BUFFALO -- The Maple Leafs might have two Scandinavian Monsters in their closet the Toronto Sun has learned.
Brian Burke and right-hand man David Nonis made a secret trip to Helsinki a few days ago with the purpose of landing 6-foot-5, 22-year-old Jusii Rynnas. They are awaiting a decision from Rynnas, who is trying to decide which team will give him the best chance to break into the NHL.
Burke's visit wasn't enough to convince Rynnas to become a Leaf on the spot, but when he came to North America a few days later, for scheduled NHL window shopping in Edmonton, Dallas, Anaheim, Philadelphia and Montreal, Burke got wind of the trip. He caught up with Rynnas and his agent in Montreal, this time bringing along the Leafs' netminding guru, Francois Allaire to make a further impression.
Rynnas is not in the same league with Swede Jonas Gustavsson, whom several teams were hot to sign last summer, losing out to an impressive sales pitch by Burke. Rynnas had a record of 14-13-1 with a 2.50 goals-against average for Assat Pori and .929 save percentage, for what was considered a less than stellar team.
The Leafs' plan might be to bring Rynnas along with the Marlies next year, with an eye to working him in the next couple of years as Jean-Sebastien Giguere gets towards his mid-30s, but Burke isn’t commenting.
The Stars were considered to have the inside track because their scout is former NHL goalie Kari Takko, who played on the same club team as Rynnas and has been on his trail for months. The Stars just parted ways with Marty Turco as well. Rynnas also spoke to Oilers management and coaches.
"He's looking at depth charts and at his chances of having the most success," GM Steve Tambellini told the Edmonton Journal.