The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/01/12 at 01:34 PM ET
Updated 17x at 5:35 Pm: Per Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:
Our @maydayhockey says G Jonas Gustavsson has signed with Detroit.
Sportsnet is reporting 2 years, $1.5 million per season.
Update: the Windsor Star’s Bob Duff confirms.
Former Leafs G Jonas Gustavsson signs 2 year deal with #redwings.
Gustavsson deal is worth $3 million. $1.5 million per season. #redwings
Update #2: The Free Press’s Helene St. James also confirms...
Jonas Gustavsson signs with #RedWings, 2 years at $1.5 million per. Will push Joey MacDonald for backup role
As does TSN’s Bob McKenzie:
As per @DarrenDreger, DET agrees to terms with Jonas Gustavsson on a 2 year deal with a total of $3M.
The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan goes with “reportedly”:
Winhgs reportedly signing jonas gustavsson the toronto goalie
The Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness is calling it a “report” as well.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings worth a total of $3 million.
Gustavsson’s rights were traded to the Winnipeg Jets for a conditional seventh-round draft pick earlier in the off-season.
The 27-year-old Gustavsson signed with the Maple Leafs from Sweden in 2009 and spent the past three seasons in Toronto. He was 17-17-4 last season with a 2.92 goals against average and .902 save percentage. Gustavsson, nicknamed the Monster, also had four shutouts.
In 107 appearances with the Leafs, Gustavsson had a 2.98 goals against average and a .900 save percentage.
Gustavsson signed as an undrafted free agent with the Maple Leafs in 2009 and was re-upped with a two-year deal worth a total of $2.7 million in 2010.
Update #4: Via RWF again, MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms:
The Detroit Red Wings have shored up their backup goaltending position by reaching terms with Jonas Gustavsson to a two-year contract, worth $1.5 million a season.
Update #4.5: Also from Khan given that news suggests that the Flyers, Penguins and Wild, among others, have all made pitches to Parise and Suter:
Wings owner Mike Ilitch originally planned on going to Madison to meet with Ryan Suter but Suter not meeting face to face with teams.
So Ilitch will join contingent that includes Ken Holland Mike Babcock to meet with Parise and agents near Toronto.
Ilitch, Holland & Co. flying out this afternoon. They have one hour meeting with Parise slated for 3:30
Update #4.75: From Helene St. James:
Wings wouldn’t have signed Gustavsson if there were health concerns. Guy had one injury-game last season.
And the CP’s Chris Johnston:
Jonas Gustavsson’s agent confirms deal with Red Wings. The Monster is off to Motown.
Update #5: From Khan:
Wings still hoping to meet face to face with Suter on Monday, but whether he wants to meet personally with teams remains to be seen.
Update #5.5: From St. James:
Alloting $5 million for RFAs Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Quincey, #RedWings have about $18 million in cap space.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland is at his office at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. That’s per him.
Update #5.65: From Kulfan:
Interesting addition in Gustavsson…..a guy who could push Howard a little bit…especially away from Toronto market
The Monster is heading to Motown.
Jonas Gustavsson signed a US$3-million, two-year contract after hitting the free-agent market Sunday.
He’ll serve as the backup to No. 1 goaltender Jimmy Howard.
Gustavsson spent the first three seasons of his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs, putting up a 17-17-4 record last year with a .902 save percentage and 2.92 goals-against average.
The Swede earned a small raise after making $1.4 million in Toronto last season.
Update #6: Helene St. James confirms in story form...
The Red Wings took care of one of their needs within the first hour of NHL free agency getting underway, signing goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to two years and $3 million this afternoon.
Gustavsson, 27, played 42 games last season for Toronto, going 17-17-4 with a .902 save percentage and 2.92 goals-against average.
The Wings had wanted to add an NHL-tested goalie to push Joey MacDonald for the backup spot to Jimmy Howard.
And more Holland from St. James on Twitter:
Just asked DET GM Ken Holland if he was going anywhere else later today. His answer: “Home.”
Update #6.25: From the Toronto Sun’s Rob Longley:
Gustavsson tells Sportsnet “It’s gonna be a good situation for me. I’m just happy to be part of that organization and keep developing.”
More Gustavsson to Sportsnet: “Toronto was tough in the beginning. It took a while to adjust (to the style of game.)”
And Khan’s beefed up his story:
The Detroit Red Wings have shored up their backup goaltending position by reaching terms with Jonas Gustavsson to a two-year contract, worth $1.5 million a season.
Gustavsson, nicknamed “The Monster’’ is a former Swedish star who spent three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He went 17-17-4, with a 2.92 goals-against average and .902 save percentage this past season. For his career, he is 39-45-15, with a 2.93 GAA and .900 save percentage, along with five shutouts.
The Maple Leafs traded Gustavsson’s rights to Winnipeg, but the Jets were unable to sign him.
This relegates Joey MacDonald to the Grand Rapids Griffins. MacDonald flourished last season when he stepped in for the injured Jimmy Howard. But a back injury ended his season on March 14.
The Red Wings were concerned about MacDonald’s back issues and wanted some insurance.
Update #7: Gustavsson does come with strings attached, as the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness notes:
Gustavsson, who earned $1.35 million last season, has had heart issues since joining the league.
His heart issues were first noticed on the first day of training camp where his condition required an ablation surgery process.
In 2009, he had a heart murmur, which led to a second ablation surgery.
In 2011, he was pulled from a conditioning stint with the Toronto Marlies due to an accelerated heart beat and two days later he had a third minor heart ablation surgery.
Gustavsson is a goalie that wants to play.
Here is an interview he had with the Toronto Sun in his rookie season, “I’m going to try to steal as many games from Vesa Toskala as I can, I’m a goalie and I want to play… I know the best goalie gets the ice time and if I play good I’m going to get the chance. We will be good teammates and try to push ourselves, but my goal is to be the number one goalie… For the most part, I like (the attention). It doesn’t matter what people say about me, I know if I play good or if I play bad… I like when lots of people are getting involved. In Toronto, everybody talks about hockey. I like to be in the heat.”
Ex-Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson has landed in a new home with the Detroit Red Wings.
The goalie agreed to terms on a 2-year contract worth $1.5 million per year with the Leafs’ Original Six rivals. The Wings look at Gustavsson as backup for Jimmy Howard.
Gustavsson became the focal point of all that went wrong with the Leafs’ season, but the Wings believe he can rebound under the tutelage of goalie coach Jim Bedard.
Gustavsson was the first significant free agent signing in the first hour of free agency on Sunday in what had become a run on back-up goalies. Michael Leighton re-signed in Philadelphia, Yann Danis signed with Edmonton.
The Wings hope to land bigger fish.
Wings GM Ken Holland and retired defenceman Chris Chelios were in Toronto to make a pitch to Zach Parise at his agent’s office. The Wings are also hoping to land defenceman Ryan Suter.
The Canadian press is also confirming.
Update #7.5: The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan finally confirms...
The Red Wings have made their first move in free agency — signing a backup goalie.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson has signed a two-year deal worth $3 million with the Wings.
Gustavsson played in 42 games with the Leafs last season with a 17-17-4 record, 2.92 goals-against average and .902 save percentage. He had four shutouts.
Gustavsson, 27, who is from Sweden, will be the backup to Jimmy Howard.
The Wings are uneasy about the back problems that finished Joey MacDonald’s season in March.
Update #8: From the AP’s Larry Lage...
Mike Babcock is part of the #RedWings contingent in Toronto area to make pitch to Zach Parise as #NHL free agency begins.
“We’re going to get in the mix with (Parise) and see what we can do,” Mike Babcock told the AP. “We’re going to do everything we can.”
Versus TSN/ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun?
Red Wings still very much interested in Parise though
Told Red Wings no longer going to Newport offices…. not sure what to read into that….
Update #8.5: And, finally, from the Wings:
SIGNING: The Red Wings have agreed to terms with goaltender Jonas Gustavsson on a two-year deal. Per club policy, terms are undisclosed.
Update #9: Finally again, from Bill Roose, here’s Jimmy Devellano on the Monster:
“He played in a very tough Toronto market where their team had trouble and he was kind of leaned on to be the guy and it might have been a bit too much,” said Jim Devellano, the Wings’ senior vice president. “I think with the Red Wings we’ll have a better team, and I think he’ll do just fine.”
At last month’s draft, Gustavsson’s negotiating rights were traded to the Winnipeg Jets for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2013, but a deal was never reached, allowing the Swedish goalie to enter free agency. One of the tallest netminders in the business, the 6-foot-3 Gustavsson has good overall skills, is agile for his size, and likes to challenge the shooters, which reminds the senior vice-president of a former Wings goalie.
“There was a lot of pressure in Toronto trying to be the No. 1 goaltender for a new guy coming from a new land,” Devellano said. “I think he will complement Jimmy Howard terrifically well, I really do. I think he’ll blend in well with our Swedes. And his style of play is not unlike Dominik Hasek, so I think between Jimmy Howard and Gustavsson, Detroit will have upgraded their goaltending for the coming year.”
In three seasons with the Leafs, Gustavsson posted a 39-45-15 record with a 2.98 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage. Yet while he arrived in Toronto amid much fanfare as the best goalie outside of the NHL, the Monster, as he’s often called, has seen his NHL career slowed by heart problems. He twice underwent heart ablation procedures, once after leaving a game in December 2009.
Gustavsson, now 27, helped guide Färjestad to the Swedish Elite League championship in 2008-09, posting a league-best 1.92 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in 42 regular-season games.
He had some success in Toronto, which included a seven-game winning streak following a stint at the 2010 Winter Olympics where he, along with Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and Johan Franzen, represented Sweden. And Gustavsson also thrived for a while this past season, filling in when James Reimer suffered a concussion. But Devellano isn’t scared by Gustavsson’s past health issues.
“He seemed to have a lot of problems the first year that he was with Toronto, but I didn’t think he had any problems last year with his health. There’s always risk in everything you do, obviously. He’ll be very comfortable.”
Update #9.5: From Bob Duff:
redwings confirm that they have presented offer to Zach Parise.
#redwings also confirm they have signed F Damien Brunner to one-year, 2-way, entry level deal.
Update #10: The Wings have finally issued a press release, too:
GUSTAVSSON AGREES TO TERMS ON TWO-YEAR CONTRACT WITH WINGS
… Swedish-Born Goaltender has Appeared in 107 Career NHL Games with the Maple Leafs …
Detroit, MI…The Detroit Red Wings today announced that free agent goaltender Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the team. In accordance with club policy, additional terms of the deal will not be disclosed.
Gustavsson has been a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs for the past three seasons, amassing a record of 39-45-15 to go along with a 2.98 GAA and .900 SV% in 107 appearances with the Eastern Conference club. The 27-year-old native of Danderyd , Sweden has also made five career starts in the American Hockey League, going 3-1-1 for the Toronto Marlies while registering a 1.14 GAA and a SV% of .955.
Prior to his tenure in Toronto , Gustavsson won the Guldpucken Award as the Swedish Elite League’s top player in 2008-09 after leading the league in SV% (.931) and GAA (1.96) prior to backstopping Färjestad BK to a Le Mat Trophy as SEL champions. The 6’3”, 192-lb. netminder also led Team Sweden to back-to-back bronze medals at the 2009 and 2010 IIHF World Championships and represented his country at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Update #12: Interesting, from ESPN’s Craig Custance:
Red Wings goalie coach Jim Bedard thrilled to land Gustavsson. Having lunch w/him on Tuesday, then going to SWE July 20-24 to work w/him.
And, via RWF, Sportsnet posted a video of Gustavsson chatting which may or may not be available in the U.S. I can’t get it to work…
Update #13: From St. James:
Gustavsson: “As soon as I heard Detroit wanted me, I was happy about that. It’s a great team with a lot of history, have a good roster. “
Jonas Gustavsson on how he feels: “My health, last year I felt great. Didn’t feel anything of my heart problems, that I had before.”
Gustavsson says he wants to help #RedWings, understands he’s backup but “long-term goal is to be guy who plays lots of games.”
From the Wings...
Gustavsson (On Conference Call): “In the end the biggest reason (that I signed with DET) is that I feel it’s the right move (1/2) ...
Gustavsson: (2/2) “to keep my development going in the right direction ... to become a better goalie every day.”
Gustavsson: “My health is 100 percent. I’m not concerned about it. (heart issue) I’ve been feeling great for a long time.” (1/2)
“It’s not something that is going to affect me. I haven’t felt anything in the last year and a half. I don’t even think about it anymore.”
Gustavsson just finished conf. call with DET media. Says heart issues in past, not a concern. Says long-term goal still to be a starter.
Update #13.5: From Darren Eliot:
@MiHockeyNow has become a shot blocker in TO. Seemed to have more athleticism to his game when he arrived from SWE. Solid backup plan by DRW
Update #14: More on Gustavsson from Pleiness:
“I heard Detroit wanted me, I was happy about that,” said Gustavsson, who got a two-year deal worth $1.5 million a season. “It’s a great team with a lot of history and they always have a good roster.”
Gustavsson played his first three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs where he went 39-45-8 and had a 2.98 goals-against average and .900 save percentage. The Leafs traded his rights to the Winnipeg Jets for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2013 prior to the draft.
The two-year deal gives the Wings a bit of an insurance policy if they have trouble signing Jimmy Howard, who will be an unrestricted free agent next season. Howard will make $2.25 million this season.
Gustavsson made some noise when he first got to Toronto saying he was going to ‘try to steal as many games from Vesa Toskala.’ Toskala was the starter. During a phone interview Sunday, Gustavsson wasn’t as bold when talking of playing time.
“I think playing time is something you earn, it’s nothing you think about before the season,” Gustavsson said. “I feel if you just push yourself and you’re moving in the right direction sooner or later you’ll get the chance. Then it’s up to you to take that chance. That’s what I expect from myself. I’ll keep pushing myself every day in practice and playing games to help the team win games. That’s what it’s all about.”
Update #15: TSN’s Scott Cullen has this to say about the Wings’ signing…
RED WINGS sign G JONAS GUSTAVSSON for two years, $3-million
Jonas Gustavsson hasn’t shown much in three NHL seasons, but the 27-year-old did have some moments last season for Toronto (eg. .926 save percentage in 11 games in January), but a .900 save percentage in 107 career games is not indicative of anything more than a backup. Could he be better in Detroit? Perhaps. Even if Detroit’s defence could slip now that Nicklas Lidstrom has retired, it is a good opportunity for Gustavsson to show that he has more to offer.
With that contract, Gustavsson could be reasonably active, maybe getting 25-30 starts in the backup role.
And this might tide you over: Keith Gave and Nicholas Cotsonika wondered whether Scotty Bowman would return to coach the Wings after winning the 1997 Stanley Cup.
Update #16: Here’s Ted Kulfan’s Gustavsson story with Quotes:
“It’s a great team with a lot of history and they always have a good roster,” said Gustavsson of joining the Red Wings. “I was really happy (to sign with the Wings). The biggest reason (for signing with the Wings) is that I feel it’s the right move to keep my development going in the right direction (and) become a better goalie every day.”
Gustavsson, 27, has had issues related to his heart during his NHL career. His first training camp with Toronto in 2009, Gustavson was diagnosed with a heart condition that required an ablation surgery process. He left a game against Montreal later that season because of a heart murmur that led to a second ablation, and had a third minor heart ablation surgery in February 2011 after an accelerated heartbeat in a minor league game, while he was playing with the Toronto Marlies (the Maple Leafs’ minor league affiliate). Gustavsson believes the heart issues are behind him.
“My health is 100 percent,” Gustavsson said. “I’m not concerned about it. You go through the process to get healthy and you don’t think about it. I’ve been feeling great for a long time. It’s not something that is going to affect me, or (is) serious. I haven’t felt anything in the last year and a half. I don’t even think about it anymore.”
Gustavsson was a part-time starter in Toronto, competing with James Reimer for playing time. In Detroit, Gustavsson is a clear back up to Jimmy Howard. Gustavsson has no issues about being the backup.
“It’s all about helping the team, no matter what part that is,” Gustavsson said. “If it’s being the backup goalie and pushing the other goalie and pushing my teammates, that’s the role I’m going to take. For me, it’s all about trying to become a better goalie every day and maybe one day I’ll be that player that gets all the games. It’s about helping the team and it doesn’t matter what position that is. Of course, everyone wants to play and that’s why you play hockey. That’s my goal, to become a goalie that plays a lot of games and helps the team.”
The signing of Gustavsson makes Joey MacDonald’s future with the Wings cloudy. MacDonald missed the end of last season and the playoffs because of a minor bulging disc.
The Free Press’s Helene St. James added quotes...
“As soon as I heard Detroit wanted me, I was happy about that. It’s a great team with a lot of history, they always have a good roster,” Gustavsson said.
Gustavsson was sidelined by heart surgery in the spring of 2011, but missed only one game last season because of injury; he took a puck to a knee.
“My health, last year I felt great,” he said. “Didn’t feel anything of my heart problems, that I had before. My health is 100%.”
While he was signed to back up Jimmy Howard, Gustavsson is determined to forge himself into a No. 1 guy.
“It’s all about helping the team,” he said, “but my goal, long term, is to become the goalie who plays a lot of games. I just want to push myself and push Jimmy, and hopefully have success.”
The Wings had wanted to add an NHL-tested goalie to serve as backup to Howard, though Joey MacDonald, who did a good job spelling Ty Conklin last season, has a year left on his deal.
“I heard Detroit wanted me, I was happy about that,” Gustavsson said. “It’s a great team with a lot of history and they always have a good roster.”
“I’m here to help the team and it doesn’t matter how that is,” Gustavsson said. “If that’s being the backup goalie that pushes the other goalie and helps pushes my teammates then that’s the role I’m going to take. For me it’s all about trying to become a better goalie every day and maybe one day I’ll be the guy that plays all the games.”
The goaltender whose nickname is The Monster has had health scares due to a heart condition. Gustavsson has had three minor heart ablation surgeries, the most recent in February of 2011, but said he is completely healthy.
“Last year I felt great,” Gustavsson said. “I didn’t feel anything with my heart problems, like I had before. Overall, the only small minor issue that I had was that game that I missed I took a shot on my knee. My health I would say is 100 percent.”
“Of course when it comes to heart issues you don’t want to deal with that, but from what I’ve been told it’s nothing that’s going to affect me or nothing that’s real serious so it’s a relief for me and I can put it behind me and move on,” he said.
Although the native of Danderyd, Sweden, knows the Red Wings are known for their large Swedish contingent, that was not the main reason he signed with them.
“I’ve played with all of them I think except (Tomas) Holmstrom in the World Championships, the Olympics and so on,” Gustavsson said. “When you know someone there on a new team that helps, but in the end the biggest reason for me coming to Detroit I feel that was the right move for me to keep my development going in the right direction and that’s the most important thing for me. I feel I become a better goalie every day and in order to keep doing that I felt coming to Detroit was the best choice for me.”
Update # something big: DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose penned a Gustafsson story, too:
Gustavsson has played alongside several of the Wings’ Swedish players like Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Johan Franzen, and Jonathan Ericsson, but he probably knows minor-leaguer Fabian Brunnstrom the best.
“I’ve probably played with all of them at least once in my career whether it was in the Olympics or World Championships,” Gustavsson said. “The player that I’ve probably played most with is actually Fabian Brunnstrom. I played with him in Sweden and in Toronto’s organization for a while too. But I think I’ve met and played with pretty much all of them.”
Gustavsson got to know his new teammates a little during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
“That was great for me, an honor to be on that team and to represent my country at the Olympics,” Gustavsson said. “To feel the atmosphere of all of the Olympians around there and to be on a great team like Team Sweden was unbelievable, though in the end we didn’t do as well as we wanted to so that was a disappointment.”
However, Gustavsson gained plenty of attention for his individual performance in leading Färjestad to the Swedish Elite League playoff championship in the year prior to the Olympics. It was in that playoff run – when he amassed an astonishing 1.03 goals-against and a .961 save percentage in 13 games – that he earned the nickname The Monster.
“I had a good run in the playoffs and my old coach in Sweden said to one of the reporters there that I played like a monster at that point,” Gustavsson said. “The media over there kind of gave me that nickname and when I came over here it followed me.”
He arrived in hockey-happy Toronto in 2009 amid a fanfare of Leafs’ supporters who were hoping that Gustavsson would play more like a savior.
“Of course it was a lot of pressure, which with being a goalie there’s already a lot of pressure, but that’s something that you have to learn to handle,” he said. “Coming over from Sweden with the nickname and everything that was happening, it made the expectations really high. But I would rather have it that way with everyone thinking it’s going to be great and everyone believing in you.”
Keep reading, because Roose got a treasure trove of quotes from Gustafsson.
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