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.