Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/02/05 at 10:38 PM ET
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland locked up captain Steve Yzerman for another year, tendered an offer to defenseman Chris Chelios, is working on re-upping with the team's restricted free agents and trying to figure out what goaltender he can live with. The big news Tuesday, though, was the long-awaited announcement that Yzerman would be back for a 22nd season with the franchise. He was offered a deal worth between $1.5 million and $2 million last Wednesday and, after two days of telephone tag, he and Holland finally connected. Though his team at the moment is in shambles only 12 players are under contract Yzerman expressed confidence that he'll be playing with a Stanley Cup contender. "With all teams, I think between now and next month, teams will be dramatically different," Yzerman said. "But I expect ours to be extremely competitive, one of the best teams in the league." Yzerman is known as one of hockey's great competitors, and it's little surprise that he's back. He hasn't played since May 1, 2004, when he left the ice bloodied after being struck in the face in Game 5 of the second-round playoff series against Calgary.
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