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Red Wings Sign Brad Richards to One Year Deal

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Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

DETROIT, MICH -- The Red Wings have signed center Brad Richards to a one-year deal worth $3 million.

The former Stanley Cup Champion put up 12 goals and 25 assists in the regular season with Chicago, and 3 goals in 11 assists in the postseason helping his team to a championship. Richards is a skillful playmaker with great on-ice vision. The 35-year-old veteran also boasts a lethal shot. He has been inconsistent as of late, but he is a proven point-producing center. Richards also won the Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy after putting up 26 points in 23 playoff games.

It's a strange move. You could say that the Red Wings are gearing up for Pavel Datsyuk to be out longer than expected, which is scary. The issue is that there might need to be a trade happening to make sense of all this. With the announced AAV of $3 million and $1 million worth of playoff bonuses, someone is likely on the move. Stay tuned.

The best part? NO MORE DAN CLEARY! (maybe)

More from the Red Wings organization:

The Detroit Red Wings today signed center Brad Richards to a one-year contract. In accordance with club policy, additional details will not be disclosed.

A veteran of 1,058 NHL games, Richards spent the 2014-15 campaign with the Chicago Blackhawks, picking up 37 points (12-25-37) in 76 regular-season games and adding 14 points (3-11-14) in 23 postseason appearances to help the Blackhawks win their third Stanley Cup in the past six seasons. Richards has spent his 14 NHL seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers and Blackhawks, totaling 904 points (288-616-904) and 243 penalty minutes. He’s reached the 20-goal, 40-assist and 60-point plateaus 10 times each during his NHL career, while only cracking 30 penalty minutes once. The 35-year-old first won the Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004, totaling 26 points (12-14-26) in 23 postseason games en route to capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff’s most valuable player.

Richards’ most productive NHL season was 2005-06, tallying 91 points (23-68-91) in 82 games with the Lightning, a feat he matched with the Dallas Stars (24-67-91) over 80 games in 2009-10. He has also appeared in 141 career postseason games, notching 104 points (36-68-104), while playing in the Stanley Cup Finals in each of the last two seasons. Since he entered the league, only five players (Joe Thornton, Jarome Iginla, Martin St-Louis, Marian Hossa and Henrik Sedin) have recorded more regular season points and only three players (Hossa, Pavel Datsyuk and Brian Rafalski) have played in more playoff games.

Prior to turning pro, Richards enjoyed a prolific major junior career with the QMJHL’s Rimouski Oceanic, racking up 432 points (143-289-432) in 190 games. He was the Canadian Hockey League’s Player of the Year in 1999-00 after amassing 186 points (71-115-186) with Rimouski, leading the team to win the President’s Cup as champions of the QMJHL and the Memorial Cup as champions of the CHL, earning most-valuable player honors for both championships.

The Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island, native has also represented Canada on four occasions: the 2000 IIHF World Junior Championship (bronze), 2001 IIHF World Championship, 2004 World Cup (gold) and 2006 Winter Olympics. In 26 career international appearances, he has logged 16 points (7-9-16) and six penalty minutes.