from Josh Berenter of the Wings' website,
When a team has fallen on hard times and hasn't made the playoffs in four seasons, often times there is a hesitation for free agents to sign on and buy in to a rebuild.
But there is still an undeniable cache to playing for an iconic Original Six franchise, and the Detroit Red Wings will always be a desirable destination that NHL players covet.
The Red Wings signed seven free agents over the weekend, many of whom said it was a no-brainer to come to Hockeytown.
On the first day of free agency Friday, Detroit signed forward Bobby Ryan and defenseman Jon Merrill to one-year deals, and also agreed to terms with goaltender Kevin Boyle and forwards Riley Barber and Kyle Criscuolo. On Saturday, the Red Wings added goalie Thomas Greiss and defenseman Troy Stecher, providing the club with several eager veterans who will contribute on and off the ice.
Ryan is the biggest gem of the free-agent class for Detroit, as a former No. 2 overall pick and an 833-game NHL veteran with 254 career goals and 301 assists under his belt. He had a 45-minute phone conversation with Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman and said he was immediately sold.
"The passion that comes through for the Red Wings through him is contagious," Ryan said. "I walked out of the room (after the call) and told my wife 'I think we're signing with Detroit.'" Ryan, who spent six seasons with the Anaheim Ducks and seven with the Ottawa Senators, boasts six seasons of 50 or more points in his career. The veteran was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey last season.