There are a number of reports suggesting the Toronto Maple Leafs are close to signing goalie Jussi Rynnas. Rynnas, a Finnish goalie, is this year’s version of Jonas Gustavsson – a highly touted European goalie who’s elected to sign with the Leafs after seeing and talking with a bunch of other NHL clubs. This signing will mark the second consecutive time Brian Burke and the Leafs have ousted other NHL teams to sign a sought-after free agent goaltender.
I know what you are thinking. “How are the Leafs out-selling other teams that actually win and have less goaltending depth??” Here’s some of the selling points I’ve heard Brian Burke uses to sign these highly touted free agents.
- Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment is owned in majority by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan. As a result, it’s been agreed to have the Maple Leafs schedule closely follow that of an Ontario-based teacher. Every year work starts in September/October and concludes for the year in April.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs are closely affiliated with the NHL. Many former Leaf employees have gone on to great careers in the league. Take Joe Nieuwendyk for example. Wait, nevermind. You are the second good goalie we’ve stolen away from him now. Sucks when you aren’t working with us, right Joe???
- Under performing for most of your time in Toronto is OK. All of Toronto’s other pro sports teams suck too. However, if you happen to fall in deep slumps, please make sure you do more interviews than normal and stress how hard you are working. Everyone likes to root for the loser.
- Signing with the Maple Leafs as a goaltender gives you so much opportunity without much competition. In fact, the Leafs haven’t had a good goalie since the 1990s.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs currently staff 9 NHL-caliber defencemen, so you know you’ll be well supported. The only problem is, we can’t promise how many of them actually show up on a night-to-night basis.
- Sometimes in Canada, the pressure to perform is too much. Luckily, there’s something very unique about Toronto and the Air Canada Center: No one in the first 15 rows shows up until the 2nd period. And as a bonus, they usually leave before the 2nd period ends.
- Note that if you turn out to be pretty good and look to have more potential than the average NHL player, you will probably be traded to a team that plays the Leafs 8 times per year. A team like Boston, for example.
- Our AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, are down the street from the ACC, so getting called up/sent down isn’t a big deal. It’s also not a big deal because both the Marlies and Leafs staff pretty much the same level of talent and depth.
Stay classy, Toronto Maple Leafs.
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