Red Wings Add Defensemen Gustafsson and Lagesson


The Detroit Red Wings added two Swedish defensemen on Monday, signing Erik Gustafsson and William Lagesson to contracts.

The Red Wings haven’t officially announced the Gustafsson signing.

Lagesson’s deal is for one year at $775,000 while Gustafsson reportedly gets two years at a salary cap hit of $2 million.

I’ll admit, I ignored Lagesson’s deal at first because I assumed it had to be two-way, with him destined for Grand Rapids.  He played 40 games last year split between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Anaheim Ducks and five more with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.  That’s the most NHL games he’s ever played in a season since breaking into the league with the Edmonton Oilers in 2019-20.

Gustafsson, meanwhile, seems like a low-budget Shayne Gostistbehere replacement.  He put up 31 points in 76 games with the Rangers last season.

Much like the Cam Talbot signing, I’m confused because these moves don’t seem to fit what the Wings already have in place.  Detroit’s blue line currently consists of Moritz Seider, Simon Edvinsson, Ben Chiarot, Olli Maatta, Justin Holl, Jeff Petry, Albert Johansson, Gustafsson, and Lagesson.  Something has to give.

And on to the traditional jersey number geekery…  Gustafsson is pretty easy, he’s worn #56 almost everywhere he’s played and it’s available so he’ll get it in Detroit.  Lagesson seems to prefer #37 but has worn #84 and #85 as well.  Maybe he gets #85 with Elmer Soderblom taking #25 upon Taro Hirose’s departure.

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