Over the weekend it was expected that maybe the time was right for the Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs to make a deal involving a goaltender, specifically, Roberto Luongo.
However, the only trade involving the Leafs on draft day was that they dealt one of their goaltenders to a Canadian team. The negotiating rights to Jonas Gustavsson were sent to Winnipeg for a conditional seventh round draft pick, likely contingent on the Jets’ signing Gustavsson.
During his press scrum, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis was asked about a potential swap. He said he wasn’t going to talk about it, before adding:
It hasn’t been close for me. I’m the problem. This is a significant consideration for our organization, it’s not going to be done lightly and it’s not going to be done in a hurry. And it’s certainly not going to be done because of the pressure of selecting kids who in all likelihood aren’t going to be significantly involved in this team.
Neither Gillis or Burke are admitting that this situation is nearing a critical point. Burke held firm, supposedly. I wasn’t able to catch up with him today. Burke did speak to Vancouver Province reporter Jason Botchford and affirmed that he does not need a goalie and is in no rush to improve his position.
As for the Gustavsson trade, it’s nothing too shocking. Obviously Gustavsson was off the Toronto radar after a very disappointing career in Toronto, racking up a well-below league average .900 save percentage in 107 NHL games. In Winnipeg, I don’t see him as more than a bargaining chip as the Jets negotiate with Ondrej Pavelec. The conditional seventh round draft pick is the new “player to be named later”.
Gustavsson ranks as one of the large NHL busts, as he was brought over two summers ago with a lot of hype. He never panned out in the NHL, the two goalies clearly on the Leafs depth chart, after the action on NHL Draft weekend, continued to be Ben Scrivens and James Reimer.