The Monster has Landed
Leafs Nation can breathe a sigh of relief.Â The long wait for Swedish goalie Jonas Gustavsson’s decision is over.Â Reports indicate that the tender has finally chosen the Toronto Maple Leafs after a long wooing process from a number of interested teams.
The contract is a one year deal totaling $900,000.Â Many expect Gustavsson to be brought in as Vesa Toskala’s backup and be a constant source of competition for our Finnish goaltender.Â Of course, there is the possibility that “the best goaltender outside of the NHL” exceeds expectations and steals the number one spot.
For those that are wondering, Jonas was signed to a one-year contract based on his “rookie” status and age (he will be in between 24 and 25, and thus is limited to one year).Â From the CBA:
The period covered by the Player Contract for every Rookie, and the number of years that such player will be in the Entry Level System and subject to the Compensation limits shall be...
At the expiration of this contract, he will be like any other rookie.Â That is, he will be a RFA with the Leafs owning his rights and able to offer him a longer and higher contract.Â This is beneficial from our organization’s point of view as it forces Gustavsson to perform this year in order to earn a raise for his longer contract.
Regardless, it’s safe to say this is a move that many have been waiting for.Â Not only has the drama of the process created an air of tension for hockey fans the last few weeks, many acknowledge that this could be the catalyst to a few more moves from Brian Burke.Â Rumours have abounded surrounding possible deals involving Tomas Kaberle.Â Some have hinted at the possibility that he would be shipped to Minnesota or Vancouver for goaltending depth (Josh Harding and Cory Schneider respectively) if Gustavsson did not sign.
However, now that we have secured the services of Jonas, one must wonder if this gives Brian Burke the leeway to ensure he gets back a top flight forward for our remaining Czech defender.Â Its safe to say this move caps off a string of recent transactions by the Leafs GM that has left Leaf fans (and others) very impressed.