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Red Wings make Colaiacovo, Abdelkader signings officially official

Updated 3x at 1:05 PM: From the Red Wings' PR department...


... Veteran Blue-Liner has Skated in 370 Career Games With Toronto and St. Louis …

Detroit, MI... Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland today announced that the team has signed free agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to a two-year deal.  In accordance with team policy, additional terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Colaiacovo, 29, was originally a first-round selection (17th overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2001 National Hockey League Entry Draft.  The 6-1, 200-lb. rearguard played in 111 games over parts of six seasons with Toronto registering 33 points (12-21-33) and 57 PIM in a Maple Leafs uniform.   On November 24, 2008, Colaiacovo was traded to the St. Louis Blues with teammate Alexander Steen in exchange for Lee Stempniak.  Colaiacovo spent the past four seasons patrolling the blue-line in St. Louis, skating in 259 games for the Blues, collecting 106 points (18-88-106) and 134 PIM.  In total, the nine-year NHL veteran has appeared in 370 career games, posting 139 points (30-109-139) and 191 PIM.

Prior to his professional career, Colaiacovo spent four seasons with the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League.  The Toronto , Ont., native helped lead the Otters to the 2002 OHL championship as Erie became just the second OHL team based in the United States to win a league title.  Colaiacovo was named a Second Team OHL All-Star following the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons.

Carlo Colaiacovo, Defense

Born Jan 27 1983  -- Toronto , ONT

Height 6.01 -- Weight 200

Selected by Toronto in the first round (#17 overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft


                                            --- Regular Season ---  ---- Playoffs ----

Season   Team                        Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM  GP   G   A Pts PIM


2002-03  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL     2    0    1    1    0  --  --  --  --  --

2003-04  St. John's Maple Leafs      AHL    62    6   25   31   50  --  --  --  --  --

2003-04  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL     2    0    1    1    2  --  --  --  --  --

2004-05  St. John's Maple Leafs      AHL    49    4   20   24   59   5   0   1   1   2

2005-06  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    21    2    5    7   17  --  --  --  --  --

2005-06  Toronto Marlies             AHL    14    5    6   11   14  --  --  --  --  --

2006-07  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    48    8    9   17   22  --  --  --  --  --

2006-07  Toronto Marlies             AHL     5    1    5    6    4  --  --  --  --  --

2007-08  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    28    2    4    6   10  --  --  --  --  --

2007-08  Toronto Marlies             AHL     2    0    0    0    0  --  --  --  --  --

2008-09  Toronto Maple Leafs         NHL    10    0    1    1    6  --  --  --  --  --

2008-09  St. Louis Blues             NHL    63    3   26   29   29   4   0   0   0   2

2009-10  St. Louis Blues             NHL    67    7   25   32   60  --  --  --  --  --

2010-11  St. Louis Blues             NHL    65    6   20   26   23  --  --  --  --  --

2011-12  St. Louis Blues             NHL    64    2   17   19   22   7   0   3   3  16


         NHL Totals                        370   30  109  139  191  11   0   3   3  18




... Gritty Winger and Michigan Native to Remain in Hockeytown Through 2015-16 …

Detroit, MI... Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland today announced that the team has signed forward Justin Abdelkader to a four-year deal.  In accordance with team policy, additional terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Abdelkader, 25, was Detroit ’s second round pick (42nd overall) in the 2005 National Hockey League Entry Draft.  The 6-1, 219-lb. forward skated in a career-high 81 games for the Red Wings last season, posting a career-best 22 points (8-14-22).  He led the team with six fighting majors, finished second on the team with 148 hits and posted a career-high 62 PIM.  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 spent the majority of his first two professional seasons in the American Hockey League with the Grand Rapids Griffins.  In 2008-09, he appeared in 76 games for Grand Rapids , finishing second on the team with 52 points (24-28-52) and leading the team with 102 PIM.  His 24 goals tied for third among AHL rookies.  Abdelkader was named to the 2009 AHL All-Rookie Team and was a finalist for the AHL’s Rookie of the Year Award.  In 2009-10, he was named an assistant captain in Grand Rapids and skated in 33 games with the Griffins, notching 24 points (11-13-24) and 86 PIM.

Prior to turning pro, Abdelkader played three seasons at Michigan State University and helped the Spartans capture the 2007 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey title during his sophomore campaign.  He tallied the game-winning goal with just 18.9 seconds left in Michigan State ’s 3-1 victory over Boston College in the championship game.  Abdelkader was named both the 2007 NCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player and the 2007 Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player.

Born and raised in Muskegon , Mich. , 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 .  Abdelkader left Mona Shores prior to his senior year in order to play one season with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the United States Hockey League and led the RoughRiders to a Clark Cup championship in 2004-05.

MEDIA NOTE: Justin will be available for comment following this morning’s informal practice at Joe Louis Arena, which begins at 10:00 a.m.


Justin Abdelkader, Forward

Born Feb 25 1987  -- Muskegon , MI

Height 6.01 -- Weight 219 -- Shoots L

Selected by Detroit in the second round (#42 overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft


                                            --- Regular Season ---  ---- Playoffs ----

Season   Team                        Lge    GP    G    A  Pts  PIM  GP   G   A Pts PIM


2005-06  Michigan State University   CCHA   44   10   12   22   83

2006-07  Michigan State University   CCHA   38   15   18   33   91

2007-08  Michigan State University   CCHA   42   19   21   40  107

2007-08  Detroit Red Wings           NHL     2    0    0    0    2  --  --  --  --  --

2008-09  Grand Rapids Griffins       AHL    76   24   28   52  102  10   6   2   8  23

2008-09  Detroit Red Wings           NHL     2    0    0    0    0  10   2   1   3   0

2009-10  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    50    3    3    6   35  11   1   1   2  36

2009-10  Grand Rapids Griffins       AHL    33   11   13   24   86  --  --  --  --  --

2010-11  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    74    7   12   19   61  11   0   0   0  22

2011-12  Detroit Red Wings           NHL    81    8   14   22   62   5   0   0   0   2


         NHL Totals                        209   18   29   47  160  37   3   2   5  60

Update:  The Wings are also confirming via Twitter...



And DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose penned an article about the Colaiacovo signing...

The Red Wings have added veteran depth to the blue line with the signing of unrestricted free agent Carlo Colaiacovo who has spent the past nine seasons between Toronto and St. Louis.

A left-handed shooting defenseman, the 29-year-old Colaiacovo was once viewed to have lockdown-type skills. However, injuries have plagued the former first-round draft pick of the Maple Leafs.

He was involved in a nasty head-first collision where his head struck the dasher boards in a game against the Ottawa Senators in January 2006. He was taken off of the ice on a stretcher and missed the remainder of the 2005-06 season. Colaiacovo also missed the majority of the 2007-08 campaign following surgery to repair his right knee.

He was later traded to St. Louis by Toronto with Alex Steen for Lee Stempniak.

With the Blues, Colaiacovo garnered the fourth-most even strength ice-time among defenseman last season. However, he missed 18 games with a multitude of injuries, including concussion-like symptoms, which he’s battled since 2006 when he missed a hip-check and ran head-first into the boards.

In 370 NHL games, Colaiacovo has produced 30 goals and 109 assists. He’s also collected two silver medals with Canada’s national team at the 2002 and ’03 World Junior Championship. It was during the 2003 tourney that he led Canada in team scoring with a goal and a tournament-best nine assists in six games.

Colaiacovo could be partnered on the Wings’ second defensive pairing with an old familiar face. He spent three-plus seasons playing along side defenseman Ian White in the Leafs’ system. That would leave Niklas Kronwall on the first pairing with either Jonathan Ericsson or Brendan Smith, and Kyle Quincey and Jakub Kindl battling for the sixth defensive spot.

And Roose added some quips from Ken Holland to the mix as well:



The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan's also rather soberly confirming...


As is the Windsor Star's Bob Duff...



MLive's Ansar Khan has a breakdown of Colaiacovo's deal...

The Red Wings had been pursuing the skilled but oft-injured Colaiacovo all summer. He will earn $2.15 million this season and $2.85 million in 2013-14.

As well as Abdelkader's deal...


So is the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness...

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.

And, via RedWingsFeed, the Free Press's Helene St. James spoke to Ken Holland about Abdelkader...

"Early in the summer, we signed Darren Helm to a four-year contract," general manager Ken Holland said today. "They were taken in same draft. Once we got Darren Helm signed, I know that Justin and his agent wanted similar term. We've been going back and forth for the last four or five weeks.

"Abby is a big strong guy; he can play left wing. He was a real good centerman in college and in the AHL, and he played some center last year. He's versatile. He's physical. He's comfortable dropping the gloves. He chipped in eight goals last year. We think there's more there, with opportunity."


There never was any question that Abdelkader, a restricted free agent, would re-sign, it was just when it would happen. Unlike defenseman Kyle Quincey, Abdelkader didn't file for arbitration, which puts a timer on negotiations. Wings general manager Ken Holland said he didn't think it mattered whether a deal was struck before this weekend, when the NHL is almost certain to shut down because of a labor dispute, but Abdelkader craved the peace of mind.

Abdelkader has been a Wing since they drafted him 42nd overall in 2005, right before the Muskegon native started the first of three seasons at Michigan State. He played 50 games for the Wings in 2009-10, and, over the past two seasons, has worked his way up to becoming a regular -- usually in the fourth-line center slot and as a penalty killer. His 148 hits last season trailed only Brad Stuart's 177 for the team lead.

The signing puts the Wings at 16 forwards for 2012-13, which will create a nice bit of competition. The team will only carry 14.

And Colaiacovo...

"He's a veteran," Holland said. "He's played in the NHL. Smith is a rookie. Kindl has been around a bit but hasn't really had the opportunity to establish himself.

"Carlo gives us another veteran defenseman for our team. He can play on power play. He's got the ability to get the puck in the hands of our forwards. It's another veteran."

The Wings today also re-signed forward Justin Abdelkader, a restricted free agent, for four years.

Colaiacovo, 29, was a first-round pick of Toronto in 2001. After five seasons with the Maple Leafs, he went to St. Louis, where his offensive skills blossomed. In 370 NHL games, he has 30 goals and 109 assists for 139 points, and a plus-13 rating. He also has missed chunks of every one of his seasons because of injuries, maxing out at 73 games in 2008-09.

"He's healthy," Holland said. "We're aware that he's a guy that probably plays 60-65 games per year. It is what it is. We're fully aware of what we're signing."

Colaiacovo gives the Wings some breathing room. As highly as the team rates Smith, he has only 14 games of NHL experience. Kindl just tops 100. That made for a precarious situation, even for a team faced with a tough transition no matter what after losing Lidstrom, a seven-time Norris trophy winner and one of the best defensemen ever.

The Wings wanted to add a defenseman before Saturday, when the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the players' association expires and owners are expected to lock out players. Whenever a new accord is reached, the Wings stand to still have a good amount of salary-cap flexibility, leaving them open to pursue a top-notch defenseman at some point via trade.

"We'll continue to explore once the league is back up and running, continue to explore ways to improve our team," Holland said.

As I was writing this, Ted Kulfan filed an article about the signings...

Just under the wire of a potential lockout Saturday night, the Red Wings signed forward Justin Abdelkader and unrestricted free agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to contracts Friday morning.

Colaiacovo signed a two-year contract worth $5 million.

Colaiacovo (6-foot-1, 200 pounds), 29, spent the past four seasons with the St. Louis Blues. He had two goals and 17 assists in 64 games last season.

An offensive defenseman who is also effective on the power play, Colaiacovo rounds out a Red Wings defense that was looking for one more proven NHL veteran.

Abdelkader, a restricted free agent, signed a four-year contract worth $7.2 million.

And Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples is confirming the news, too:

Just a day before the current collective bargaining agreement expires, the Red Wings took care of some loose ends.

The club officially announced long-speculated deals with defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo and current Red Wings forward and Michigan native Justin Abdelkader.

Red Wings’ general manager Ken Holland signed Colaiacovo to a two-year deal, while Abdelkader earned a four-year extension with his hometown team.

Colaiacovo, 29, brings depth and experience to the Red Wings’ blue line, a portion of the roster that has been of concern since the departures of Nick Lidstrom and Brad Stuart this off-season. In 370 NHL games with the St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs, Colaiacovo has recorded 30 goals, 109 assists, and 191 penalty minutes. He was a first-round pick of the Leafs (17th overall) in the 2001 NHL Draft.

Abdelkader, the Wings’ second-round pick in 2005, is entering his fourth full season with the club. In 209 career NHL games, the former Michigan high school Mr. Hockey and Michigan State Spartan has 18 goals, 29 assists, and 160 penalty minutes.

Update #1.5: This is just painful to see...





Update #2: Colaiacovo's apparently in Detroit today:





Update #3:

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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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