Carlo Colaiacovo signs two-year deal with Detroit Red Wings

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
Carlo Colaiacovo has signed a two-year deal with the Red Wings. (Getty Images)

In a move that has been talked about and rumored for weeks, the Detroit Red Wings made it official on Friday morning and announced they have signed free-agent defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to a two-year contract.

The 29-year-old defenseman had been with the St. Louis Blues since the middle of the 2008-09 season and is coming off a two-goal, 17-assist performance with the team this past season. He spent much of his time last year playing on the Blues' top defensive pairing alongside Alex Pietrangelo but seemed to struggle on the rare occassion that he was separated from the young blueliner.

The other concern for the Red Wings must be the fact that injuries have been an issue throughout Colaiacovo's career. He was limited to only 64 games last season and has appeared in more than 70 games just once in his NHL career.

When healthy, he's probably best suited to be a solid second-pairing defenseman who can move the puck up the ice and even help on the power play. He's probably going to have to play a pretty big role in Detroit on what is a rebuilt blue line that, on paper anyway, is one of the weaker units the Red Wings have seen in quite some time.

Future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom announced his retirement earlier this summer while the team also lost veteran Brad Stuart when it traded his free-agent rights to the San Jose Sharks. Brian Rafalski, a staple on their blue line since the 2005-06 season, retired following the 2010-11 season.

As it stands, the Red Wings' defense this season (whenever the season starts) will include Colaiacovo, Ian White, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith.

Along with the signing of Colaiacovo, the Red Wings also announced on Friday that restricted free-agent forward Justin Abdelkader has signed a four-year contract with the team.

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