A few quick Red Wings-related notes this afternoon, on the fifth day of free agency:
- The Wings officially confirmed the signings of defensemen Logan Pyett and Garnet Exelby. The Exelby thing was rumored this morning, but the team sent out a press release confirming the reports. Both deals are for one-year and you can bet they’re both two-way, and will spend the season in Grand Rapids. Neither player will factor into Detroit’s blueline situation this season. Exelby was a member of the Blackhawks organization last season and was once considered one of the harder hitters in hockey, but finds himself toiling in the AHL. He has over 400 games played in the NHL, mostly in Atlanta during the “dark days.”
- Uncomfirmed, but reported by various sources, that the Wings have also rewarded Griffins goaltender Jordan Pearce for his strong season with a two-year extension. He has been putting off medical school in the event that he can make something of a hockey career, and it looks like he’s pleased enough with his progress to delay that advanced education another two years. Good on him, and the Grand Rapids tandem might be set with Pearce and McCollum.
- Speaking of goaltenders, there are plenty of rumors that the Wings have already signed former Red Wing Ty Conklin to be the backup for Jimmy Howard. While that signing hasn’t been confirmed, Conklin is arguably the best option remaining on the market, with perhaps Marty “LOL” Turco, Ray Emery, and Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers on that list, as well. There’s a lot of nostalgia around Chris Osgood, but anyone that thinks he’s a viable option for the backup role on this team hasn’t been paying attention in years, between the injuries and unreliability of 2009-10. Ozzie played very well before being hampered by injuries this past season, but has only appeared in 34 games in the last two years combined — probably not enough to put the front office’s mind at ease. For what it’s worth, Ty Conklin struggled mightily last season in his own right — perhaps the result of playing behind a weak St. Louis Blues team. He had excellent numbers as a Red Wing in 2008-09 and may have leveraged the relationship into another go-round in Detroit. Stay tuned because Ken Holland said the goaltending situation will be settled this week.
- Ruslan Salei took his ball and went home, opting to sign in the KHL instead of the rumored California locales, which is where he left his wife and three daughters while playing in Detroit last season. That’s kind of the opposite direction on California, but if he wanted to have a place to call home while his little girls grow up in one place, I hope he finds peace in Russia.
- UPDATE, 4:10PM — VERY UNCONFIRMED report that former Grand Rapids Griffins captain Jamie Tardif has signed with the Boston Bruins. As far as I’m concerned it’s just a rumor since it hasn’t been reported anywhere reputable but we’ll look into it.
- UPDATE, 5:53pm — CONFIRMED, via the Boston Bruins official Twitter account, Jamie Tardif has signed with the reigning Stanley Cup champs.
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Photo Credit: The Star