Helene St. James: Red Wings signings aplenty in Hockeytown
The Red Wings could well add prize free agent defenseman Ryan Suter to their lineup today, but as the market opened Sunday, they already got started on forging a fiercer team.
They add a big, promising goaltender in Jonas Gustavsson, help for the power play in Mikael Samuelsson and grit in Jordin Tootoo. They also made forward Damien Brunner official, announcing they’d signed the coveted Swiss forward after he had agreed to terms last month.
The Wings are in the process of upgrading after losing in the first round of the playoffs in April, followed a month later by the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom and departure of Brad Stuart, both of whom were top-four defensemen. Their top targets are Suter and forward Zach Parise, and general manager Ken Holland made offers to both early Sunday afternoon. Neither was expected to make a decision before today, but the Wings are among the front-runners for Suter.
The Wings remain interested in Columbus superstar Rick Nash but are disadvantaged by needing to make an offer so sweet it will entice the Blue Jackets to trade the face of their franchise to a team within the Central Division.