DETROIT – The Red Wings have added veteran depth to the blue line with the signing of unrestricted free agent Carlo Colaiacovo who has spent the past nine seasons between Toronto and St. Louis.
A left-handed shooting defenseman, the 29-year-old Colaiacovo was once viewed to have lockdown-type skills. However, injuries have plagued the former first-round draft pick of the Maple Leafs.
He was involved in a nasty head-first collision where his head struck the dasher boards in a game against the Ottawa Senators in January 2006. He was taken off of the ice on a stretcher and missed the remainder of the 2005-06 season. Colaiacovo also missed the majority of the 2007-08 campaign following surgery to repair his right knee.
He was later traded to St. Louis by Toronto with Alex Steen for Lee Stempniak.
With the Blues, Colaiacovo garnered the fourth-most even strength ice-time among defenseman last season. However, he missed 18 games with a multitude of injuries, including concussion-like symptoms, which he’s battled since 2006 when he missed a hip-check and ran head-first into the boards.
In 370 NHL games, Colaiacovo has produced 30 goals and 109 assists. He’s also collected two silver medals with Canada’s national team at the 2002 and ’03 World Junior Championship. It was during the 2003 tourney that he led Canada in team scoring with a goal and a tournament-best nine assists in six games.
Colaiacovo could be partnered on the Wings’ second defensive pairing with an old familiar face. He spent three-plus seasons playing along side defenseman Ian White in the Leafs’ system. That would leave Niklas Kronwall on the first pairing with either Jonathan Ericsson or Brendan Smith, and Kyle Quincey and Jakub Kindl battling for the sixth defensive spot.
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