The Red Wings entered July 1st with a ton of cash to throw around. They’ve officially made their pitches to both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, but both of those guys are still without a team for 2012-13. There were several holes to fill in Detroit, and they chose to shore up their goaltending first.
Detroit announced that they’ve reached an agreement with former Toronto Maple Leafs netminder Jonas Gustavsson. The Monster has been locked up for two seasons at $1.5M per year, a slight raise over his pay in Toronto. At last weekend’s Draft, Toronto sent Gustavsson’s negotiating rights to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a conditional draft pick. The Jets weren’t able to come to terms with the goaltender, who chose Detroit because of their history, their roster, and the opportunity to play for a winner.
His numbers aren’t all that impressive, but – to be fair – he’s been playing in Toronto, where hockey players go to toil. But in three seasons in the NHL, he has a GAA under 3, and a SV% over .900 – nothing to scoff at.
The Wings pursued Gustavsson in 2009 when he was a highly prized European player looking to make the jump across the pond. The Maple Leafs offered a spot on their roster immediately – something the Red Wings weren’t willing to do – and he signed up north. Three years later, they got their man.
He’s had to have three separate heart ablation surgeries, but he insists that he’s healthy and that he’ll be able to step in and help Detroit immediately. Detroit was unsure about Joey MacDonald’s health (back) and made it clear that they were looking for some insurance in net.
Speaking of highly prized European players jumping the pond, the Red Wings also made their signing of impressive Swiss star Damien Brunner official today. He was signed to a one-year, two-way entry-level deal.
Photo Credit: Gary Wiepert, Reuters