Rumors from the Toronto Sun
By BRUCE GARRIOCH, Sun Media
The Maple Leafs GM has to wait until January before he can hold talks on a contract extension for rookie goalie Jonas “The Monster” Gustavsson, but he might want to get the framework in place, because if Burke is going to live by the sword, he had better be prepared to die by it, too.You see, it was Burke who threatened the Bruins with a Group II offer sheet before making a deal for winger Phil Kessel in September.
The Leafs could easily be sitting in the same position if they don’t get the 25-year-old Swede signed. Gustavsson, who is making $810,000 (all terms US) on a one-year deal this season, has emerged as the club’s No. 1 goalie ahead of Vesa Toskala.
There would be more than an NHL GM or two who wouldn’t mind put the screws to Burke by signing The Monster to an offer sheet worth $5 million a season.
Gustavsson was the most sought-after free-agent goalie on the market before he signed with the Leafs last summer. Every team in the league scouted him. Most made a pitch for him. The Stars thought Gustavsson was going to sign there to push Marty Turco for the job.
“Don’t think for a second there wouldn’t be a lineup of teams again offering up big money if he gets to restricted free agency,” said a league executive.
Around the boards
The heat has been turned up in St. Louis. Owner Dave Checketts told reporters Friday he’s disappointed with the way the Blues are playing. “I’m frustrated like everybody else,” Checketts said. “And I think it’s frankly time to declare the wait over. I think our fans have been patient, I think we’ve been patient. This is a team that the time has come … it’s time to win. The waiting is over. We don’t need to be patient anymore.” Coach Andy Murray was given a vote of confidence, but the comments were a little strange. Don’t forget Peter Laviolette and Craig MacTavish are both looking for work … An NHL GM on trying to make a trade at last week’s meetings in Toronto: “We all talk and we all try, but every deal is about money. That’s all we talk about. All we want to move is players who are making big money. Deals are very difficult for us to make right now.” … The Predators are trying to deal RW Ryan Jones to anybody willing to listen. He is making $975,000 and playing in the minors.