DETROIT – The Wings have officially announced the signings of Justin Abdelkader and Carlo Colaiacovo.
Abdelkader gets a four-year deal worth $7.2 million ($1.8 million a year salary-cap hit) and Colaiacovo received a two-year deal worth $5 million ($2.5 million a year salary-cap hit).
The Wings now have 25 players signed and are just under $9 million under the salary cap. The roster limit is 23.
Abdelkader, who didn’t file for salary arbitration, earned $825,000 last season.
Abdelkader had career highs in goals (eight) and assists (14) last season, which aren’t great offensive numbers, but the Wings like him more for his size and strength.
“He can play wing and play center, he’s big and strong, he plays hard,” Wings general manager Ken Holland said in the offseason. “Abby and (Darren) Helm are really important on our bottom six forwards and for our team going forward, Abby is an important guy.”
The Wings expect him to center the fourth line.
“He’s from Michigan,” Holland said. “He played high school hockey in Michigan. I know he’s proud to be a Red Wing. He brings ingredients to our team.”
Colaiacovo, 29, is not the top-tier defenseman the Wings were looking for, but he’s probably the best option left on free-agent market.
The biggest concern is his health. He has yet to play more than 67 games in any season.
Colaiacovo, who was drafted 17th overall by Toronto in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, has some offensive ability and is a good puck mover.
He shoots left and could play the point on the power play.
The Wings were are in need of a top four defenseman after losing Nicklas Lidstrom (retirement) and Brad Stuart (trade) this offseason.
Before the signing the Wings had six defensemen under contract — Niklas Kronwall, Ian White, Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl.