Plan B to replace Datsyuk: Red Wings sign Frans Nielsen

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He’s not Pavel Datsyuk and he’s not Steven Stamkos, but Frans Nielsen is no slouch. He’s a solid two-way center, and the Islanders are going to miss him.

Nielsen has reportedly signed a six-year deal in Detroit with a cap hit of $5.25 million. It’s a big commitment from the Red Wings — especially for a 32-year-old — but they’ve got a lengthy playoff streak on the line, and they intend to keep it going.

Nielsen leaves the Islanders, for whom he played almost a decade. As mentioned, they’ll miss him. But they’ve got 19-year-old center Mathew Barzal in the pipeline, and they’ve got to re-sign John Tavares in a couple of years. They also signed Andrew Ladd to a big deal today.

Nielsen had 20 goals and 32 assists in 81 games for the Isles in 2015-16.