Red Wings sign Osgood to a two-year contract

Updated: July 1, 2006, 8:28 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Once the Detroit Red Wings decided not to re-sign goaltender Manny Legace, they set out to replace him.

Chris Osgood

"We have to get a goalie," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.

Detroit on Saturday signed Chris Osgood, a one-time starter who backed up Legace after returning to the Red Wings last season, to a two-year contract.

Holland could sign a free agent or trade for a replacement for Legace.

Martin Gerber (Carolina) and Ed Belfour (Toronto) are among the goalies available in free agency -- each with pluses and minuses.

Edmonton re-signed Dwayne Roloson on Saturday, the first day of free agency, and Martin Gerber left the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes for Ottawa. That took two solid goalies off the market.

Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere, San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov and Buffalo's Martin Biron could be acquired with a trade.

"Teams know we need a goalie, so they would want a premium from us in a trade," Holland said.

Like most of his teammates, Legace followed up a strong regular season with a lackluster postseason -- leading to the decision not to offer him a new contract.

Osgood, 33, posted a 20-6-5 record with two shutouts, a 2.76 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage in 2005-06, his 13th NHL season and ninth with Detroit.

Detroit took care of one of its top offseason goals Friday by re-signing star defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom to a two-year deal worth $15.2 million.

The Red Wings also offered forward Brendan Shanahan a contract, but the free agent chose to see if another team would pay him more.

"The doors aren't closed with him," Holland said.

Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman has not announced whether he will retire, and the Red Wings are not pressuring him to make a quick decision.

"He deserves to take all the time he needs," Holland said.

The NHL salary cap for 2006-07 has been increased to $44 million, giving each team $5 million more to spend than last season.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press