On the cusp of free agency opening, the Detroit Red Wings took care of some business internally first:
Wings have signed center Riley Sheahan to two-year contract at $950,000 per season.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) July 1, 2014
I'd be hard-pressed to find something not to like about this deal. Sheahan essentially took hold of the second line center spot and formed the pivot to the Kid line with Tomas Tatar and Tomas Jurco. After getting one game per season for two seasons creating an uncertain future with the big club, Sheahan scored 24 points in 42 games, taking only 6 PIM in the process. Sheahan took favorable usage and turned it into being a strong possession player, giving the impression he has room to grow and at least sustain his offensive production.
The two year term serves as an effective bridge contract and means he'll still be an RFA after this new contract expires; the less than $1 million per year salary can almost certainly be attributed to the signing wizardry Ken Holland pulled with Gustav Nyquist last year. Re-signing Sheahan wasn't expected to break the bank, but it's nice to maintain the nice Red Wings' nice salary cap situation. If Stephen Weiss can become the player the Red Wings imagined when signing him, the Red Wings will have nasty depth down the middle after securing two more years of Sheahan.