Detroit — The Red Wings were active Saturday in unrestricted free agency, attempting to fill their holes.
They made their biggest splash late in the day, signing center J.T. Compher to a five-year contract worth $25.5 million ($5.1 million cap hit).
Compher, 28, played at Michigan with Dylan Larkin and Andrew Copp. Compher (6-foot, 190-pounds) is coming off a career-best 52-point season, with 17 goals and 35 assists.
Compher scored a career-best 18 goals in 2021-22 and joins right wing Daniel Sprong as two free agent additions Saturday to spark the Wings offensively.
Sprong, 26, a 6-foot 202-pound right wing, is coming off a career-best season with Seattle when he had 21 goals, 25 assists and 46 points while playing mainly on the fourth line. Sprong was not issued a qualifying offer and became an unrestricted free agent.
In his career, Sprong has played 268 games with 67 goals and 49 assists.
The Wings also signed defenseman Justin Holl to a three-year contract worth $10.2 million ($3.4 million cap hit per) and added goaltenders James Reimer, to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million, and Alex Lyon to a two-year contract worth $1.8 million ($900,000 salary cap hit).
Reimer, 35, was 12-21-8 with a 3.48 goals-against average and .890 save percentage in 43 games with San Jose.
Reimer was a fourth-round pick by Toronto in 2006 and has played 476 games with 204-169-61 record with a 2.87 GAA and .911 SVS. He’s played in Toronto, Florida, and Carolina, with two tours in San Jose.
Reimer will back up Ville Husso, who played a career-high in games last season and seemed to tire as the season progressed.
Lyon, 30, was a key reason the Florida Panthers reached the playoffs, then went on their unlikely run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Lyon was 9-4-2 with a 2.89 GAA and .914 SVS with the Panthers, taking over the starting job late in the season and leading the Panthers through the stretch run.
Lyon would appear to be insurance in Grand Rapids, and a veteran presence for former first-round pick Sebastian Cossa.
Holl, 31, a 6-foot-3, 197-pound defenseman, played in 80 games with the Leafs with two goals and 16 assists for 18 points, with a plus-15 plus-minus rating. Holl is a right-shot defenseman, a commodity that general manager Steve Yzerman identified as a need to fill during free agency.
Restricted free agents returning
The Red Wings began Saturday’s first day of free agency bringing back some of their younger, restricted free agents.
The Wings signed forward Klim Kostin to a two-year contract worth $4 million ($2 million per cap hit).
Kostin, 24, was acquired Thursday from Edmonton along with forward Kailer Yamamoto for future considerations. The Wings bought out Yamamoto Friday, making him an unrestricted free agent Saturday.
Kostin is a 6-foot-3, 215-pound winger who projects a physical, checking power forward with some offensive upside. Kostin had 11 goals and 10 assists (21 points) for Edmonton last season, then had an impressive playoffs with the Oilers, with three goals and two assists in 12 games.
The Wings also re-signed defenseman Gustav Lindstrom to a one-year, $950,000 contract and brought back forward Matt Luff on a one-year, two-way contract (salary dependent on whether Luff is with Wings or Grand Rapids). Neither were tendered qualifying offers Friday but were brought back on smaller salaries.
Lindstrom, 24, had one goal and eight points in 36 games, battling injuries and an inability to get consistently into the lineup. Lindstrom is a right-hand shooting defenseman, something the organization is lacking.
Luff, 26, had two goals and two assists (four points) in 20 games with the Wings.
NHL free agency began Saturday at noon.