Another Goalie Prospect On The Way
It won't be official for another day or so, but the Maple Leafs have successfully courted Finnish free agent goalie Jussi Rynnas.
Rynnas' agent, St. Louis-based Allain Roy, said today he has notified the other teams pursuing Rynnas - Dallas, Edmonton, Detroit, among others - that he will be negotiating a deal with the Leafs, likely to be finalized in the next 48 hours.
A big part of the Leaf pitch was to offer the 22-year-old Rynnas the opportunity to work with goalie coach Francois Allaire.
"It's a chance to play for a goalie coach who loves working with goalies who play his style," said Roy today.
Like Swede Jonas Gustavsson, who the Leafs signed as a free agent last summer, Rynnas is a tall drink of water, about 6-foot-5. Some teams were leary about him because of the relative weakness of the Finnish elite league, but the Leafs saw him as the best goalie prospect on the market and, like Gustavsson, a late bloomer who only became a starter this year for Assat Pori.
Gustavsson just signed for two years, while veteran J.S. Giguere will be going into the last year of his contract next season. That would allow Rynnas to twin with James Reimer with the Marlies next season, and then, theoretically, compete with Gustavsson for the starting job in 2011-12.
Terms of the deal aren't clear, but because of Rynnas' age it will be a three-year entry level pact.