DETROIT — Wings general manager Ken Holland has confirmed that Patrick Eaves has agreed to a new deal with the Wings prior to hitting the open market at noon today.
The deal is reportedly for three years and worth $1.2 million a season.
Eaves, who made $750,000 last season, has been a third- or fourth-line player in Detroit.
He has developed into a stellar penalty killer and good fore-checker. He has also contributed a bit offensively with 25 goals in the past two seasons.
That leaves Drew Miller as the last player the Wings had offered a contract to prior to the opening of free agency.
“We’ve just had a philosophical conversation (with his agent),” Holland said Thursday about the status of Miller’s pending free agency. “I made an offer, but I can’t say we’re making a lot of progress.”
Despite being praised quite often during the season by Wings coach Mike Babcock, Miller found himself a healthy scratch 15 games last season. He has scored 10 goals in each of the past two seasons.
“I’m sure they look at our depth and they’re not sure where the opportunities are going to present themselves,” Holland said earlier in the week. “They think they can have a bigger role with other teams.”
The Wings have 18 players (12 forwards, five defensemen, one goaltender) signed for a salary-cap hit of around $53 million. This year’s cap is $63.4 million.
The Wings also have to sign rookie forward Cory Emmerton since he’s out of minor league options. If he doesn’t make the roster Emmerton could be claimed off waivers if they try and send him to the minors.