According to Red Wings beat writer Ansar Khan of MLive.com, Detroit has signed free agent center Frans Nielsen to a six-year contract minutes after the free agent frenzy began. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that the deal is worth $5.25MM per season.
Nielsen will likely take the place of Pavel Datsyuk in Detroit’s top six, who retired early this offseason and had his contract traded to Arizona at last week’s NHL Entry Draft. Last year, Nielsen played in 81 games with the Islanders, scoring 20 goals while adding 32 assists, averaging 17:43 per game in ice time.
Nielsen had spent his entire NHL career on Long Island, playing in parts of ten seasons with the team. He has a total of 606 games under his belt, scoring 119 goals and adding 230 assists.