Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Red Wings Sign Chelios

The Red Wings confirmed on Tuesday that Chris Chelios has signed a 1-year deal that would give him at least one more season in the NHL.  Chelios, 46, is still a number of years from becoming the oldest player in NHL history, but is far and away the oldest player in the league today.  Second in that department is now Gary Roberts, 42, who has signed a new deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning this summer.

The inclusion of Chelios to the roster now gives the team seven active defensemen and 23 active players on the roster.  Chelios' salary is expected to be less than his $850,000 he earned last season and his role is expected to be lessened, thanks to the signing of Brad Stuart and the emergence of Andreas Lilja to the everyday blueline.

Chelios played in 69 regular season games for the Wings in 2007/2008, scoring 3 goals and adding 9 assists.  If his role is to be lessened, then production will be a concern for a poolie who isn't quite sure whether or not he is worth taking.  If one of the top six defenders were to go down with injury, Chelios may see some extra ice-time, since his salary will count against the cap regardless of being on the roster or in the minors.  Any other long-term injuries will likely be filled in by Kyle Quincey, who is expected to sign a new deal as well soon.

Pavel DatsyukNicklas LidstromChris Osgood
Henrik ZetterbergBrian RafalskiTy Conklin
Marian HossaNiklas Kronvall
Daniel ClearyBrad Stuart
Jiri HudlerBrett Lebda
Tomas HolmstromAndreas Lilja
Mikael SamuelssonChris Chelios
Johan Franzen
Kris Draper
Tomas Kopecky
Kirk Maltby
Aaron Downey
Darren Helm

The Red Wings now have a salary cap issue with the inclusion of Chelios, as their 23-man roster above is worth approximately $57.2 million, a clear $500,000 over the top. That is to say that Chelios ended up with the same salary he earned last season, but if it is less, as it was reported, it won't be significantly less, since he still brings some value to the team.  The Red Wings will also be looking to re-sign Quincey, who will likely get a two-way deal and Darren McCarty, who will also get a two-way deal.  Both will likely spend time in the minors have little pool value.

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