As reported by NHL.com, running a story from Andy Strickland, the Wings have signed free agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to a two-year, $5M contract. .
Considering the last-known offer was two-years at an average salary of $2.75M, it' surprising to see this deal come through, especially at this point in the game. This is a raise over his last deal which averaged $2.125M over each of the last two seasons.
#28 / Defenseman
Jan 27, 1983
|2011 - Carlo Colaiacovo||64||2||17||19||7||22||0||0||2||68|
Colaiacovo has 370 NHL games under his belt, but has never played more than 67 games in a single season due to various and well-documented injury problems.
Despite that, Colaiacovo showed last year on the Blues that when healthy, he could handle top pairing duties, earning the 2nd-highest quality of competition rating among Blues' D-men last season (although he got a better percentage of offensive zone starts than three of his teammates). His time on ice usage essentially made him a solid 2nd-pairing guy, a role I'd expect him to fill in Detroit.
Colaiacovo is kind of a quiet positioning-based defender, who can handle rushing forwards well. He's also mobile enough to avoid a decent amount of physical punishment. This is a good thing, because when he does get caught, he tends to break. He's good at reading and joining a rush, but not good at handling a very aggressive forecheck.
The deal is a risk for a team that needs a slightly more defensive D-man and somebody who can play over the course of a long season. It's also a risk for Colaiacovo, who's risking either a premature end to his career due to injuries or risking not getting an even better deal next year in case he goes gangbusters this season.
I'm looking forward to seeing how the Wings' defense plays this season.
[ed note: as this is written, the Detroit diggers: Khan, St. James, and Pleiness are all reporting that this deal is not yet done, but the Wings are talking with Colaiacovo. It's entirely possible that this story is bunk. If so, then I'll make sure to be mean to the assholes who misled me]