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Red Wings, Kronwall agree on 7-yr, $33.25 mil deal @NHL

DETROIT (AP) - The Detroit Red Wings signed Niklas Kronwall to a seven-year, $33.25 million contract and gave general manager Ken Holland one fewer move to worry about.

Detroit's deal keeps the 30-year-old defenseman off the market next summer.

"He could've been an unrestricted free agent that we couldn't have truly replaced," Holland said Monday night. "He wanted to be here and we really wanted him to stay. We've known him since he was 18 years old and we know what he brings to the table physically and mentally."

Detroit drafted the hard-hitting Swede with the 29th overall pick in 2000 and he was a key player for the franchise's 2008 Stanley Cup team.

He was named an assistant captain this season and will be counted on for even more leadership when 41-year-old defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom retires. Kronwall has a goal and an assist in nine games this season. He has 35 goals, including a career-high 11 last season, and 183 points over 394 games.

Kronwall is in what's known as the Triple Gold Club with an Olympic gold medal, world championship and Stanley Cup title.

"He can play physical, he can help on the power play and you can put him in any situation," Holland said. "If you look around, you can't find too many defensemen that can do that. We're really glad he's not going to be on the market for another team."

Detroit retains Kronwall for slightly less money overall and for one more year than a comparable player, defenseman James Wisniewski. The Columbus Blue Jackets gave the 27-year-old Wisniewski $33 million over six years to keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent last summer.

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