We continue our countdown in former Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland‘s top free-agent signings with number three on our list. Here are the first two:
We’re going to throw it back to the summer of 2001 when it was clear that the Red Wings were re-loading for another Stanley Cup run. Following the acquisitions of goaltender Dominik Hasek and forward Luc Robitaille, the Red Wings still had a hole to fill on the wing following the departure of Martin Lapointe to Boston.
Enter Brett Hull.
The future Hall-of-Famer was without a contract after the Dallas Stars decided to not bring him back. He was reportedly fielding offers from the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens before Detroit came calling. In order to fit him in the budget, four players including Chris Chelios and Brendan Shanahan deferred salary to make it possible.
Hull scored 30 goals in his first year in the Motor City, and then followed that up with 10 goals during the Stanley Cup Playoffs as Detroit rolled their way to the Stanley Cup.
He would spend two more years in Detroit before the 2004-05 NHL Lockout wiped out the entire season. He re-surfaced with the Phoenix Coyotes for only a handful of games before calling it a career.