Gustavsson aims to be good student

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

Ticked off because his playing time is about to drop?

Not Jonas Gustavsson.

Gustavsson won't play as much as he did when Vesa Toskala was his goaltending partner, but with Jean-Sebastien Giguere, he gets to learn from a guy who won a Stanley Cup in 2007 with the Anaheim Ducks and was the Conn Smythe winner in 2003. Those are credentials Toskala did not have.

"Jiggy knows what it takes (to win a Cup) and it's where I want to be one day," Gustavsson said. "I have to take his advice, and work harder than him. I know that will be tough because he works hard, but that is a great challenge for me."

Gustavsson, even with two heart surgeries since training camp started, has played in more games (31) than had been the original plan. With Giguere in town, Gustavsson will average about one start a week, coach Ron Wilson said. The presence of Giguere could mean that it won't be as easy for Gustavsson to get a significant raise in the off-season. A restricted free agent who is being paid $2.5 million US in 2009-10, Gustavsson wants to remain in Toronto. But if he starts asking for what general manager Brian Burke thinks is too much money, Burke will remind him that Giguere is under contract for 2010-11. Toskala, meanwhile, is headed for unrestricted free agency on July 1.

"I don't want to speculate on that," Gustavsson said. "It's a good situation for me now and what happens next season, we will decide later. I'm happy the way it is now. Vesa was a great guy, but Giguere plays more similar to the way I want to play.

"I want to play as simple as possible, let the puck hit me, and Jiggy is maybe the best in the league at that."

TERRY.KOSHAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos