Red Wings lose out on Boyle, Ehrhoff, Niskanen as free agency opens

(WXYZ) - The NHL's free agency period got off to a frenzied start on Tuesday, but the Red Wings have swung and missed all afternoon.

Searching for a right-handed defenseman to be on one of the team's top two pairings, Detroit lost out on Dan Boyle, Christian Ehrhoff, and Matt Niskanen.

Boyle has agreed to a two-year, $9 million deal with the New York Rangers. According to the New York Post, Boyle took less money to play with the Rangers. The Red Wings offered $10 million, says Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.

Ehrhoff is headed to Pittsburgh for a one year, $4 million contract. He is a defenseman the Red Wings had their eye on at the trade deadline. After the Buffalo Sabres bought out the 31-year old this week, Detroit was seen as a possible suitor. Ultimately, he chose less money, reportedly because "winning was the priority."

Niskanen's agent said Tuesday was "hectic" for his client, but a little after 2pm, his camp informed the Red Wings they were not a finalist for the 27-year old defenseman. Ansar Khan of MLive was the first to report the news.

Former Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman scored a big free agent defenseman. The Lightning general manager agreed to a five-year, $22.5 million deal with former Rangers defenseman Anton Stralman, per ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

The Red Wings re-signed Riley Sheahan to a two-year contract and goaltender Petr Mrazek to a one-year deal on Tuesday. Clearly, they were hoping for a bigger start to the free agency period than those two contracts.

Brad Galli is a Sports Reporter for WXYZ Detroit. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradGalli

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