On Sunday, GM Don Sweeney announced that the Boston Bruins have signed goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to a one year deal worth $700,000.
The Bruins obviously feel that there is some potential with the veteran-Sweedish net minder, as Gustavsson will now be the clear backup behind starter Tuukka Rask. Gustavsson is no stranger to the end of the bench, as from 2012-2015 Gustavsson served as the backup in Detroit to goaltender Jimmy Howard before being let go this offseason.
For most teams in the NHL, the signing of a backup goaltender usually is not a big deal. But for the Bruins, this may be the most critical move they've made this offseason. The end of last season was a complete disaster in all three areas of the ice, but goaltending stood out the most. Neither Malcom Subban or Nicklas Svedberg were able to provide decent support in net when Tuukka needed a night night, resulting in Rask having to start almost every game for the final two months of the season, killing his energy.
The signing of Gustavsson should now allow the Bruins to keep their franchise goaltender Rask fresh, as Gustavsson has proved during both his time in Detroit and during this preseason that he is reliable. This signing will also allow the Bruins to develop prospect goaltender Zane McIntyre in Providence, who may end up being a key to future success for the team.
Gustavsson should get a solid 15-20 starts this season, and will allow Tuukka Rask to get some much needed rest as the Bruins attempt to make a return to the postseason.