Monday, August 9, 2010

6th D-Man Decided: Red Wings Wrangle Ruslan Salei (UPDATE: 1:35PM EST)

In an interesting turn of events, the newest move by the Wings was not the re-signing of a Detroit free agent, but rather the filling of the mysterious 6th defense spot on the roster that everyone was curious about. Kenny Holland ended the speculation today by signing veteran defenseman Ruslan Salei to a one-year contract. Currently, the amount has not been disclosed, but TDG will update with the number as soon as we have it.

From numerous sources, Salei is seen as a big-minute defenseman who can spark a mean streak when needed, but is sometimes careless with his puck decisions in his own end (where have we heard THIS before...?). Last year, Salei notched a goal and five assists in 14 games with a -1 rating and 10 PIM. This was the second season in three years that Salei had played less than 20 games, making injury a cause for concern with the aging blueliner.

Overall, an interesting move by Holland, but if we can get 20-30 points out of Salei this season and he proves a true defensive asset, we got our money's worth. We'll have to wait and see.

(UPDATE): Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press has confirmed that the deal is worth $750,000 with $350,000 in bonuses.