HEIGHT: 6′ 3″
CAP HIT: $1,500,000
STATS: 27 games played / 16 wins, 5 loses, 4 overtime loses, .907 save percentage, and 2.63 goals against average
The Detroit Red Wings signed Jonas Gustavsson to a two-year contract in the off-season prior the lockout shortened 2012-13 NHL season.
Gustavsson struggled with the Toronto Maple Leafs for three season after coming to the NHL from the Swedish Hockey League, but his fortunes started to turn around when Detroit signed him as the back-up to Jimmy Howard on a two-year contract in the off-season before the 2012-13 NHL season.
His first season with Detroit could not have gone worse for Gustavsson as injuries and poor play in net limited him to only seven NHL games and two victories. Gustavsson did not see any time between the pipes in the last month of the season as the Wings rode Howard to the playoffs.
His second season with the Detroit Red Wings went better for the Swedish netminder, his save percentage and goal against average were the best and his sixteen wins tied for second place since he joined the NHL.
When Jimmy Howard went down in the middle of October, Jonas Gustavsson jumped right into the line-up and won three straight games for the Detroit Red Wings. Gustavsson was named the first star of the week by the NHL for his performance in those games.
While injuries remain an issue for Gustavsson his performance this season has earned him a chance at becoming a number one in the NHL, but if those contracts are not out there he would be a good stopgap before Petr Mrazek joins Detroit full-time.
The Detroit Red Wings would like to retain Jonas Gustavsson as their backup goaltender and have Petr Mrazek spend another season developing with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
In each of Petr Mrazek’s starts over the past two seasons, he has shown he is NHL ready, but the Detroit Red Wings prefer to have their prospects overripe and they did the same thing with Jimmy Howard in 2008-09 by signing Ty Conklin.
Brendan Savage from Mlive was able to pick up this comment from Jonas Gustavsson:
“I like it here. If they want me, at that point we would talk about what they want, terms and all that. But like I said, I like it here. I could absolutely see myself playing here for 10-15 more years because I had a lot of fun and as I said, a great group and a really good organization.”
I doubt Gustavsson will be in Detroit for more than one season if Detroit re-signs him to be Howard’s back-up, but hearing a player express how much he wants to play for the team is always a positive.
I think Petr Mrazek can gain more experience from playing in the AHL next year, while joining Detroit from time to time as and injury replacement and I am completely confident in Jonas Gustavsson’s abilities between the pipes.
If Gustavsson and Detroit can work out a contract, then I would absolutely want him back as Howard’s back-up for one more season.