8\30 BY NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA DETROIT FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER Doug Brown is leaving hockey, but he isn't leaving Hockeytown. Rather than play out the string somewhere else, because the Red Wings didn't offer him another contract, Brown has decided to hang 'em up here and move on to a business career. Wednesday, he said the reason was simple: He, his wife and their five children had grown deep roots in Detroit. "We're staying right here," said Brown, a New England native. "Simply, this has become home. If I was going to play, this was where I wanted to play. The game plan was to be playing for the Wings or cheering for the Wings. "I'm not going to make the family move to play for another year or couple of years." Brown, 37, a forward, spent 15 seasons in the NHL as a reliable role player. Although he never had a 20-goal season, he finished with 160 career goals. Last season, he had nine goals and 13 assists in 60 games. Brown surely was unheralded when he came to Detroit: The Wings claimed him from Pittsburgh in the 1995 waiver draft. But he became a valuable part of the 1997 and '98 Stanley Cup teams, earning the nickname "Brownov" for his rapport, as an American, with the Wings' Russians, Sergei Fedorov especially. Brown became so valuable, in fact, that when the Wings lost him to Nashville in the '98 expansion draft, they made a trade to get him right back. After the Wings lost to Los Angeles in the first round of the playoffs last season, they decided to make changes. Brown, like defenseman Larry Murphy and forward Pat Verbeek, was at the end of his contract and cut loose. So as the Wings reloaded up front by signing Brett Hull and Luc Robitaille, Brown spent the summer talking to firms in computer sales, commercial real estate and financial securities, and he chose business over any last hurrah. He said "half a dozen" teams inquired about signing him. "I've said, 'Thanks, but no thanks,' " Brown said. "Looks like I'm changing professions. I don't look at it as retirement." I'll Miss Doug Brown. He's been a favorite of mine since he arrived in 1995. 8\22 The Wings signed RW Brett Hull last night to a two year deal worth around $9 million. The Wings now have three players on the top 13 all-time goal scoring list. Hull ranks seventh all-time among goal scorers, while Yzerman is ninth and Robitaille 13th. Hull had 39 goals in Dallas last year. Sergei Fedorov lead the team with 32 last season. He should help what was dismal five-on-five scoring last season. Detroit need a right wing after losing Lapointe to free agency and releasing Doug Brown and Pat Verbeek. 8\20 Slava Fetisov has been named Head Coach for the Russian national team. They sacked Boris Mikhailov after some disappointing world championships displays. Most Russian players seemed to have no respect for the guy including team captain Pavel Bure. Slava captained the Russian team during it's most successful years in the 70's and 80's where they won two Olympic golds and seven world championships. 8\6 Detroit avoided arbitration and signed Slash M. Dandenault to a one year deal. 8\3 The Wings signed Jesse Wallin to a one year deal. He isn't eligible for the preseason waiver draft, but must be on the roster at the season start or face waivers then. 8\2 Dave Lewis and Barry Smith have both resigned for next season. I'm shocked that one of them hasn't gotten a head coaching position elsewhere. There is a strong possibility that Uwe Krupp will report to training camp this year. 8\1 Chris Chelios was named captain of the US Olympic team. 7\26 Chris Chelios was added today to the USA Olympic team. This will be his third Olympics. Chelios was captain of the 1998 team at Nagano, and played in 1984 at Sarajevo. Chelios is one of several Wings who will participate in the Olympics. Center Steve Yzerman (Canada), goalie Dominik Hasek (Czech Republic) and defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom (Sweden) have been named to their country's teams. Sergei Fedorov (Russia) is expected to be named before the final rosters are set in December. It looks like Shanny was snubbed by Team Canada. 7\25 Todd Gill has signed with Colorado. Dominic Hasek has been in and out of a Czek hospital for an unknown viral infection. He's fine now. That's all that's been happening. 7\9 The Carolina Hurricanes on Monday acquired defenseman Aaron Ward from the Wings for a future second-round pick. 7\4 Chris Osgood has come out and said he wants to be traded as soon as possible. He wasn't bitter, but realized a trade was inevitable and wants to get it over with so he can get a fresh start. Anders Eriksson signed with the Leafs. He became unrestricted when Florida did not offer him the qualifier. 7\3 Detroit has signed Luc Robitaille, 35, to a two-year guaranteed deal worth $9 million, plus a team / player option for a third year, depending on some offensive benchmarks. The Wing's next need is a defenseman. 7\2 Marty Lapointe signed with Boston for $5 million a year. I love Marty, but that's too much money for him. I understand why Ken Holland let him go. 7\1 Later in the day it was announced that Detroit has signed Hasek to a 3 year $24 million deal. The final two years are a club option. 7\1 Nothing like waking up on a Sunday morning and finding out Ken Holland pulled the trigger on another big deal. Dominik Hasek is coming to the Wings in exchange for Slava Kozlov, Detroit's 2002 first round pick, and futures. Details about Hasek's contract are fuzzy. I've been a critic of Hasek for years. But, he's ours now so I'll have to learn to love him. It's likely he'll retire next summer, so who know's what'll happen with Chris Osgood.
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