Detroit Red Wings add forward J.T. Compher for 5 years, $25.5 million

Detroit Free Press

Five-plus hours into free agency, the Detroit Red Wings made their biggest signing.

J.T. Compher, who has flirted with 20 goals in each of the past two seasons, was signed for five years and $25.5 million. Compher, 28, won the Stanley Cup in 2022 with the Colorado Avalanche, and recorded a career high 52 points this past season. With an annual average value of $5.1 million, Compher’s contract places third among Wings forwards behind Dylan Larkin ($8.7 million) and Andrew Copp ($5.625 million).

Shortly after free agency began at noon, the Wings signed goaltenders James Reimer and Alex Lyon, defenseman Justin Holl and forward Daniel Sprong.

MAKING MOVES: NHL free agency 2023: Live updates on signings, trades

Compher (6 feet, 190 pounds, shoots right) has 88 goals and 106 assists in 423 games, all of them with the Avalanche. The former Michigan Wolverine — he was captain in his junior year — scored 17 goals in 2022-23 and 18 in 2021-22. Paying north of $5 million a year for a player with limited scoring history seems steep, but that is free agency in a nutshell: Teams have to pay, and especially in a year where the market was decidedly unexciting.

Compher does add to the Wings’ depth of right-shot forwards, which also includes Sprong, David Perron and Lucas Raymond.

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