Finally some movement on the Jonas Gustavsson front, the 24 year old star netminder of the Swedish Elite League. From the Toronto Sun: “According to a Swedish source familiar with the situation, Burke will be in the Danish capital of Copenhagen today to meet with Par Larsson, Gustavsson’s Swedish-based agent. ”
It’s been no secret that Burke would love to get Jonas’ signature on a contract. After posting a 238 minute shutout streak in the SEL this past season and leading Farjestads to a league championship, Gustavssson wowed the hockey world and has attracted interest from as many as 16 NHL teams, a list which he has now narrowed down to two: the Dallas Stars and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The last time it came down to these two teams in a bidding war for a Farjestads star, Fabian Brunnstrom chose Dallas.
The Stars have plenty to offer the young netminder: a strong roster that was 5th in the Western Conference the last time it was healthy, the chance to battle aging, impending UFA Marty Turco for the starting job, as well as the chance to play in a more low-key environment.
But apparently, Jonas isn’t afraid of playing under the bright lights of Toronto. In the Toronto Sun, he was quoted as saying, ” It would be a dream to play (in Toronto). It is probably the most famous team in the world. With such great fans, I’m told it is a great place to play.”
Burke would likely also pitch to Jonas that his signing of another European free agent goaltender, Jonas Hiller back in 2007, was a striking success for both sides. Hiller got every chance to play, despite competing for minutes against the reigning Stanley Cup champion, and the Ducks are pretty happy as well, having ridden Hiller to a surprising 2-0 lead over the heavily favoured San Jose Sharks this spring.
As a 24 year old undrafted free agent, Gustavsson would only be eligible to receive a one-year contract withÂ a maximum base salary of $875,000, but bonuses would likely bump that number up significantly.
Not a whole lot to talk about in Toronto these days, but this signing would be a nice way to really kick off the offseason with a bang.
Always a pleasure,