Maltby Inks Four -Year Deal
By Ansar Khan
Grand Rapids Press
Detroit - Some players would covet the opportunity to become an unrestricted free agent and explore the open market. Kirk Maltby knows the grass isnt greener on the other side.
Thats why Maltby spurned free agency to resign with the Detroit Red Wings, earning a four-year deal worth $7.6 million.
My first goal was to try to re-sign here, regardless if we made it to free agency or not, Maltby said,
The team showed a little bit of faith and trust in me; I did the same with the organization. I wanted to stay and Im glad something was able to get done.
Maltby is in the final season of a four-year pact that pays him $1.25 million, Because hes a 10 year pro earning less than the average NHL salary ($1.7 Million), he was eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1. But hes happy with the new contract that averages $1.9 million a season.
I wasnt looking to go out and break the bank, Maltby said.
What I signed for here is more than enough. Im satisfied and happy with it. Now I can go out and not worry about it.
Maltby, a checking-line forward with terrific speed and some offensive skills, is off to the best start of his career with eight goals, just one short o his total from last season. He leads the league with four short-handed goals.
Every team in the league would love to have him, Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said, He can do so many things. And hes a difficult guy to play against.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland said Maltby, who turns 30 on Dec 22, is an underrated player whose value cant be measured in statistics alone.
His best years are ahead of him, Holland said. We felt it was very important to get him locked up long-term.