Red Wings add Thomas Greiss, Troy Stecher in busy Saturday of signings

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — The Detroit Red Wings have gotten their goalie and another defenseman.

The Wings on Saturday signed free agent Thomas Greiss to a two-year contract worth $7.2 million and defenseman Troy Stecher to a two-year contract worth $3.4 million.

Then-New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss poke checks Red Wings' Robby Fabbri. Greiss signed a two-year, $7.2 million contract with Detroit on Saturday.

Greiss, 34, is 6-foot-2, 232 pounds and has 11 years in the NHL experience with San Jose, Arizona, Pittsburgh, and the New York Islanders.

Coming to the rebuilding Red Wings — from a playoff-making Islanders team — will be a dramatic change, but one Greiss is excited about.

"For sure it's a different outlook, coming from the Islanders, but we had some tough times there, too," Greiss said. "I'm looking forward for a new challenge and new environment, new team, and playing hockey."

Last season with the Islanders, Greiss played 31 games with a 16-9-4 record, 2.74 goals-against average and .913 save percentage. With the Islanders up against the salary cap and bringing in a top goaltending prospect within their organization, Greiss understood his days on Long Island might be numbered.

But Detroit appealed to Greiss in a variety of ways, and he feels his veteran presence can help the young Wings roster.

"Mostly experience," Greiss said of what attributes he can benefit the Wings. "I've been in the league a number of years now and played on numerous different teams (with) different outlooks, and different success.

"How to navigate a long season and just be there for the young guys and help the guys be as successful as we can." 

Greiss is looking forward to playing in a hockey market and Original Six organization.

"A great hockey city, a great organization that treats people well, very professional in every regard, I'm just looking forward to being in a real hockey city," Greiss said. "I've played in the desert (and different markets) and just looking forward to being in a real hockey city.

"It's a good team and a new challenge and it's good to get some change in your life and face different challenges. Just looking forward to it." 

In a free-agent market that was being rapidly picked apart with goaltending signings, Greiss, arguably, was the most experienced and best option available for general manager Steve Yzerman and the Wings.

Greiss admitted it was different sitting and watching what's been, overall, a rather slow-moving an not-as-lucrative market, given the uncertain economic landscape going forward because of the pandemic.

"Very different than years before," Greiss said. "It was tough to gauge who was going where and what was going to happen. But I'm very happy I landed (in Detroit) and looking forward to the (season)."

Greiss forms a veteran tandem with Jonathan Bernier, who appeared to cement the No. 1 job with the Wings last season.

Stecher, 26, played four seasons in Vancouver, totaling 75 points (11 goals, 64 assists) in 286 games.

Stecher (5-foot-10, 186-pounds) played in all 69 with the Canucks last season, earning 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) and a career-best plus-10 rating, averaging 15 minutes 21 seconds of ice time.

Troy Stecher, right, signed a two-year, $3.4 million contract with the Red Wings.

"The opportunity it presented myself as a player and where the organization is going," said Stecher, of what appealed to him about joining the Wings. "It just appealed to me and I couldn't be more excited about joining this organization."

Former Vancouver teammates Alex Biega and Sam Gagner have already reached out to Stecher, welcoming Stecher — who was playing for his hometown team in the Canucks — to the Wings.

"I'm excited to come to Detroit," Stecher said. "I know they're excited to have me and I'm excited to get there. There no sour taste with Vancouver. I understand it's a business and and business decisions have to be made, and unfortunately I was one of them. 

"But at the same time, it presents a new opportunity for myself and I'm super excited about that."

On Friday, the Wings added forward Bobby Ryan and defenseman Jon Merrill (Grand Blanc/Michigan) as free-agent acquisitions.

Twitter: @tkulfan