Try as they may, the Detroit Red Wings weren’t going to be able to fully fill the hole in their defense left by Nicklas Lidstrom.
When quite possibly the best defenseman ever leaves the team, a void is left that can only be patched, not filled.
GM Ken Holland and the Detroit Red Wings patched that hole on Thursday by signing defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo.
Colaiacovo, formerly of the St. Louis Blues, will step in and make an immediate impact in Detroit’s lineup. The 29-year-old veteran will likely play alongside Jonathan Ericsson on the Red Wings second defensive pair.
Colaiacovo signed a two-year, $5 million deal with Detroit, and seems happy to be a Red Wing.
“It’s obviously a great feeling,” Colaiacovo said Friday in a conference call with reporters. “It puts me at a peace of mind and it’s in a place where, from Day 1, I wanted to be. It’s Hockeytown, the Detroit Red Wings, Joe Louis Arena, a place I absolutely love playing in, first-class organization; it’s a roster full with world-class players. I’m just glad to be a part of it.”
Colaiacovo was the second-best fit for Detroit as far as defenseman go, but when Ryan Suter was signed by Minnesota, Colaiacovo moved to the top of Detroit’s list.
Colaiacovo (pronounced coh-lee-AH-coh-voh) has shown great potential throughout his nine-year career, but health has been an issue. Colaiacovo has never played in more than 73 games in a season. He seems to be staying reasonably healthy of late, and has averaged 67 games per year since the 2008-2009 season.
The 6-foot-1 200-pound defenseman can play from the point on the powerplay, and has some goal-scoring ability. Colaiacovo has shown this ability in spurts, but lacks the consistency he would like. Over the last four years, Colaiacovo has netted only 18 goals, seven of those coming in the 2009-2010 campaign.
Unfortunately for Colaiacovo and Detroit, the NHL will be locked-out as of midnight tonight. The fourth work stoppage in 20 years will begin, with no immediate end in sight. With the players and owners disagreeing on how revenue should be shared, the NHL is at risk of playing a shortened season.
And that’s if they play at all.
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