Red Wings ink veteran blueliner Salei

The Sports Network

8/9/2010 1:26:34 PM

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings have signed defenseman Ruslan Salei to a one-year contract.

No terms of the deal were disclosed.

Salei was limited to just 14 games because of a back injury last season and posted a lone goal and added five assists for Colorado, his last of two-plus seasons with the Avalanche.

He was originally the ninth overall selection in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by Anaheim and broke into the NHL that same year, assisting on one goal in 30 games.

The 35-year-old Belarus native spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Ducks and played for current Red Wings coach Mike Babcock during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons with them. He then spent the following season playing in Russia during the NHL lockout.

Salei returned to the Ducks in 2005-06 before signing as a free agent with the Panthers and spending almost two full seasons in Florida before being sent to the Avalanche at the trade deadline in 2008.

In 13 NHL campaigns, Salei has compiled 43 goals and 151 assists during the regular season and added six goals and nine helpers in 51 playoff games.

He also represented Belarus in the 1998 and 2002 Olympic games.