According to the Red Wings' official NHL website, Detroit has signed forward Justin Abdelkader to a two-year contract. Details are yet to be disclosed (per team policy), so we'll update you when we have the number.
Abdelkader is expected to fill the fourth line centerman role with Detroit and should continue his growth as a grinder in the Wings' system. Abdelkader and the team had been talking for a few weeks as though this deal was definitely going to happen. So, while this isn't surprising news, it's certainly pleasant.
Stay tuned for updates.
[Update 1: Craig Custance on Twitter has the average cap hit of $787,000 for the two-year deal. According to today's Capgeek.com numbers, the Red Wings would be over the cap by $421,544 if they kept Ritola and everybody else. Of course, that would also give them 15 forwards, 8 defenseman, and 2 goalies, going over the 23-man maximum roster limit by two. I have to imagine that Abdelkader is higher on the depth chart than Meech and Miller definitely and that Ritola's two-way deal will make him easy to move. I'm guessing the wings will have somewhere around $1M of cap space going into the season after training camp.]
[Update 2: Helene St. James of the Freep has the breakdown at $750,000 this season and $825,000 next season. - She also apparently has no faith in Meech's ability to earn a roster spot, stating "Defenseman Derek Meech will also be moved at some point, further reducing the team’s salary. " I agree with her, but at least let the guy show us what he's got in training camp before you pack his bags and put him on a bus]