Article by Ansar Khan
DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings signed defenseman Doug Janik to a two-year contract and officially parted ways with forward Jason Williams on Wednesday.
And getting forward Todd Bertuzzi re-signed is proving to be more difficult than many expected.
Janik, 30, is a stay-at-home defender who has decent size (6-foot-2, 210) and provides some grit.
He had no goals, two assists and a minus-3 rating in 13 games for the Red Wings last season. He played in 66 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins, picking up six goals, 31 assists, 84 penalty minutes and a plus-4 rating.
Janik will compete for a roster spot in training camp and the preseason. His deal is two-way for the first year (lower salary in the minors) and one-way the second year (NHL salary only).
"We liked him in Grand Rapids,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "He's a real leader, a competitor, safe, dependable. He'll kill penalties.
"He gives us good depth. We'll see what he can do in training camp. We think we'll have good competition. You need more than seven defensemen over the course of 82 games.''
The Red Wings still intend to sign one more defenseman to a one-way deal. Their options include Andreas Lilja or a low-priced free agent.
Holland said he had not yet decided whether to offer Brett Lebda a contract, but that doesn't appear likely.
The Red Wings have made a two-year contract offer to Bertuzzi. He earned $1.5 million in 2009-10, when he contributed 18 goals and 26 assists in 82 games. But he might have to take a lower average salary to return.
"We have interest in him coming back. I think he's interested in coming back,'' Holland said. "But it's a cap world. We only have so much to offer.''
The Red Wings have 17 players signed for $52.3 million. The salary cap is expected to be in the $58 million range.
The Red Wings still have five restricted free agents to sign: forwards Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller and defenseman Derek Meech.
If Bertuzzi, 35, explores the market July 1, the Red Wings likewise will look for a replacement.
"Some of these things go to June 30,'' Holland said. "It's a business for both sides. Both sides have decisions to make. Until you get a deal, you keep talking.''
Bertuzzi's agent, Pat Morris, hasn't responded to messages seeking comment.
Holland said he told Williams, 29, on Wednesday that he won't be offered a new contract.
The club signed Williams to a one-year deal last summer, hoping he could provide 15-to-20 goals. But he broke his fibula Nov. 7, missed 38 games and never made an impact once he returned to the lineup.
He had six goals and nine assists in 44 games and was a healthy scratch for most of the playoffs, appearing in only three games (no points).
The Red Wings haven't decided whether to offer forward Kirk Maltby a contract.
Holland said restricted free-agent defensemen Ole-Kristian Tollefsen will be tendered a qualifying offer. He had one point (a goal) and 44 penalty minutes in 16 games with the Griffins after being acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers for Ville Leino on Feb. 6.