The Detroit Red Wings put in a full day of work for sure today, offering several contracts to key figures in the organization. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reports:
- Unrestricted free agent Todd Bertuzzi has been offered a two-year extension.
- Restricted free agents Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller, Derek Meech have all been tendered contracts.
- General Manager Ken Holland and Assistant GM Jim Nill are expected to sign long term extensions this week.
All of this has been expected for quite some time, so there's no real surprises here.
The most intriguing out of the bunch is Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi wanted a two-year deal for some consistency, as this is his third team in three years. Detroit is showing a lot of commitment by giving him two years on the deal after an up-and-down season from Bertuzzi. Since it is a multi-year contract, the Wings probably front-loaded the deal to lessen the cap hit over the next two seasons, much like the Holmstrom deal.
Holland will remain the Wings GM as long as he wants, and at 54-years-old that could be well into his 60s. No complaints here, he's without a doubt the best in the business. Jim Nill has been with the club since 1994, and is constantly talked about when a new GM position opens up. Yet, he keeps coming back to Detroit. Here's the situation according to Senior VP Jim Devellano:
"It's pretty imminent," senior vice president Jimmy Devellano said Monday. "We just have to clean up a little bit of language in one of the contracts, and then it should be done. When it's long-term contracts, you want it to be right for both sides."
Nothing is set in stone yet, but the Wings have wasted little time this off-season getting things in motion with their contracts. It's entirely possible we could have the entire roster and front office all locked up nice and neatly by the end of the week, but there's a lot that can still happen. Bertuzzi, Eaves and Miller aren't sure-fire re-signs after the seasons they had, so we'll see how this all plays out over the next couple days.