more time to think things over.

For Parise, his decision on Monday will come after he reconvenes with his agents in the morning to further discuss the offers he has received, according to Michael Russo. Parise has already narrowed the list of teams he is considering, according Bob McKenzie, so the process of coming to a decision is progressing.

If the Detroit Red Wings turn out to not be one of the teams still in the mix to land Parise, chances are word will leak out. Right now, there has been no indication that the Red Wings are out of the mix, so let's hope it stays that way.

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Red Wings Officially Sign Damien Brunner

Swiss star Damien Brunner is officially a member of the Detroit Red Wings. He originally agreed to a deal with the Red Wings back on June 22, but he couldn't officially sign until Sunday when NHL free agency opened. Now, the deal is done.

Mike Babcock said last week that he considers Brunner to be a top-six type of forward. Babcock came away impressed with what Brunner did at the World Championships in May, and Babcock plans on giving Brunner "every opportunity" to make the Red Wings' roster out of training camp.

Obviously, it remains to be seen if Brunner's game will translate to the NHL, but considering this is a two-way, one-year deal, there is really no risk in giving him a shot.

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Red Wings Submit Contract Offers To Ryan Suter, Zach Parise

While there has been a lot of contradictory information about the Detroit Red Wings' plans to meet with free agents Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, one piece of news has been confirmed by general manager Ken Holland. Specifically, Holland confirmed to the Free Press' Helene St. James that the Red Wings have submitted contract offers to both Suter and Parise. This should come as no surprise, of course, but this news has now been confirmed.

Confirmation that offers have gone out to Suter and Parise came after there were various reports in the last hour that contradicted each other. Mainly, there was a lot of differing info on Parise and the Red Wings' plans to meet with him. At one point, there was a report that the Red Wings had a meeting scheduled with Parise. Then, Pierre LeBrun reported that the meeting was off despite the fact that Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock was already in Toronto for the meeting.

It turns out the confusion was a result of Parise's agent canceling all in-person meetings due to the ridiculous amount of interest in his client. MLive's Ansar Khan has more on this:

But Parise's agent, Don Meehan, called them and said he has canceled all meetings because more than 20 clubs have asked to see him and he can't possibly accommodate everybody.

Meehan told teams to submit their best offer by phone, and the Red Wings have submitted a big one. Parise will consider all the offers.

According to St. James, Babcock is now headed home from Toronto after not meeting with anybody. At the start of the day, it seemed like the Red Wings would be having in-person meetings with both Parise and Suter, but in the end neither player is hosting meetings for the time being. Perhaps this will change once the two players narrow down the list of teams they are interested in.

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Red Wings Sign Goalie Jonas Gustavsson

It's not a "splashy" move by any means, but the Detroit Red Wings have inked goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to a two-year deal, according to multiple reports. The deal is worth $3 million, according to Bob Duff, meaning Gustavsson will have a cap hit of $1.5 million per season.

The move to find a backup goalie was a priority for the Red Wings this offseason. Last season, the Red Wings had Ty Conklin and Joey MacDonald to back up Jimmy Howard, and both saw action when Howard went down with an injury. MacDonald overtook Conklin for the backup job during this time, but back issues became a concern for MacDonald in the final months of the season.

With Gustavsson joining the fold, the Red Wings now appear to have their backup goalie job set. MacDonald will likely remain in the mix for the job, and he will be around in case an injury happens, but Gustavsson is being signed to back up Howard for the next two seasons.

Gustavsson spent his first three seasons in the NHL playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last season, he appeared in 42 games and had a 17-17-4 record. His rights were traded to the Winnipeg Jets last week, but a deal never developed, allowing him to hit free agency and sign with the Red Wings.

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Damien Brunner Agrees To Deal With Red Wings, According To Report

NHL free agency doesn't open until July 1, but the Detroit Red Wings appear to already have one move in place. Specifically, Swiss hockey player Damien Brunner has agreed to a deal with the Red Wings, according to several sources, including Bill Roose, who writes for the Red Wings' official site.

The reason Brunner has merely agreed to sign with the Red Wings is because he can't officially ink a deal before July 1. For now, it's only an agreement, and Brunner has to utilize the out clause in his contract with a Swiss team, according to Helene St. James. If everything goes according to plan, he will sign a one-year, two-way deal with the Red Wings on or after July 1.

Here's more on Brunner:

According to St. James, Brunner drew interest from not only the Red Wings, but also the Penguins, Lightning, Capitals, Canadiens and Flyers. Ken Holland told St. James that Brunner is "very talented," and it looks like Brunner could compete with guys like Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar for a spot in the Red Wings' lineup next season.

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Red Wings, Darren Helm Agree To 4-Year, $8.5 Million Deal

One of the big blows to the Detroit Red Wings last season was the loss of Darren Helm. First, Helm suffered a knee injury against the San Jose Sharks that kept him out the final month or so of the regular season. Then, just minutes into his return, Helm had his wrist cut by a skate. The injury was bad enough that he just got out of a cast after having surgery a few weeks ago, and losing him after Game 1 of their series against the Nashville Predators in the playoffs was tough to come back from.

The good news for Helm and the Red Wings is that he is on track to be healthy by training camp. The other good news is that Helm is now set to be a Red Wing for at least the next four years. His contract was up after last season and he was going to become a restricted free agent on July 1, but Darren Dreger reports that a deal has been completed.

Helm's cap hit from this deal is $2.125 million, which is not bad at all. The Red Wings made it no secret after he got hurt that Helm is an important part of the team, so getting a deal done with him was a priority this offseason.

Now that Helm is re-signed, the Red wings can turn their focus to re-signing Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Quincey, who are the team's other two restricted free agents.

For more on the Red Wings, head over to Winging It In Motown. For more NHL coverage, be sure to visit SB Nation's NHL hub.

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Red Wings Trade Rights To Brad Stuart To Sharks For Andrew Murray, Conditional Pick

Set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, the Detroit Red Wings made a swift move on Sunday and traded the rights of defender Brad Stuart to the San Jose Sharks, picking up 30-year-old center Andrew Murray and a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2014 in the process.

Murray played in just 39 games this past season for the Sharks and averaged less than eight minutes per game and rarely saw the ice. An eighth-round pick by Columbus in 2001, Murray, who is also set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, has never tallied more than 11 points in a single season during his five-year NHL career.

While it's unknown whether Detroit's new arrival will stick around or not, the Wings derived plenty of value from this deal for the draft pick alone (assuming Stuart actually signs with San Jose). Their willingness to move Stuart is also a solid indication of his interest level in re-upping with the Red Wings, so flipping a guy who didn't plan to sign for a free draft pick is a win-win for Ken Holland and this organization.

For more on the Wings, head over to Winging It In Motown. For more NHL news, check out SB Nation's NHL hub.

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Nicklas Lidstrom Retires From Hockey After 20 Seasons With Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom has called it a career. As speculated on Wednesday, Lidstrom announced during a Thursday morning press conference at Joe Louis Arena that he is retiring from the sport of hockey.

Lidstrom is going out on his own terms and as one of the greatest players in the history of the game. He won four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies and a Conn Smythe Trophy -- all with the Red Wings. He also won a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics for Sweden. He is a surefire Hall of Famer and will without a doubt be the final player to wear the No. 5 jersey for the Red Wings.

Lidstrom's career comes to a close after 1,564 games in the regular season and another 263 more in the playoffs. He recorded 264 goals and 878 assists for a total of 1,142 regular-season points. In the playoffs, he had 54 goals and 129 assists for a total of 183 points. Amazingly, he went to the playoffs in all 20 seasons of his career.

As good as Lidstrom was on the ice, he was even better off of it. He has been a role model throughout his career and is somebody all people -- not just hockey players -- can look up to. There's a reason his nickname is "The Perfect Human," as he exemplified what it meant to be a great player and a great person during his 20 seasons with the Red Wings.

For more on the Detroit Red Wings, check out Winging It In Motown. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page.

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