Jonas Gustavsson - Extension?
So as you guys may know in the summer of 2012 the Detroit Red Wings signed former Leafs goal tender Jonas Gustavsson to a two year deal worth 3 million dollars. The Leafs chose to not resign the set out to be free agent in the summer of 2012 due to his lack of performance. Reasons were obvious for why the Toronto Maple Leafs management team felt that they did not need to resign him. During his time in Toronto Gustavsson battled injuries and a high pressure market being that in Toronto, as he came in as he was a highly talked about goalie. The Leafs thought they struck the jackpot when they signed him in 2009. Unfortunately the pressure was too high for the Swedish goal tender coming into such a large hockey market and injuries also took a toll on his performance. During the three seasons Gustavsson played in Toronto he held a record of 39-45-15, which was by no means good enough to play as a starting goalie in the NHL. So once Gustavsson became available through Free Agency the Detroit Red Wings did not hesitate to sign him to a two year deal, worth three million dollars. The Red Wings evidently thought it was worth the gamble to give him a chance to play where he would fit in best, meaning surrounded by Europeans. So with all that being said talks have now come into effect that if indeed the Red Wings will sign goalie Jonas Gustavsson.
First off I would like to say that Gustavsson hasn’t been just a backup goalie, he has been much more as the Red Wings have had to rely on him several times this past season. Over the past season specifically he has played to his potential and made the saves when needed and has come through when called upon. During Gustavsson’s time in Toronto it was pretty clear that he didn’t fit into the system and players around the locker room. So when he came to Detroit it was a new start for him and one that he felt that he could succeed in, as he played with European players his whole life he was now surrounded by them as teammates. This has only added to his success over the course of the two years he has been with the team. When Gustavsson walked into Detroit he wasn’t expected to walk and be the number one goalie, which I think has allowed him to transition so nicely into the organization. No pressure coming in, not being the hot topic of discussion around the city would be a pleasant change for a goalie that just came out of Toronto.
If the Red Wings were to resign Gustavsson there are some things management has to take into consideration when doing so. First up would be term, unfortunately the Red Wings won’t be able to sign him long term due to Howard already be locked up for five years. Secondly the Red Wings have one very potential goalie that could sit on the bench next season, that being Petr Mrazek. Mrazek has had stellar numbers this year in the AHL with the Griffins as he has put up a 22-7-1 record. This means that he could very well be the backup next season for the Red Wings. This poses cause for Gustavsson’s spot in the lineup.
In concluding the Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson has played 26 games this season and has 16 wins and 5 regulation losses and 4 overtime/shootout losses. If Gustavsson continues his career with the Red Wings he would be welcomed but may not stay long due to prospects developing in the AHL. If he does stay I would assume he will get a one year deal worth 2.5-3 million range as it would be fair from his play over the past two years.
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