New Wings: Gustavsson, Samuelsson, Brunner, Tootoo
Detroit Red Wings
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LARRY LAGE,AP Sports Writer
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings made a lot of ripples while hoping to make a big splash by signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
“We’ve offered both contracts and we just have to wait and see how it goes,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Sunday night. “If we get the big guys, we’re going to have to move some people to get under the cap when we need to before the season starts.”
Detroit agreed to a $5.7 million, three-year contract with gritty forward Jordin Tootoo after reaching two-year deals with veteran forward Mikael Samuelsson for $6 million and backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson for $3 million on the first day of NHL free agency.
“We’ve added some depth and grit,” Holland said. “I like what we’ve done so far, but we still have work to do.”
The Nashville Predators drafted Tootoo in 2001 and the tough guy has spent his entire career with them, racking up 725 career penalty minutes and 125 points.
Gustavsson played for Toronto last season and won a team-high 17 games with a team-low 2.92 goals-against average. He was 39-45 with a 2.98 GAA over three seasons with the Maple Leafs. The 27-year-old Swede will be Jimmy Howard’s backup in Detroit. Ty Conklin and Joey MacDonald split time as No. 2 goalies for the Red Wings last season.
“He has some experience in the league and gives us a nice option in net,” Holland said.
Samuelsson helped Detroit win the Stanley Cup in 2008 in his third of four seasons with the franchise. The 35-year-old Swede was limited because of injuries to 54 games and 31 points last season with Vancouver and Florida.
“He can play with our top six or our bottom six forwards and really help us either way,” Holland said.
Detroit also signed 26-year-old forward Damien Brunner of Switzerland to a one-year, two-way contract that allows the franchise to send him to the AHL’s Grand Griffins if he doesn’t earn a spot on the Red Wings’ roster.
“He’s going to get an opportunity to play with some of our better players in camp to give him a shot to make the team,” Holland said. “He can really skate and we’ve liked what we’ve seen from him so far.”
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