Niklas Kronwall will be a Red Wing for life.
The best general manager in sports, Ken Holland, locked up the veteran defense with a 7-year contract extension worth $33.25 million. That works out to be a nice $4.75 cap hit per season.
We all know that Nicklas Lidstrom will not be playing hockey forever and locking up Kronner to a long term extension is huge for the future of the franchise. Kronwall, who had an "A" added to his sweater this season, is a guy that can move the puck, play on the power play, and can get your 30-50 points a season. Heading into next season, the Red Wings now have Kronwall, Ian White, Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl, and Brendan Smith locked up.
A closer look at the contract extension and breakdown of the yearly salary after the jump.
#55 / Defenseman / Detroit Red Wings
Jan 12, 1981
|2011 - Niklas Kronwall||9||1||1||2||-3||2||1||0||0||14|
Year 1 - $1.25M signing bonus, $3.25M base salary
Year 2 - $6M
Year 3 - $6M
Year 4 - $6M
Year 5 - $5.5M
Year 6 - $3.5M
Year 7 - $1.75M
Kronwall will have a full no trade clause through the first five years of the extension and a limited no trade clause in the final two years. He can choose 10 teams that he doesn't want to be traded to.
According to CapGeek.com, Kronner will have the 23rd highest cap hit among all defensemen. He's right behind Chris Pronger ($4.9M) and right ahead of Kevin Bieksa ($4.6M).
Some interesting names ahead of Kronwall that have higher cap hits:
Paul Martin (PIT) $5M
Michal Rozsival (PHX) $5M
James Wisniewski (CBJ) $5.5M
Sergei Gonchar (OTT) $5.5M
Wade Redden (NYR) $6.5M
Jay Bouwmeester (CGY) $6.68M
Brian Campbell (FLA) $7.14M
The Red Wings now have $23,757,956 in cap space going into next offseason Jiri Hudler, Todd Bertuzzi, Tomas Holmstrom, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mike Commodore, Brad Stuart, and Ty Conklin will all be UFAs. Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader will be RFAs. It's likely Lidstrom, Bert, and Homer will all retire. Helm and Abby will be re-signed. Commodore and Conklin will have to earn a new contract. The big question is whether the Wings will re-sign Stuart and, if so, for how much and how long.
Let's Go Red Wings.