One More Try
Brian Burke will make one more attempt to capture The Monster.
The Maple Leafs GM, fresh of signing Colton Orr and Mike Komisarek as free agents yesterday and making a deal with Atlanta to send Pavel Kubina to the Thrashers in exchange for Garnet Exelby, is meeting with Swedish free agent goalie Jonas (The Monster) Gustavsson today in Stockholm.
With offers in from Dallas, San Jose and Colorado, as well as the Leafs, Gustavsson has been struggling to make a decision as to which of the four will be his first NHL club. He has to sign a one-year entry level salary at the same money with any of the clubs, but he's really looking at a three- to four-year commitment given that he wouldn't be unrestricted again next summer.
Burke has pursued the 24-year-old netminder hard, travelling once to the world championships in Switzerland to meet with him, and then again in a previous trip to Sweden.
The Leaf GM is in Sweden after taking a trip late Tuesday in hopes of making a face-to-face offer with the Sedin twins or Matthias Ohlund, all of whom had signed with other clubs by the time he landed.
Other free agents on the Leaf radar screen today, with Chris Neil having turned them down to re-sign in Ottawa, are Columbus centre Manny Malhotra and Anaheim blueliner Francois Beauchemin. It's also possible talks have been revived between the Leafs and Bruins over a possible Tomas Kaberle-for-Phil Kessel trade.