Last Christmas, Luc Robitaille didn't think there was a chance he wouldn't be back with the Los Angeles Kings next season.
All that changed before the Fourth of July when the Kings came in with a low offer, and the Detroit Red Wings scooped up the high-scoring left wing.
The Red Wings agreed to terms with Robitaille on a two-year deal Monday that will pay him $8 million.
"I am surprised," Robitaille said just hours after his second tour with the Kings ended. "I'm happy now because I'm going to a team that wants to win."
Los Angeles offered the 35-year-old Robitaille a one-year deal worth less than the $3.5 million he made last season.
"For two months we didn't get any calls from the Kings. I'm just happy to go to Detroit," Robitaille said. "The Kings talked to me last Thursday. One year at a pay cut. I was shocked."
Once other teams were able to speak to free agents on Sunday, the Red Wings wasted no time in courting Robitaille, Los Angeles' second-leading scorer with 37 goals and 51 assists.
Robitaille has 590 goals and 648 assists in 1,124 career games.
"The one thing I have left to do in my career is to win the (Stanley) Cup, and now I'm going to a team that has that chance," he said.
The Kings did, however, retain Mathieu Schneider. The 32-year-old defenseman had 16 goals and 35 assists in his first season with the Kings. In 13 playoff games, he led the team with nine assists.
"It's very fair what we were offered," Schneider said. "We had a great year last year, and my family is happy here in Los Angeles. I'm very excited. I wanted to be on a team that is committed to winning."
Los Angeles also signed left wing Ken Belanger, who had 121 penalty minutes in 40 games for Boston, and defenseman Brett Hauer, who played for Manitoba of the IHL last season, to two-year deals.
Left wing Stu Grimson agreed to a two-year contract with the Nashville Predators after earning a career-high 235 penalty minutes last season with Los Angeles. Detroit also acquired Dominik Hasek, six-time Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top goalie.
"I am here to win the Cup," Hasek said. "Nothing else. Nothing less." With the arrival of Hasek and Robitaille in Detroit, Martin Lapointe realized that it was best for him to leave the Red Wings.
That happened Monday when the free-agent right wing joined the Boston Bruins. Lapointe signed a four-year deal worth about $5 million a season.
"When you go out on the market, you have kind of an idea where you stand money-wise, but when an offer comes in like that, you have to think about it," Lapointe said. "I've got a family and kids.
"Detroit was in the picture. They had a budget. I respect that. And they decided to go out in another direction."
Lapointe averaged 18 goals the last five full NHL seasons and was a member of Detroit's Stanley Cup championship teams in 1997 and 1998.
He was fourth on the Red Wings in scoring last season with 27 goals and 30 assists.
"Martin decided to go in Boston because of the style of play," said his agent, Gilles Lupien. "They're a young team and they've got a future.
"I phoned (Bruins general manager Mike O'Connell) at about 12:30 last night and said, 'You've got Martin Lapointe.' He was very happy."
The Bruins also announced the signing of defenseman Sean O'Donnell, who had four goals and 13 assists last season with the Minnesota Wild and New Jersey Devils.
In other moves, Atlanta re-signed forward Hnat Domenichelli, Ottawa retained defenseman Curtis Leschyshyn, and Calgary signed defenseman Bob Boughner away from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Philadelphia was busy on Monday, trading center Daymond Langkow to the Phoenix Coyotes for two draft choices after officially introducing center Jeremy Roenick — who was signed away from Phoenix.
Roenick, whose five-year agreement was announced Friday, will replace the exiled Eric Lindros. The former Flyers captain is still in free-agent limbo, after sitting out all last season awaiting a trade.
The Dallas Stars signed right wing Donald Audette, who scored 34 goals last season for Atlanta and Buffalo. Audette joins Pierre Turgeon, who left the St. Louis Blues for Dallas on Sunday.
Valeri Kamensky is expected to sign with the Stars later this week once his contract buyout with the New York Rangers is completed.
Also on Monday, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks acquired left wing Denny Lambert from Atlanta for future considerations.
The Minnesota Wild jumped into the free-agent market by signing defenseman Jason Marshall and goalie Dwayne Roloson.