Gustavsson unsure about future

Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson says he likes living in Toronto but it's unclear whether the team...

Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson says he likes living in Toronto but it's unclear whether the team will bring him back next season. (REUTERS)

Terry Koshan, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 5:44 PM ET

TORONTO - Jonas Gustavsson could be as well as gone when the Maple Leafs’ season ends on April 7, but the goaltender is not thinking that far ahead.

Asked whether he wants to make a final good impression before he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, Gustavsson didn’t bite.

I try not to think about that,” Gustavsson said on Thursday morning. “It’s not the first time I have been in that situation, whether it is the last five games or the first five games, you always want to make an impression.

“What’s going to happen next year is going to wait for a while.”

Signed to a one-year contract in 2009 by the Leafs and later to a two-year pact, Gustavsson made it clear he enjoys life in Toronto.

“I like it here,” Gustavsson said. “It is not like I feel like a stranger. I can find my way. I really like the city. It has been almost three years and it has been really good. And the organization has always been great.”

There’s no guarantee Gustavsson will be re-signed, as it would make sense for the Leafs to acquire a steady veteran to work with James Reimer. That decision might have been made already, meaning it might not matter what Gustavsson does in the next eight days.

Where Reimer is involved, there’s a strong possibility he is done for the season. Reimer is out with an upper-body injury. The goalie missed 18 games after he suffered a concussion against the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 22, and it’s thought his new injury is related.

“There will be probably a point where there will be a decision made if he is going to return or not,” Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. “That is in the medical people’s hands right now. We just have to wait from clearance from everybody involved to put the player back on the ice.

“The time frame, I can’t give you that because I don’t know it. Is there a drop-dead date? I am sure there is going to be something. When that is, I don’t know.”

Jussi Rynnas was to back-up Gustavsson Thursday. Rynnas had been sent down to the Marlies on Wednesday, with Ben Scrivens recalled. But Scrivens was sent back to the Marlies after practising on Wednesday with the Leafs.

“(Scrivens) is clearly the No. 1 guy down there and the player deserved an opportunity to earn NHL dollars for a day (approximately $2,800 US) as a reward,” Carlyle said. “For his development and the long-term status of the organization, we feel it is important for the Marlies to have as much a chance for success and that is why he came up yesterday and practised with us, got paid NHL dollars and is now back with the Marlies for their weekend.”

terry.koshan@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/koshtorontosun

 


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