Toronto, obviously going through withdrawal months after the Mats Sundin saga and craving another waiting game to find out where a star Swedish free agent is going to decide to play in the NHL, is still holding out hope that goaltender Jonas Gustavsson picks the Maple Leafs from the group of four landing spots he visited last month on a North American tour.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun tracked down Gustavsson while the netminder was on vacation over the weekend, and here’s what Buffery had to report:
What Gustavsson would say about Toronto and the Leafs in particular, is that he likes the city (he also visited Toronto a few years ago while attending the Steve Davies goaltender school) and is impressed with the organization and (general manager Brian) Burke.
“He’s a nice guy,” said Gustavsson, who obviously has yet to experience Burke when the GM’s temper is up.
Obviously, there’s no telling how Gustavsson’s game is going to translate to the NHL. But if the Leafs get him they instantly become more interesting to watch. Whether they get The Monster or not, I’m looking forward to see how the Leafs look now that Burke has had a chance to put his stamp on the roster (and he’s probably not done yet).
Elsewhere around the division:
•There are now internet petitions going around to get Montreal to re-sign Alex Kovalev and bring back captain Saku Koivu. Get over it Habs fans. Your Scott Gomez’s team now.
•From the “It’s Always About TO Dept.” comes the story of how the Leafs will not have a chance at Rick Nash now that he has signed an extension in Columbus.
•Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk won’t be inviting Dany Heatley to dinner any time soon.