Monster coming to T.O.

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 1:36 PM ET

The Monster is a Maple Leaf.

Toronto general manager Brian Burke got his man today, signing Swedish free agent goaltender Jonas Gustavsson to a one-year contract worth $810,000 plus a $90,000 signing bonus.

"Jonas is considered by many to be the best goaltender not playing in the NHL today," Burke said. "He has a unique combination of size and agility and we're excited to add a player with his potential to our roster."

Burke aggressively recruited the 24-year-old prodigy, who played for Farjestad in the Swedish Elite League. Gustavsson was in Toronto late last month to visit with team officials and Burke travelled to Sweden last week for one final push.

The goaltender, who will immediately step in as Vesa Toskala's backup with the potential of being the team's No. 1 goalie in the future, had considered four NHL team before finally settling on the Leafs.

"I want to thank Brian Burke and his staff for giving me the opportunity to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs," Gustavsson said in a statement. "It is truly an honour and privilege and I feel very fortunate to wear the Blue and White sweater.

"Toronto is a great city, with tremendous fan support, and I am very excited about the future."

Gustavsson, a 24-year-old native of Danderyd, Sweden, played 42 regular season games this past season and recorded four shutouts. He led the league with a 1.96 goals against average and .932 save percentage. The 6-foot-3, 192-pounder proved to be a pressure performer as well, leading Farjestad to the 2008-09 Swedish Elite League title after allowing just 14 goals in 13 playoffs games.

Internationally, Gustavsson won a bronze medal with Sweden at the 2009 World Championships in Switzerland.

"Obviously we feel very strongly that this kid has a chance to be a special NHL player," Burke said.


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