The Maple Leafs will be hoping to mash out a deal when the Monster touches down in Toronto this week.
Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke confirmed yesterday that Swedish free agent Jonas Gustavsson, a.k.a. The Monster, will arrive in Toronto this week and meet with the Leafs.
The Leafs are hoping to sign the 24-year-old Gustavsson, widely considered the best goaltender outside of the NHL last season, to a contract. There are reportedly three other NHL teams are vying for his services: The San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche.
Gustavsson visited Denver yesterday to meet and greet the Avalanche staff and is expected to touch down in the other cities this week. The Denver Post reported that former Avalanche star Peter Forsberg, a fellow Swede, spoke on behalf of the Colorado franchise during Gustavsson's visit.
Burke is hoping the Monster backs up Vesa Toskala in Toronto this season, but if the GM is unable to sign Gustavsson, he'll likely sign a free agent backup or draft a goaltending prospect.
Gustavsson guided Farjestad to the Swedish Elite League championship last season and posted a 1.96 goals against average and stellar .932 save percentage during the regular season.
Gustavsson's mother passed away a couple of weeks ago, which put his visit to North America on hold for a time.
The Leafs recently signed renowned goaltending coach Francois Allaire, and that may prove to be an enticement for the 6-foot-3 Gustavsson to sign with the Leafs.