Jonas Gustavsson was 16-5-4 with a .907 save percentage and 2.63 goals-against average last season. (David Guralnick / Detroit News)
Detroit — The Red Wings are talking with Jonas Gustavsson in hopes they can sing the free-agent goaltender before the July 1 unrestricted free agency period begins.
“I’ve been talking to Gus’, agent and if the numbers work for both sides, we’d like to keep him,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “He had a good season. We’ll continue to talk.”
Gustavsson was 16-5-4 with a .907 save percentage and 2.63 goals-against average last season as Jimmy Howard’s backup.
There was discussion after the season ended whether the team should keep Gustavsson over prospect Petr Mrazek, who has had two consecutive solid seasons in Grand Rapids as well as two shutouts for the Red Wings last season in brief callups.
Ultimately, the Red Wings are hoping to give Mrazek several seasons worth of heavy workloads in the minors before bringing him up to the NHL.
Tootoo could go free
The Red Wings have one more salary cap compliance buyout remaining, and could use it on forward Jordin Tootoo, who has one year left on his contract (worth $1.9 million) and spent most of last season in Grand Rapids.
If the Red Wings buy Tootoo out, they wouldn’t suffer any cap penalties and Tootoo would receive approximately $1.25 million.
Tootoo, who had 18 points (six goals) in Grand Rapids, then would become an unrestricted free agent.
Holland, on talking with other general managers in meetings last week in New York regarding possible trades: “I have a good idea of who could be available. We’ll continue to talk.”
... The Red Wings, who have made the playoffs 23 straight seasons, are 22-1 at winning the Stanley Cup next season, according to online bookmaker Bovada.com.
The Blackhawks, who lost in the Western Conference finals to the eventual champion Kings, are the favorite at 7-1.
... The Predators are renewing their affiliation with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones.
The renewal agreement was announced Monday. The Cyclones will function as a developmental affiliate for both Nashville and the American Hockey League’s Milwaukee Admirals, who serve as the Predators’ primary developmental affiliate.
Cincinnati has reached the ECHL postseason each of the seven years it has been affiliated with the Predators. The Cyclones won Kelly Cup championships in 2008 and 2010.
... The Stanley Cup playoffs between Los Angeles and the New York Rangers were the second-most watched NHL postseason since NBC and NBCSN began exclusive coverage in 2006.
NBC, NBCSN and CNBC combined to average 1.44 million viewers. There were 1.47 million viewers in 2013.
Nielsen said Monday the Stanley Cup Final, won in five games by the Kings, was just the fifth final in 20 years to average more than 5.0 million viewers.
The Kings won 3-2 in double overtime on Friday night, averaging 6 million viewers and a 3.7 rating on NBC. The game featured the nation’s two largest media markets.
News wire services contributed