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Friday, July 1, 2011

Red Wings Sign Jonathan Ericsson to Three-Year Extension

The Detroit Red Wings announced Thursday evening that they have signed defenseman Jonathan Ericsson to a three-year contract extension worth $9.75 million. The deal will pay him $3.25 million per season. He would have been an unrestricted free agent on July 1. In 74 games last season, he had three goals and 12 assists for 15 points and 87 penalty minutes. Not a bad depth signing for the Red Wings, as Ericsson brings lots of size and grit to the blueline. He also brings plenty of mobility and some defensive upside to the team. However, the Red Wings definitely overpaid to retain his services, as he still has yet to prove that he is worth this kind of money. With a very limited pool of free agent defensemen to choose from on July 1 and a need for defensive depth with the retirement of Brian Rafalski, it would seem Red Wings' GM Ken Holland offered Ericsson such a hefty contract to keep him from leaving the team via free agency and creating another hole in the team's defense. Ericsson will have to greatly improve his game over the next three years to show that he is worth the $3.25 million per season.

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