DETROIT – The Red Wings have agreed to terms with defenceman Jonathan Ericsson and wings Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller, keeping all three players in Detroit.
The team also signed veteran defenceman Mike Commodore on Friday, the first day of NHL free agency. The 31-year-old Commodore played for the Columbus Blue Jackets last season.
Ericsson agreed to a three-year, US$9.75 million deal, and Eaves was brought back for three years and $3.6 million. Miller reached a two-year agreement for $1.65 million.
Miller told The Associated Press he agreed to his deal just before a noon deadline when he would have become a free agent.
“I wanted to stay, but it had to work out and make sense for both sides,” the 27-year-old Miller said. “I’m happy to be back and with a two-year contract, I’m hopeful that I can grow my role as a player with the organization.”
Miller had 10 goals and eight assists in 67 games last season.
Ericsson has played four seasons in the NHL, all with Detroit. He set career highs in 2010-11 in games (74), points (15) and penalty minutes (87).
“Jonathan Ericsson has made significant strides with us over the last three years,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We believe in his abilities, we like the physical dimension that he brings to our team and we look for his continued progression as a player over the next few seasons as he enters into the prime of his career.”
Eaves is coming off a season in which he had 13 goals and seven assists in 63 games for the Red Wings.
“All three guys are 27 years of age,” Holland said of the three returning players. “All three of them, I think, their best years are ahead of them.”
Commodore, who signed a one-year deal, joins his sixth NHL team. He played 20 games for Columbus last season. He asked for a trade and was waived, but at the time, his contract made it hard for other teams to pick him up.
The Blue Jackets sent him to the minor leagues while trying to unload him. They ended up buying out the remainder of his deal. His agreement with the Red Wings is worth $1 million, his agent said.
“We think he’s going to give us some presence on the back end,” Holland said. “(Coach) Mike Babcock is excited to have him. He’s a pro. He’s been around the game.”
Detroit lost in the second round of the playoffs to San Jose, but got good news recently when Nicklas Lidstrom decided to return.
AP Sports Writer Larry Lage contributed to this report.