’09-10 Player Reviews: Jonas Gustavsson


    We’ve partnered up with Pension Plan Puppets to bring to you a Player Review series, where we will be evaluating and grading the 2009-10 season for every Leaf who featured in a significant number of games for the Blue and White last season, with an eye towards 2010-11.Today we feature Jonas Gustavsson, profiled by Justin Goldman.

    The Summary: Back with another guest post is The Goalie Guild’s Justin Goldman. Jonas Gustavsson’s choice of the Toronto Maple Leafs last summer ended a long period of courtship from a number of NHL teams. The world’s best goaltender outside of the NHL’s decision to join the Leafs gave the team a goalie of the future. His season was, to say the least, a roller coaster ride that ended with some decent numbers. Brian Burke has built a strong support system for the young Swede and seems to have a bright future ahead of him.

    Click here for more of what Justin thought of Jonas.

    The Discussion

    Gustavsson was clearly under a lot of stress from the day he first signed with Toronto. The off-ice emotional stress, on-ice physical stress and the mental stresses of playing in the NHL must have taken quite a toll on him. Did the Leafs put too much on his shoulders? Should he have started off with the Marlies? Did his minutes need to be managed differently? Did it impact his long-term value? In my humble opinion, I think not. A famous person once told me that a young man’s deeds become an old man’s wisdom. Although it may have almost killed him, the pressures he experienced will only make him stronger mentally next season…and for the rest of his NHL career.

    Audience Participation

    This is where you get to play talent evaluator. Rate Gustavsson on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season.