Glendening likes 'security' of $7.2M extension

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit – Luke Glendening is staying with the Red Wings for the forseeable future.

One year away from unrestricted free agency, Glendening Thursday signed a four-year contract extension that’ll keep him through the 2020-21 season.

The four-year contract is worth $7.2 million ($1.8 million salary cap hit). Glendening, 27, is earning $628,333 on the final year of his current deal this season.

A Michigan native (East Grand Rapids), who played four years at the University of Michigan, Glendening has gone from being an undrafted free agent to achieving NHL security.

“If you told me probably two or three years ago that I would be sitting here talking about a four-year extension I just signed, I probably would have laughed,” Glendening said. “But you take every day as it comes, every day is a blessing, and I’m excited to have that security of my future here for a little bit.

“But it doesn’t mean you can sit back. You have to keep going and getting better.”

Glendening didn’t consider passing on this contract offer, going through next season, and try his luck at free agency next summer.

Staying with this particular group, with which Glendening has grown with from the minor leagues to the NHL, was too important for him.

“Growing up in Michigan and being a lifelong fan of the Red Wings, and having an opportunity to stay here with these guys, it was something I couldn’t pass up,” Glendening said. “Obviously the security is real nice, but there’s something special about this group of guys and I wanted to continue to be part of that.”

General manager Ken Holland views Glendening as a key part of the Red Wings’ nucleus going forward.

“When you look at his current contract, he’s outplayed it,” Holland said. “He’s an important player for us in that he’s on the penalty kill, he blocks shots, he’s strong defensively and he plays with a lot of determination and fearlessness.”

Glendening suffered a severe bone bruise near his ankle late in the season, which kept him from playing for Team USA at the world championships in May.

There was no surgery needed, and Glendening expects to be ready for training camp in September.

“We’re supposed to start skating Tuesday and I’ll see where I’m at,” Glendening said. “My workouts have been going very well. There’s no pain or anything. I’m expecting to be 100 percent (for training camp) for sure.”

Glendening had a career-high 21 points (8 goals, 13 assists) last season with a plus-4 rating and 46 penalty minutes in 81 games.

Glendening had the team’s best face-off percentage (54.6 percent) and ranked second with 143 hits, had 71 blocked shots, and had 20 takeaways.

“I’d like to produce more points,” Glendening said. “Getting better at the little things around the net, putting the puck in more, obviously you want to continue to be good on face-offs.”

Contract update

Holland said there’s nothing new to report on negotiations with restricted free agents defenseman Danny DeKeyser and goaltender Petr Mrazek.

DeKeyser filed for salary arbitration last month with a hearing scheduled for July 28.

The two sides are working on a long-term contract – which the Red Wings would surely prefer given a one-year contract in arbitration would take DeKeyser into unrestricted free agency next summer.

“We’re talking and we’ll continue to keep talking,” Holland said.

Mrazek’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for July 27, with the two sides currently working on a short-term (likely two years) deal.

Hronek signed

The Red Wings signed defenseman Filip Hronek, the team’s second-round draft pick in June’s Entry Draft, to a three-year entry-level conract.

Hronek, 18, played in the Czech Republic this past season and is junior rights were acquired by Saginaw (Ontario League) last month.