Red Wings sign Eaves
Forward Patrick Eaves, 25, was signed by the Red Wings today to a one-year contract. Eaves was part of the trade this summer that sent defenseman Aaron Ward back to Carolina from Boston. Scheduled to make $1.1 million this season, Eaves was immediately bought out by the Bruins, making him a free agent.
Eaves' Red Wings contract is a one-way deal worth less than $1 million.
"There are a few guys left out there," said Detroit vice president and assistant general manager Jim Nill. "We're just trying to fill in the holes. In the salary-cap era, there's no reason to overpay for someone, even if you like them. If somebody is willing to come in for the money, we'll sign them."
Eaves started his pro career with a bang after being a Hobey Baker finalist at Boston College. He scored 20 goals with Ottawa as a 21-year-old rookie in 2005-06. Since then, however, his offensive production has shrunk. Eaves scored 14 goals in his sophomore season, then five, then six last winter. Eaves' ice time peaked at 12:46 in his third season. Least winter with Carolina, Eaves earned just 11:15 of ice time per game.
"He was looking for an opportunity," said Detroit vice president and general manager Ken Holland. "We've had some success with players coming into here who were looking for an opportunity. Everybody hopes you can get a Dan Cleary, but first things first. He's a player that fits our style. He's got skill. We've got a comfortable environment in our locker room that has been a good fit for other players looking for an opportunity."
Eaves was originally selected in the first round (29th overall) by the Ottawa Senators in the 2003 Entry Draft.
"It's kind of a Dan Cleary story," said Nill. "Starting when careers were on the bubble. He's here to be on our team. He's a guy with the skill set that he can play on any forward line. We hope he can rekindle his scoring touch with us."
Holland said that the Red Wings are looking for another forward to sign.