The Maple Leafs held productive meetings yesterday with the agent of Boston University's standout defenceman Matt Gilroy, and will continue discussions today.
"Gilroy was fielding offers," Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke said. "We have no idea how many teams are in (the running), or how silly the money may get."
Burke wouldn't say whether the Leafs and Gilroy's representative are close to a deal, but the team does appear to be on the verge of reaching an agreement with free-agent goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, 24, who led his Swedish Elite team Farjestad to the championship last week. Gustavsson finished the post-season with a stellar .961 save percentage and five shutouts.
Burke, who flew to Copenhagen on the weekend to meet with Gustavsson's agent Par Larsson, said that he had an "excellent" meeting with Larsson and will sit down again with the agent following the world championship later this month in Switzerland.
Burke has already signed a couple of U.S. college free-agent forwards this month, Christian Hanson and Tyler Bozak.
Gilroy's BU Terriers stormed back to defeat Miami (Ohio) 4-3 in overtime in the championship game at the NCAA Frozen Four tournament on Saturday at Washington. The North Bellmore, N.Y., native became just the fifth Hobey Baker Award winner (the top U.S. college player) to win the national title in the same year -- joining North Dakota's Tony Hrkac (1987), Harvard's Lane MacDonald (1989), Maine's Paul Kariya (1993) and Minnesota's Jordan Leopold (2002).
Meanwhile, little notice was paid to the fact that Saturday night's game at the Air Canada Centre, the Leafs' last game of the season, against the Ottawa Senators may have been goaltender Curtis Joseph's final outing with the team.
The 41-year-old Joseph now becomes an unrestricted free agent and, though he has expressed a desire to continue playing, there have been few indications that the Leafs are interested in bringing him back. Joseph said following Toronto's 5-2 victory (a game in which he did not play) that he had been fondly contemplating his five-year career with the Leafs the past few weeks, but certainly has no regrets.
"No melancholy," Joseph said, when asked how he felt about possibly wearing the blue and white for the final time.
"I'm a happy guy. Everything's gone well, better than expected in my career. So I'm enjoying it. I feel good. Life's good. I really can't complain about anything."
The Leafs gather for a final time today at the ACC for exit interviews with coach Ron Wilson and his staff.