Report: Wings to buy out Tootoo, re-sign Gustavsson


Two years ago, Detroit signed a pair of veteran free agents in Carlo Colaiacovo and Jordin Tootoo.

Now, the Wings could be paying both to play elsewhere.

Having already used one of its compliance buyouts on Colaiacovo last summer, Detroit is primed to use its second on Tootoo, according to the Free Press. Wings GM Ken Holland has indicated he’ll try and trade Tootoo before buying him out but, given Tootoo’s been on the market for an entire year and was subjected to waivers earlier this season, flipping him in any sort of deal seems unlikely.

Tootoo, 31, signed with Detroit in June of ’12, inking a fairly lucrative three-year, $5.7 million deal. The former Nashville Predator never really seemed to fit with the Wings’ style of play and though he continued to showcase his trademark passion and energy, Tootoo always seemed like an odd fit on a puck-possession team. Last year he appeared in just 11 games for the Wings, registering one point.

In other Detroit news, it appears the club will re-sign Jonas Gustavsson to be Jimmy Howard’s backup next year, rather than hand the reigns to AHL Grand Rapids netminder Petr Mrazek. Gustavsson played well last year, going 16-5-4 with a .907 save percentage and 2.63 GAA, and filled in admirably against Boston in the playoffs when Jimmy Howard went down with injury.

There was some though that Mrazek, an AHL second-team All-Star this year, would ascend to the No. 2 gig in Detroit, but the Wings appear to want the 22-year-old to continue playing — and playing often — at the American League level, rather than sit behind Howard in the NHL.

Sabres waive d-man Donovan

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Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.

Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.

The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.

The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.

Stars to scratch Nichushkin after rough outing versus Avs?

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Looks as though slumping Dallas winger Valeri Nichushkin could be a healthy scratch tonight when the Stars host the Oilers at American Airlines.

Per the Morning-News, Nichushkin — who barely played in the second and third periods of Saturday’s 6-3 loss to Colorado — is likely to be replaced by Colton Sceviour in the lineup.

Stars head coach Lindy Ruff was fuming after the Avs defeat, calling it “embarrassing, worse than disappointing.” It didn’t take a genius to realize one of the players in his doghouse was Nichushkin, who had just 2:02 of ice time in the second period and 3:24 in the third.

Yesterday, Ruff dropped Nichushkin to the fourth line in practice.

“I’ve been trying to help him by shifting him around,” the head coach explained. “He had some struggles early in camp on right wing, so I put him on left, and he doesn’t seem real comfortable at left right now.

“His game, everything has got to get a little bit quicker.”

The 10th overall pick in 2013, Nichushkin has struggled to build on the form shown in his rookie campaign, when he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 79 contests.

He missed nearly all of last season with a linger hip ailment and has been a virtual non-factor through the first two games this year.