Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Report: Mathieu Dandenault re-signed by Detroit

Sportsnet.ca is reporting that the Red Wings have re-signed defenseman Mathieu Dandenault to a one-year, $1.595 million contract on Monday.  Dandenault, who was a restricted free agent, had until midnight July 15 to file for an arbitration hearing, but decided to stick with negotiations.  No Red Wings filed for arbitration this summer.  Dandenault made $1.45 million last season.    The Wings picked Dandenault in the second round (49th overall) of the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.  His career numbers include 48 goals and 101 assists in 616 games, and he had 3 goals and 9 assists in 65 games last season.  Dandenault, 28, is highly sought-after for his two-way game, as he is able to play both as a defenseman and as a forward.  In past years, the Wings have rejected numerous trade offers due to the strong interest in Dandenault. If his $1.595 million salary turns out to be below the 2004-2005 league average salary (last season's was $1.83 million), this would mean that he would become a Group V Unrestricted Free Agent next summer.  This is a likely scenario, as all indications show that the average salary will not change significantly next season, and Dandenault will be a 10-year veteran by next summer. Note that although this deal may not yet be official (ie no press release), Sportsnet.ca is usually good with premature reports.  For example, they reported the re-signing of Kris Draper two days before it became official. I am happy to see Dandy staying in the Winged-Wheel.  His speed and defensive poise are a great asset to the Wings, adding depth to a still veteran club.  Hopefully fellow defensemen Jiri Fischer, Chris Chelios, and Mathieu Schneider follow suit in re-signing with the Wings.      So far this summer, the Wings have re-signed Kris Draper, Jamie Rivers, Mark Mowers, Brendan Shanahan, and now Mathieu Dandenault.  The Wings have agreed to a deal with Chris Chelios (yet to be signed with Chelios training in California).  The Wings are still far apart in the negotiations with Pavel Datsyuk and Mathieu Schneider, but don't foresee any problems in re-signing Jiri Fischer and Jason Williams.  Steve Yzerman will re-sign with the Wings if he decides to forego retirement.  The only Wings to leave the club officially are Boyd Devereaux, who signed with the Phoenix Coyotes, and Dominik Hasek, who signed with the Ottawa Senators.  Anticipated departures include Brett Hull and Steve Thomas, who were not offered contracts to stay in Hockeytown. UPDATE   The Detroit Free Press reports that Dandenault signed for $1.754 million, although the NHLPA's player profile of Dandenault lists his 2004-2005 salary as $1.595 million.  In any case, Dandenault's salary will probably be less than the NHL average salary for next season.  In other news, the Wings hope to have Jason Williams signed to a one-year deal by the end of the week.  Also, the Coyotes have extended Brett Hull a two-year offer.  Brett's agent and brother, Bobby Hull Jr, has said that the offer is "generous" and that Phoenix would be a good fit for the Golden Brett.  Don't expect a signing any time soon, since, if Brett stays true to his word, he will not take contract offers until after the World Cup of Hockey tournament (August 30 to September 14).     


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