If the ancient Chinese curse (which may not have been an ancient Chinese curse) is true, than Jonas Gustavsson has done something offensive because he’s definitely living in interesting times. The undrafted free agent had a brilliant regular season and a better playoff run, and is now being pursued by at least four NHL teams (more on that in a moment). His national team has also dropped out of contention for the gold medal at the World Championships and his mother is seriously ill.
I had a look at Gustavsson’s career to date on my other site, and suffice to say he looks like the kind of goaltender who can step in and perform at a high level immediately. He should be of interest to the Oilers, and The Pieline Show’s interview with Kevin Prendergast indicated that the Oilers brain trust is actively pursuing him. The Canucks are in a similar situation, with Mike Gillis having admitted to interest in the goaltender. Unfortunately for both the Oilers and Canucks, it is unclear what chance those clubs have of acquiring him, as there are conflicting reports on the subject.
Highly touted Swedish goalie Jonas Gustavsson, who has earned the nickname “The Monster” for his performance this season with five shutouts in 13 games for Farjestad, will decide in the next couple of weeks where he’s going to play next season. Though the Leafs are considered the front-runner to land the unrestricted free agent netminder, the word is the Oilers, Canucks and Kings have all held talks with Gustavsson’s agent.
That’s encouraging, but it’s hardly the final word, since Wayne Scanlan also weighed in on the matter today:
Speaking of Maple Leafs, or at least a potential Leaf, Jonas “The Monster” Gustavsson is expected to visit North America in two weeks.
A 24-year-old free agent goaltender from Sweden, Gustavsson says he has narrowed his choice of NHL clubs to four: Dallas, Colorado, San Jose and Toronto.
Obviously the reports indicate different things, although both could be correct; a team such as Edmonton or Vancouver could have talks with Gustavsson’s agent, but not be of interest to the goaltender. Scanlan claims that his information comes directly from Gustavsson, and I’m not sure there’s any reason to doubt his veracity. It’s unfortunate; Gustavsson would have been a useful piece of the puzzle for Edmonton or Vancouver.