Defenseman Brian Rafalski agreed to a five-year, $30 million deal with the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, shortly after defenseman Mathieu Schneider chose to leave the team in free agency.
Rafalski scored eight goals and had 55 points last season for the New Jersey Devils. He has 44 career goals and 311 points in seven NHL seasons, all in New Jersey.
The 5-foot-10, 195-pound defenseman was born in Dearborn, just outside of Detroit, and turns 34 in September.
Schneider signed a two-year deal worth $11.25 million with the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks. The 18-year veteran will make $5.5 million this season and $5.75 million the following year. He had 11 goals and 52 points last season for the Red Wings.
Detroit general manager Ken Holland expected to lose Schneider in free agency.
``We would love to have him back, but I expect him to hit the market and I don't blame him,'' Holland said Saturday night. ``He's 38 years old, so he doesn't have a lot of chances to really take advantage of free agency.''
Holland was cautiously optimistic on the eve of NHL free agency that he and Dominik Hasek would agree to contract terms to bring the star goaltender back. The six-time Vezina Trophy winner and two-time MVP informed the Red Wings several weeks ago that he wanted to play in Detroit again.
The Red Wings also want to re-sign forward Todd Bertuzzi, if he is willing to return with a shorter-term contract.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Blackhawks vs. Panthers Prediction Are the Blackhawks a good bet to beat the Panthers tonight when the two clash at 7:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Stars vs. Sharks Prediction Will the Dallas Stars pull off the upset tonight as a home underdog versus the San Jose Sharks at 8:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Hosts still pushing for playoff spot   Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews snapped a seven-game goalless drought when he potted his 32nd marker of the season Saturday. Can Ontario’s darling carry that...
Thumbnail Laine, visitors aim to extend Minny's skid   A season that started so promisingly for the Wild is spinning out of control down the stretch. Can Bruce Boudreau’s troops find a way to right themselves...
Thumbnail Defending champs overcoming health issues Washington’s recent slide has provided a glimmer of hope for Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division race. But can the Pens avoid a letdown tonight against...

NHL Team Pages