Monster mash begins in T.O.

STEVE BUFFERY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

Operation Monster begins in earnest.

The Maple Leafs will host free agent goaltender Jonas Gustavsson today, but the organization has refused to release any details of the Swede's visit to Toronto.

GM Brian Burke told Sun Media yesterday that he promised Gustavsson's agent that there would be "no leaks" pertaining to Gustavsson's visit -- where he will go, who he will talk to and whether he prefers Diet Pepsi or Coke.

LEAFS LEGEND

There are rumours the team recruited Leafs legend Borje Salming for its sales pitch. The Avalanche confirmed that former Colorado star and fellow Swede Peter Forsberg has spoken to Gustavsson.

Gustavsson already has touched down in Colorado (Denver), Dallas and San Jose (the three other NHL club vying for his services) this week amid little fanfare, though the Dallas Morning News had a pretty full account of his activities when he arrived on Wednesday.

REFUSE COMMENT

The Leafs have refused to comment to any degree on Gustavsson's visit to Toronto, probably because, unlike Dallas, Colorado and San Jose, the media in Toronto would be clamouring to interview the free-agent sensation, who posted a 1.96 goals against average and .932 save percentage for Farjestad in the Swedish Elite League last season.

The Leafs are hoping to sign Gustavsson, 24, as a backup for Vesa Toskala next season.

There are a number of selling points to playing in Toronto, but the media is not one of them.

Playing in arguably hockey's No. 1 media market is not for anyone, so Gustavsson will have to decide whether he's up for that challenge or not.

Reportedly, money is not the biggest issue with the Gustavsson camp, as the NHL's collective bargaining agreement limits a first year salary to $900,000, though he can earn much more in subsequent seasons, and the Leafs do have cap space at this point.


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