NHL

Red Wings, Kronwall agree to terms on seven-year extension

{eot}
The Associated Press
10/31/2011 11:05:40 AM
Decrease Text SizeIncrease Text Size
Text Size

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings have become the rarest of pro franchises by drafting, developing and keeping their players for more than a decade.

Steve Yzerman did it and Nicklas Lidstrom is doing it.

Niklas Kronwall wants to be a part of the tradition.

Kronwall signed a seven-year, US$33.25 million contract Monday that can make the Red Wings the only team he plays for in his career.

"It speaks highly of the organization that players want to play and stay here," he said Monday night in a telephone interview. "We have an owner who wants to put a team on the ice every year that has a chance to compete, everyone expects to win -- and I love that."

The deal gave Red Wings general manager Ken Holland one fewer move to worry about, keeping the 30-year-old defenceman off the market next summer.

"He could've been an unrestricted free agent that we couldn't have truly replaced," Holland said. "He wanted to be here and we really wanted him to stay. We've known him since he was 18 years old and we know what he brings to the table physically and mentally."

Detroit drafted the hard-hitting Swede with the 29th overall pick in 2000 and he was a key player for the franchise's 2008 Stanley Cup team.

"I've been with this organization since I came here and there was never any doubt in my mind this is where I want my future to be," Kronwall said.

He was named an assistant captain this season and will be counted on for even more leadership when 41-year-old defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom retires. Kronwall has a goal and an assist in nine games this season. He has 35 goals, including a career-high 11 last season, and 183 points over 394 games.

Kronwall is in what's known as the Triple Gold Club with an Olympic gold medal, world championship and Stanley Cup title.

"He can play physical, he can help on the power play and you can put him in any situation," Holland said. "If you look around, you can't find too many defencemen that can do that. We're really glad he's not going to be on the market for another team."

Detroit retains Kronwall for slightly less money overall and for one more year than a comparable player, defenceman James Wisniewski. The Columbus Blue Jackets gave the 27-year-old Wisniewski $33 million over six years to keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent last summer.

Kronwall doesn't regret for a moment that he's passing up a chance to find out how much more money he could've made as a free agent.

"Me, my girlfriend and my agent made it clear we wanted to stay here," he said. "I couldn't see myself leaving on my own terms."

Niklas Kronwall (Photo: The Canadian Press)

zoom

(Photo: The Canadian Press)
Share This

Share This

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to FarkAdd to TwitterAdd to Stumble UponAdd to Reddit
Print this Story

2014-15 NHL Preview

From The Hockey Insider

TSN's Bob McKenzie sets up the start of training camp, going one-on-one with the GMs from all seven Canadian teams.


WATCH: Bryan Murray - Ottawa Senators

WATCH: Dave Nonis - Toronto Maple Leafs

WATCH: Kevin Cheveldayoff - Winnipeg Jets

WATCH: Marc Bergevin - Montreal Canadiens

WATCH: Brad Treliving - Calgary Flames

WATCH: Craig MacTavish - Edmonton Oilers

WATCH: Jim Benning - Vancouver Canucks


TSN.ca previews what to expect out of the NHL's 30 teams as we count down to puck drop. Check daily for team previews and updates on each Canadian franchise leading up to Oct. 8.


Latest Preview: Carolina Hurricanes






TSN TweetBox
© 2014
All rights reserved.
Bell Media Television