DETROIT – Detroit has found its backup to Jimmy Howard.
The first signing of free agency for the Wings came between the pipes as they added Jonas Gustavsson to the roster, getting him for two years at a cap-hit of $1.5 million a season.
Gustavsson played his first three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs where he went 39-45-8 with a 2.98 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage.
The Leafs traded his rights to the Winnipeg Jets for a conditional seventh round pick in 2013.
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, 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.”