USATSI_8474309_154158418_lowresThe Detroit Red Wings were also busy on the first day of free agency because everyone was. There were 56 signings today for a total of over $210 million.

In any event, the Red Wings snagged defenceman Mike Green and centre Brad Richards on Wednesday.

First, Green was signed to a three year deal worth $18 million. The 29-year-old had 45 points in 72 games with the Washington Capitals last season and added two assists in 14 playoff games. He spent the last 10 seasons with the Capitals and has scored at least 15 goals three times over that tenure. He’s fifth all-time among Washington defenceman with 360 points.

With the Capitals, Green had slipped down to the third pairing and was seeing diminishing returns everywhere but on the power play. With the Red Wings, he’s expected to make the top four and Ken Holland says he’ll likely play with Danny DeKeyser.

Green says Detroit was always near the top of the list.

“From that point, I was intrigued with what he [Holland] said, and we really didn’t take advantage of any other offers,” Green said. “I decided that if it got to them making an offer that I would go forward with that.”

Richards, meanwhile, had 37 points with the Blackhawks last season and added 14 in the post-season on the way to the Stanley Cup. He also has a Cup in Tampa Bay, where he picked up the Conn Smythe Trophy after scoring 26 points in 23 playoff games.

Richards has spent 15 seasons with Tampa, the Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, and Chicago Blackhawks. In 1,058 games, he has 904 points with 288 goals.

The plan for him is to slot in as Detroit’s number two centre, but a lot hinges on how Pavel Datsyuk starts the year. He had surgery on his right ankle last Friday and is still a question mark for when the new season gets underway.

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