DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland today announced that the Wings have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with defenseman Jason Woolley. In keeping with club policy, additional terms of the contracts are not available.
To make room on the roster, the Wings assigned rookie defenseman Brett Lebda (D, 5-10, 195, Buffalo Grove, IL) to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.
"We're very happy to have Jason return to the Red Wings," said Holland. "He's a veteran defenseman who handles the puck very well and should excel with the new rule changes in the NHL." Woolley will enter his 15th NHL season and third with the Red Wings. He was acquired by Detroit from Buffalo for a conditional draft pick (2003) in November of 2002 following Jiri Fischer's season-ending knee injury. His Red Wing debut was vs. Calgary on 11/19/02. In two seasons played with the Wings, Woolley appeared in 117 games, tallying 10 goals and 32 assists for 42 points and 50 PIM.
Woolley, 36, played five-plus seasons with the Sabres averaging 70 games and 32 points per year and compiling a total plus-minus rating of +32. Original a third round pick (61st overall) in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, Woolley also has played for the Capitals, Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Woolley played collegiate hockey at Michigan State University for three seasons (1988-89 thru 1990-91), earning CCHA and NCAA All-America honors. He was the Washington Capitals' fourth choice (61st overall) in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft. Following three seasons in the Caps' organization, Woolley was signed by Florida as a free agent in Feb. of 1995 and was with the Panthers and was in his third season with the Panthers when he was traded to Pittsburgh (with Stu Barnes for Chris Wells) in Nov. of 1996. He was traded to Buffalo in the off-season (for a 5th-round draft choice).