Captain Daniel Alfredsson left the Ottawa Senators to sign with the Detroit Red Wings, sensing it was the best move he could make in his drive to win a championship before his career ends.
“It’s all about trying to get the Stanley Cup,” the 40-year-old said.
It is for Jarome Iginla, too.
Iginla, 36, signed a one-year deal with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins. The longtime Calgary and short-term Pittsburgh forward will make $1.8 million guaranteed and can earn up to $6 million with Boston.
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NHL teams made a big splash on the first day of free agency with several signings and some trades.
The Senators, after losing Alfredsson, responded with a bold move to acquire Bobby Ryan from the Anaheim Ducks.
Ottawa sent forwards Jakob Silfverberg, Stefan Noesen and its first-round pick in next year’s draft to the Ducks for the four-time 30-goal scorer. Ryan, 26, has two years left on a five-year, $25 million contract.
The Columbus Blue Jackets were among the big spenders, signing ex-Boston Bruins forward Nathan Horton, 28, to a $37.1 million, seven-year contract.
Detroit, like Columbus, is heading to the Eastern Conference for the 2013-14 season. The Red Wings made moves to try to extend their postseason streak to 23 and reach the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2009.
Soon after adding Alfredsson, Detroit agreed to terms on a $24.5 million, five-year contract with 30-year-old center Stephen Weiss, previously with Florida.
Red Wings center Valtteri Filppula, 29, got a five-year, $25 million deal to sign with Tampa Bay.
Toronto, coming off its first postseason appearance since 2004, made a statement by signing ex-New Jersey forward David Clarkson, 29, to a $36.75 million, seven-year contract and keeping first-line center Tyler Bozak, 27, with a $21 million, five-year deal.
• Phoenix signed ex-Washington Capitals forward Mike Ribeiro to a $22 million, four-year contract.
• Ryane Clowe is going from the New York Rangers to the New Jersey Devils for a five-year deal worth $24.25 million.
• Philadelphia gave captain Claude Giroux an eight-year extension worth $64 million.
• Vancouver added ex-Montreal defenseman Yannick Weber and former Los Angeles forward Brad Richardson.