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Will Detroit Sink or Swim in Lockout Shortened Season?

With the NHL lockout over, NHL players that were playing overseas are flooding back to North America in anticipation of NHL training camp starting in a few days. That includes a few Detroit Red Wings players.

Henrik Zetterberg, Valterri Filppula, Pavel Datsyuk, Drew Miller, Jan Mursak, Damien Brunner, Jakub Kindl and Cory Emmerton were some of the Detroit players that played in Europe while the lockout was in progress, and almost all of them have returned to Detroit.

Datsyuk is staying in the KHL until he and his agent know when training camp is starting, and the status of Damien Brunner is unknown. He is currently playing for Zug in the Swiss league, but will likely end up in training camp in Detroit.

Too Many Forwards, What Does It Mean?

Something has got to give. The Detroit Red Wings made four signings today, two of which are forwards. This is a strange predicament the Red Wings are in. They have $17 million left in cap space and are still in on the Zach Parise sweepstakes.

Parise will likely make a decision by tomorrow, but with Jiri Hudler out of the picture, the Red Wings still need a top line winger, which might come in the form of Parise or Alex Semin (or possibly Hudler, although unlikely).

The Jordin Tootoo and Mikael Samuelsson signings give Detroit 16 forwards under contract, not including Justin Abdelkader, who is an RFA, or Tomas Holmstrom, who is UFA.

In a league where you usually dress 12 forwards a game, 16 is too many. Factor in a spot for Abdelkader and a Parise type player, and that's 18 forward spots. What is Ken Holland going to do?

Red Wings Sign Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo

The Detroit Red Wings are finished making free agent signings today, locking up four players.

Early in the day, they agreed to terms with goalie Jonas Gustavsson to back up Jimmy Howard. Next came the expected announcement of inking Swiss forward Damien Brunner to a one year, two way deal.

The head scratchers came when the Wings brought back Mikael Samuelsson, who was on the 2008 Stanley Cup Champion team. After stints with the Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers, Samuelsson is back in Hockeytown. He is a right handed shot that can play the powerplay.

Gustavsson Signs 2 Year Deal With Detroit

Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson has signed a two year deal with the Detroit Red Wings for $3 million a year. The cap hit is a modest $1.5 million.

Gustavsson played last year with the Toronto Maple Leafs, posting a 17-17-4 record with a 2.92 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

Gustavsson signed with the Leafs in the summer of 2009, and if anyone remembers, the Red Wings were one of the teams in the mix for him.

Jimmy Howard will start next season, but Gustavsson will push him for games. Joey MacDonald is also in the mix, but 'The Monster' will most likely push him out of the way. MacDonald has back issues and a one way contract, and if Gustavsson beats him out of the backup role, MacDonald will be waiver to Grand Rapids.

Gustavsson's first choice was to go to Detroit. His rights were traded to Winnipeg a few days ago, but nothing transpired.

Will Reimer rebound?

The Toronto Maple Leafs will seek to upgrade its goaltending this summer whether James Reimer returns to his rookie form in the final 15 games or not.

General manager Brian Burke has remained adamant on retaining Reimer as the goaltender of the future---reportedly shot down a deal that would have brought back a significant return at the trade deadline---so fans should not expect the 23-year-old netminder to be going anywhere anytime soon. Registering a .921 save percentage in his rookie season, Reimer’s .899 save percentage as a sophomore is reason for concern, but nothing to fret over---at least, not yet.

Sophomore slumps are nothing new in the National Hockey League. I...

Is Gustavsson good enough?

Jonas Gustavsson won his first game of the season---going back to last season he hadn't won since Jan.6---and looked sharp in the victory over the New York Rangers.

The decision to enter the season with James Reimer and Gustavsson between the pipes was a risky one by the Toronto Maple Leafs' management. Reimer and Gustavsson, as of now, have a combined 112 games of experience at the NHL level. But the Leafs also entered the season as the NHL's youngest club with an average age of 26.07, so perhaps its goal...