DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings have signed 28-year-old center Kevin Porter to a two-way deal, according to TSN's Bob Mckenzie.
Details of the contract are not yet known, but reports say that it is a two-year contract.
Porter, who is a native of the Detroit area and a University of Michigan product, split last season between the Buffalo Sabres and the AHL's Rochester Americans. He scored 19 goals and 17 assists in 50 games with the Americans. In 2012-13, he notched 44 points in 48 games with the Americans.
He came up through the U.S. National Development Program in Ann Arbor, helping him get drafted 119th overall in 2004 by the Phoenix Coyotes. He played for Michigan between 2004-08. He has been bumping back and forth between the NHL and AHL since 2008, spending three seasons with the Colorado Avalanche.
Career highlight: In 2010-11, Porter scored 14 goals and 11 assists in 74 games with the Avalanche.
The Red Wings have built a bit of trend for signing local guys -- I.e.: Danny DeKeyser, David Legwand.
As for Porter, he offers more depth at the center position. He's a gritty, two-way center who has put up some points at the AHL level, and at 5-foot-11, 194 pounds, he is no push-over. I would expect to see him in the lineup next year. He might be splitting his time between Grand Rapids and Detroit, but if the Wings suffer any injuries (such as last year's pile) don't be surprised to see Porter at center.
Remember, the Red Wings signed center Stephen Weiss during last year's offseason for depth at the position, but lost that as Weiss was out of the lineup with various injuries. Legwand was picked up at the trade deadline, but it's likely he won't be brought back. The move for Porter supports that theory.
The NHL free agency market opened at noon Tuesday, and the Red Wings didn't get in on some of the players they were rumored to be after -- especially some of the defenseman who were listening to offers.
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