Jordin Tootoo

Wings stay busy, sign Tootoo to three-year, $5.7 million deal


Get your train whistles out, Red Wings fans. You’ll be needing them.

As per TSN’s Darren Dreger, Detroit has signed former Nashville forward Jordin Tootoo to a three-year, $5.7 million deal ($1.9 million annually.)

It’s a move that raised eyebrows throughout the league. Tootoo had spent the first eight years of his career with Detroit’s heated Central Division rival, the Nashville Predators.

The signing also stirred up some intrigue because, well, Tootoo isn’t your typical Red Wing. A feisty, fiery, cannonball-esque energy guy, Tootoo’s known largely as an agitator — one that tiptoes the line between effectiveness and recklessness.

That said, his play seems to have matured with age (last year’s Ryan Miller incident notwithstanding.)

Overlooked in 2011-12 was the fact Tootoo put up a career-high 24 assists and 30 points while playing over 13 minutes a night. He scored his first power play goal since the lockout, appeared in a career-high 77 games and seemed to be evolving into a versatile player.

It’s possible the Wings groom Tootoo to become a “Grind Liner” in the mold of Kris Draper/Kirk Maltby. The 28-year-old certainly possesses the skating speed and forechecking ability, but will need to add more discipline to his game.

Tootoo’s 725 career penalty minutes over 486 games works out to roughly 122 per 82 contests — that probably won’t fly on a Red Wings team where nobody had more than 65 PIM last season.

Gustavsson secures one-year contract with Bruins

Jonas Gustavsson
AP Photo
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There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.

The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.

That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.

In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.

Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
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The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.