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Done and done by Ken Holland: Red Wings re-sign Justin Abdelkader, sign Carlo Colaiacovo

Via RedWingsFeed, I'm sure the signings of these actual contacts will be quite awkward given that Ken Holland voted on behalf of the Red Wings to lock the following two players out, and aside from informally assigning Brendan Smith, Gustav Nyquist and Damien Brunner to Grand Rapids, MLive's Ansar Khan notes that the Red Wings made some final personnel moves on Thursday night:

The Detroit Red Wings took care of some pre-lockout business Thursday, signing free-agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and re-signing forward Justin Abdelkader.

Colaiacovo received a two-year contract worth an average of $2.5 million per season. Abdelkader inked a four-year deal, believed to be in the neighborhood of $1.7 million per season.

The moves will be announced on Friday.

In terms of the Wings' cap situation, Khan offers the following caveat...

These signings push the Red Wings' payroll to roughly $61.3 million with 25 players, two more than the roster limit.

However, there are a few variables.

Forward Patrick Eaves ($1.2 million salary-cap hit) might not be ready for the start of the season due to a concussion, which would create a roster spot. And the club also has the option of assigning forwards Gustav Nyquist and Damien Brunner, as well as defenseman Brendan Smith, to the Grand Rapids Griffins, since they are exempt from waivers. Those three will play for the Griffins during the lockout.

The Red Wings are well under the 2012-13 cap, which was set at $70.2 million, but it might be reduced in the new collective bargaining agreement.

And the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness is confirming the moves:

The deal for Abdelkader is for four years at roughly $1.75 million, while Colaiacovo will get $5 million over two seasons. The Wings now have 25 players signed at roughly $61.3 million. 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, 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.

Regrettably, Holland will shake Abdelkader's hand at the Joe later this morning, wish him luck and possibly apologize for asking for something like a sixth to a fourth of his salary back.

Update: the Red Wings may lay most of the Wings' web staffers off on Saturday evening, ditto for front office ticket sales and game night employees, and they can't promote current players in any way, shape or form starting at 11:59 PM--I'm not sure what the rules are regarding prospects with NHL eligibility--so they've changed their website's background banner to show the banners which hang from the rafters instead of fans or current players (no Amway banner, either, very curious).

For now, Bill Roose is confirming Justin Abdelkader's re-signing, but not confirming Colaiacovo's addition:

The Red Wings are likely done with roster moves for the summer after signing their own restricted free agent Justin Abdelkader on Friday.

The Michigan native signed a four-year deal to remain with the Wings, who now have 16 NHL forwards under contract. He became a restricted free agent on July 1 and could have filed for arbitration. However, Abdelkader was confident that a deal could be struck without the services of an arbiter.

Abdelkader has proven to be a multi-purpose forward and a physical presence as a third and fourth line center or winger. The 6-foot-1 forward played in a career-high 81 games last season, posting career-bests for goals (8), assists (14) and points (22).

He led the team with six fighting majors, finished second on the team with 148 hits and won 52.9 percent of his faceoffs. In just over three NHL seasons, Abdelkader has played in 209 career games, registering 47 points (18-29-47), 493 hits and 160 PIM.

Abdelkader burst onto the Wings’ scene two years after leading Michigan State to a thrilling NCAA national championship by scoring the game-winner with seconds left in the title game against Boston College. He showed the same kind of tenacity and purpose during his first Stanley Cup finals, scoring goals in Game 1 and Game 2 wins over Pittsburgh in 2009.

Abdelkader spent the majority of his first pro seasons in the American Hockey League with the Griffins. In 2008-09, he appeared in 76 games for Grand Rapids, finishing second on the team with 52 points and leading them with 102 penalty minutes. His 24 goals tied for third among AHL rookies and was a finalist for the AHL’s rookie of the year award. In 2009-10, he was named an assistant captain and skated in 33 games with the Griffins, producing 24 points.

Born and raised in Muskegon, Abdelkader was named Mr. Hockey in 2004 by the Michigan High School Hockey Coaches Association following his junior season at Muskegon Mona Shores High School. He left Mona Shores prior to his senior year in order to play in the USHL with Cedar Rapids where he led the RoughRiders to a Clark Cup championship in 2004-05.

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The deal for Abdelkader is for four years at roughly $1.75 million

Well good for him, he’s definitely worth almost as much as Darren Helm is worth.

Thank god they signed Zetterberg to a low-cap-hit contract so that they can give out as many overpriced contracts to unproven young players as possible,

I’m smelling a Cory Emmerton extension in the 5-year, $13M range next…

Posted by Garth on 09/14/12 at 09:08 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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