Leafs officially ink Rynnas

LANCE HORNBY, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 3:17 PM ET

BUFFALO — - BUFFALO - One frequent sidebar to Maple Leafs training camp has been the strong play of a lightly regarded third goalie that gave management extra pause for thought.

Whether Jussi Rynnas keeps that tradition going in September remains to be seen but if he’s as good as many insist, then the exhibition schedule will be very interesting. Rynnas was officially signed Friday to a two-year NHL entry level contract, joining Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Jonas Gustavsson.

The plan is to start the 6-foot-5 Rynnas with the AHL Marlies alongside James Reimer, but stranger things have happened by the time Oct. 1 rolls around. Joey McDonald wound up subbing for Jonas Gustavsson a couple of times early last year when the latter’s racing heartbeat problem was detected.

Rynnas will get some NHL action with the Leafs in a compressed exhibition schedule, that includes five games in five nights. And if he out-plays everyone?

“That’s a problem we hope to have at every position,” general manager Brian Burke said.

Rynnas will be under the close watch of goaltending coach Francois Allaire this summer, one of the reasons he signed with the Leafs ahead of four or five other suitors. He had a .929 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average for a weak Assat Pori team in Finland.

Burke also said Friday there has been “no progress” in contract talks with restricted free agent forward Nikolai Kulemin.


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