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Wings signs Ericsson to six-year deal

Veteran defenseman is thrilled to remain with Red Wings through 2019-20 season

Wednesday, 11.27.2013 / 11:00 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Wings signs Ericsson to six-year deal
The Red Wings are glad to have signed Jonathan Ericsson to a six-year contract extension on Wednesday. That means the defenseman will be with the Red Wings through 2019-20. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – What a tremendous few months it’s been for Jonathan Ericsson. First the birth of his first child last month, and now the security in knowing he will be a Red Wing for the rest of his career.

Ericsson signed a six-year contract extension on Wednesday that will keep him in Detroit through the 2019-20 NHL season.

“I’m really sure I want to be here and that for me was a big thing,” said Ericsson, who will earn $25.5 million over the life of the contract. “I wanted to stay here as long they want me. I know I want to be here. I like it both on and off the ice. I’m really comfortable in the city and really like being here.”

The last player selected in the 2002 NHL draft, the 6-foot-5 Ericsson has developed over time into becoming a bona fide top-pair defenseman.

“When Nick Lidstrom retired and Brad Stuart when back to San Jose, there was an opportunity for Big E and he’s taken full advantage,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He was a big part of our team last year and he turned 30 in March so he’s really coming into some prime years. He’s 6-foot-5, he’s mobile, he competes hard, he’s a real good shut-down defenseman, he’s been an important guy on the penalty kill, so happy to get Jonathan signed up.”

Despite missing 10 games with a separated shoulder, Ericsson has produced a goal and four assists with a plus-3 rating in 15 games this season. But his real value comes on the defensive end of the rink, where he leads the team – and ranks No. 13 among all league defensemen – in shorthanded ice-time. He’s grown into his role as a top-pair player along side Niklas Kronwall, and in the last two seasons, his minutes have gone up expediential. This year he’s logging more than 22 minutes per game, which is up from 17-plus in 2011-12.

“He’s home grown,” Holland said. “We’ve watched him from the draft table through Grand Rapids into a bottom pair defenseman to a top pair defenseman, so certainly a real important guy to our team.”

It hasn’t always been easy for Ericsson, but his persistence and passion for the game and the Red Wings has paid dividends for both him and the club, which showed a huge commitment by agree to such a long deal.

“When I got drafted this was a long-shot for me,” Ericsson said. “Just being able to maybe one day play for the Red Wings that’s one thing, but to be able to play here for I don’t know how many years it’s going to be now, it’s an amazing feeling. Being a part of this top-ranked organization for my whole career is great.”

Ericsson played on Sweden’s bronze medal squad at the 2010 World Championships, where he was named a Top 3 Player for his home country along with goalie Jonas Gustavsson and forward Magnus Paajarvi. While receiving the recognition, along with the bronze, was nice, Ericsson has his eyes on other hardware that could make this season much more fulfilling than it already has been.

“It’s a really eventful year for me, of course,” he said. “Baby, this, Winter Classic, possibly the Olympics and possibly a Stanley Cup, we’ll see.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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