by Patrick Hoffman on 07/06/09 at 11:36 PM ET
From Scotty Wazz at The Strangest One of All:
Gustavsson is the prized Swede of the summer, following Fabian Brunnstrom last season, which could spark warning signals considering how inconsistent Brunnstrom was with the Stars. It’s a risk/reward situation when you bring a European trained goalie into the NHL. By all accounts though, Gustavsson will be fairing just fine in his new dig wherever they may end up being. Plus, since he’ll be seen as a franchise goalie, the odds are that the team will build around him and give him what he needs to feel protected. That was the main issue why he said he was going to wait until after July 1st to sign with a team, in order to see which of his suitors would give him the most help in his first years over in North America.
Cue Brian Burke’s signings.
You can bet that after hearing that news, any kind of other plans the Leafs had on the free agent market went into the can when they heard that news and focused on giving their goaltender some help, whoever it may be. However, to say they aren’t hoping for Gustavsson to sign in Toronto is silly. That’s the main thing they are gunning for, it seems, with the signing of two defensemen of the “shut down” style of play. Mike Komisarek and Francois Beauchemin will provide grit and solid defensive play for whoever is in the Leafs net this season, and if it happens to be a rookie Swede who was wooed by the two signings….sobeit.
The question remains on if the young Swede will go to a place where the defense is better or if it’s a balanced system. There’s the flaw by the Leafs, who do have a solid defense now, but the fact remains they don’t have many guy who can bury the puck in the back of the net. If Gustavsson cares about goal support, that could be a detriment to the Leafs push in signing him.
Click here for more. A few questions from my end:
- Are people making too big a deal about someone who hasn’t even played in an NHL game yet?
- If he does go to Toronto, what kind of pressure will he face? We all know how impatient Leafs’ media/fans can be.
- What happens if he goes to Toronto, starts and fails? What will become of the big Swedish netminder?
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
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