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Two down, one to go: Wings ink Tatar to three-year, $8.25M deal

Jul 28, 2014, 2:01 PM EDT

tomastatargetty Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings went into this offseason needing to secure deals for three key restricted free agents.

On Monday, they locked down No. 2.

Detroit agreed to a three-year extension with forward Tomas Tatar, the club announced. Tatar, 23, is coming off a breakout campaign in which he posted career highs for games played (73), goals (19), assists (20) and points (39), all while averaging 14:21 TOI per game. Tatar then led all Detroit skaters with 19 shots on goal during an opening-round playoff loss to Boston (during which, it should be mentioned, he struggled, going scoreless with a minus-3 rating and a team-high eight PIM.)

UPDATE: Per TVA, Tatar signed for $8.25 million over the three years, good for an average annual cap hit of $2.75M — a really nice pay bump from the three-year entry-level deal he was playing on, which netted him $630,000 per.

Detroit’s second-round pick (60th overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Tatar — along with Riley Sheahan and Danny DeKeyser — was one of the key RFAs Detroit needed to re-up with this summer. The Red Wings took care of Sheahan early, inking him to a two-year pact on July 1, and now need to turn their attention to DeKeyser.

Over the weekend, the 24-year-old defenseman said there would be “no problems” on reaching a new deal with the Wings, adding that his contractual status would be sorted out prior to training camp. DeKeyser is a key figure for Detroit; he’s the club’s best young defenseman and, despite missing significant time with a shoulder injury, racked up 23 points in 65 games while averaging 21:38 TOI last year.

  1. snipedanglecelly13 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Way to go Holland, lock him up!

  2. adamal17 - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    Great news…I would think/hope it’s for around 2-2.5 million a year. Good Job, Holland. Three years is a great, great term.

  3. rbbbaron - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    5.27mil cap space left with DeKeyser up to bat and Alfredsson on deck (looks like Alfie won’t be getting as much guaranteed dosh as he’d probably like)

  4. redwings1977 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Say what you want about the lack of free agent signings, I’m still pretty excited for the coming season. The young kids have some experience under their belts and should be a lot more prepared this year. Now if we can just find a spot in the lineup for Mantha I’ll be even happier.

  5. redwings4013 - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    I agree with @redwings1977 if we can put mantha maybe with dats and Zee we would have an Amazing top line and then we could either trade franzen or bring him down to the 3rd line (nyquist is obviously taking second line from him) and I hope jurco can be full time but with that terrible contract holland gave cleary I’m not so sure he will get his time up

  6. lowenni - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Tatar’s awesome. Great hands, a motor that never stops, and an underrated two way game. He’s gonna be a big piece of the Wings’ future and should get more playing time this season. Good signing.

    Also, people need to calm down a little bit about Mantha. He’s obviously gonna be really good but his scoring prowess in junior isn’t going to translate equally to the NHL–he’s huge and that helps him dominate opponents in junior. Guys are just as big as him in the NHL and he’s not going to be a 50 goal guy. To expect him to step in and play top line minutes with Datsyuk and Zetterberg like one of the above comments recommends is foolish. Wait for preseason first to see how he matches up with guys who are his own size and skill level.

    • redwings1977 - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      I’m not asking Mantha to be a goal per game scorer in the NHL, but any playing time he gets this season will only help him in the long run. I think the days of letting young guys mature in Grand Rapids for 3 or 4 years are gone, we need help on the roster now.

      • adamal17 - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:23 PM

        I disagree a little bit. Mantha getting 18-21 minutes a game in GR as apposed to 8-12 in DET is much better for his development. Yes; losing a year of his rookie contract kind of sucks…but 18-21 on a top line is much better IMHO. We don’t need much help on the offensive side as long as we stay somewhat healthy up front. I wouldn’t be against giving Marchenko, Jensen or Sproul a serious shot on D though.

      • redwings1977 - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        I hear you, I just think he’s already shown what he can do against sub-par competition. Bring him up and see how he stacks up against guys bigger and stronger than he is. If it doesn’t work out, there’s always a spot in GR, but he may surprise some people.

    • adamal17 - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      I agree with you. The cap hit isn’t bad and I think that Holland gave him that little extra bump for the extra year (It was reported he was mulling a two, three and five year pact). My guess is that five years would have equaled a cap hit of around 3.5 or 4 mil. Cannot complain with this whatsoever though…next year will be interesting for cap hits with RFA’s Jurco, Nyquist and to some extent Smith.
      Mantha is a bit of a wild card though…The only way he makes the team is if he earns a spot in the top six…which with 14 forwards signed and Alfie most likely finding a way back in next year means either exposing three players to waivers or trading three players that don’t deserve to be traded. It get’s even more interesting next year with only one forward being an unrestricted free agent that (hopefully) won’t be re signed…that’s Cleary.

    • deewmu - Jul 29, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      Nyquist is half his size and with quality minutes spent with Z last year, his production was above par so the ceiling for Mantha top 6 would be even higher. But this is Detroit and we’re loaded at fwd. Don’t expect to see Mantha unless for a couple injuries or scoring drought.

  7. classicfinder - Jul 28, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    Glad they scraped up enough dough for him.

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