DetroitRedWings.com’s Josh Berenter penned an article discussing the 7 free agent players who the Red Wings have signed over the past two days:
On the first day of free agency Friday, Detroit signed forward Bobby Ryan and defenseman Jon Merrill to one-year deals, and also agreed to terms with goaltender Kevin Boyle and forwards Riley Barber and Kyle Criscuolo. On Saturday, the Red Wings added goalie Thomas Greiss and defenseman Troy Stecher, providing the club with several eager veterans who will contribute on and off the ice.
Ryan is the biggest gem of the free-agent class for Detroit, as a former No. 2 overall pick and an 833-game NHL veteran with 254 career goals and 301 assists under his belt. He had a 45-minute phone conversation with Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman and said he was immediately sold.
“The passion that comes through for the Red Wings through him is contagious,” Ryan said. “I walked out of the room (after the call) and told my wife ‘I think we’re signing with Detroit.'” Ryan, who spent six seasons with the Anaheim Ducks and seven with the Ottawa Senators, boasts six seasons of 50 or more points in his career. The veteran was awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance and dedication to hockey last season.
Berenter also noted GM Steve Yzerman’s take on his work:
Yzerman said he’s pleased with the haul of free agents his team signed over the weekend. The Wings’ GM said it’s important to have players excited about joining the club and buying in to the direction the organization is heading.
“We’re real happy. The more guys that really have that enthusiasm that really have a burning (desire) to play for our team, I think that’s really important,” Yzerman said. “We’re trying to surround the younger players with high-quality veterans, with guys who can help our team get better, help our young guys improve and be professional and make us more competitive.”