Red Wings sign Mantha, top pick Zadina
Anthony Mantha, who signed a two-year deal with the Wings, led the team with 24 goals last season, including a team-high nine power-play goals.
The Red Wings have signed restricted free agent Anthony Mantha to a two-year contract worth $6.6 million ($.3.3 million annual cap hit).
They also have signed Filip Zadina, their top pick from last month’s NHL Draft, to a three-year entry-level contract.
Mantha, who turns 24 in September and is a 6-6 225-pound right wing, led the team with 24 goals – including a team-high nine power-play goals – and was third with 48 points in 80 games in 2017-18.
He has 43 goals and 87 points in 150 career NHL games.
Detroit selected Mantha in the first round (20th overall pick) in the 2013 NHL Draft. He will be a restricted free agent when the contract expires in 2020.
That leaves only Dylan Larkin to be signed before training camp.
Detroit took Zadina, a right wing, with the sixth overall pick.
The 18-year-old from the Czech Republic who played with Halifax of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will be given the opportunity to make the team out of training camp in the fall because of his offensive ability and the Wings’ difficulty scoring goals for the past two seasons.
The maximum cap hit for an entry-level contract is $925,000,
After signing, Zadina tweeted, "Just wanna say HUGE thanks to my family, agents and Especially to my teammates I would not be here in Detroit organizations without you ! Thanks a lot ! It's a honour for me to get this opportunity ! I am so excited about upcoming season ! Thank you Detroit!!"
It’s not clear where Zadina will play in 2018-19 if he doesn’t make the Red Wings.
The NHL has ruled that Zadina was on loan to Halifax from his European club, Pardubice HC of the Czech Republic, according to agent Darren Ferris. That makes him eligible to play for the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins in 2018-19 if the Red Wings opt to send him there.
But Halifax might dispute that ruling in hopes of getting Zadina back next season, if he doesn't earn a spot with the Red Wings. Halifax claims Zadina is a Canadian Hockey League player. CHL players with junior eligibility must return to their junior clubs if they're not in the NHL.
Zadina played two seasons for Pardubice before joining Halifax last season, where he had 44 goals and 82 points in 57 games.
Athanasiou signs two-year deal
Detroit has signed forward Andreas Athanasiou to a two-year deal with a cap hit of $3 million for each season.
Athanasiou, whose salary for 2017-18 was $1.3875 million, produced 16 goals and 33 points in 71 games after signing in late October.
He has continued to struggle with intensity. It’s usual for him to have a great game or two, in which he scores spectacular goals due to his elite speed and finishing ability, makes great plays and is a force every time he is on the ice, and then a game or two, or three, in which he is invisible and lax defensively.
Athanasiou, who turns 24 on Aug. 6, has 43 goals and 33 assists in 172 career games.
Larkin, Mantha last two unsigned
Restricted free agents Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha are the only two players remaining that need to be signed before training camp.
The Red Wings have 20 players signed to one-way contracts, totaling a cap hit of approximately $70.8 million (12 forwards, six defensemen, two goaltenders).
That includes Johan Franzen, who'll be placed on long-term injured reserve before the season, giving the club cap relief (possibly close to $3.9 million).
Add to that about $2.6 million of dead cap space from the bought-out contracts of Stephen Weiss and Xavier Ouellet and some bonus payouts from last season.
That adds up to about $73.4 million (including Franzen). The cap ceiling is $79.5 million.