The Detroit Red Wings fans have been looking forward to free agent frenzy as the Wings have a ton of cash to spend but the frenzy has been more of a frizzle. Many in Hockeytown were hoping to hear the signing of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, however it sounds like no decision will be made by either player till tomorrow at the earliest.
Detroit did add a monster today in the signing of goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. When he first came to the NHL several teams including the Red Wings were pursuing the ‘Monster’ but he picked the Toronto Maple Leafs. Detroit signed him to a two-year contract worth $3 million, $1.5 million a year.
Gustavsson has shown signs of brilliance but has also shown signs of inconsistency. He comes to a veteran team where he won’t be expected to be the number one. He said in an interview on TSN that he wanted to go to a team where he can grow and learn. Expect him to put up better numbers in the GAA and SV% categories and to see him overall game improve now that he is playing for a stronger team.
On a fantasy note don’t be drafting Gustavsson expecting him to come in and steal the starting job from Jimmy Howard as that won’t happen. Howard will get 50-55 starts this season and Gustavsson will pick up the rest. This signing does hurt Howard’s fantasy value slightly as the days of him starting 60+ games are now done, but based on his numbers last year that doesn’t matter as he still put up 35 wins and career high six shutouts.
If you are in a deep hockey pool, like 20+ teams where you dress two goalies then consider drafting Gustavsson, especially in salary cap pools. Baring an injury to Howard, count on a 30 starts, 17-20 wins and 3-5 shutouts so draft accordingly.
Coach Aaron Brouwer
Follow on twitter @fanhockeycoach
Breaking New Home
Fantasy Hockey Coach Home