One of the most intriguing moves made by the Toronto Maple Leafs this offseason was the addition of free agent goaltender Jonas Gustavsson. On Sunday, the Swedish prospect, nicknamed "The Monster," made his first appearance for the Maple Leafs in the 2009 rookie tournament and stopped 35-of-36 shots in a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. According to Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun, Gustavsson "looked steady, if not spectacular," and flashed a quick glove hand on an Eric Tangradi shot. Sportsnet referred to him as being "nearly unbeatable" as the Penguins peppered him with shots during the second and third periods.
... Also noteworthy from the Penguins-Maple Leafs rookie game? The first fights of the season including a bout between Richard Greenop and Ryan Schnell, and a fight involving Alex Berry and Zack Sill. Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski describes the two bouts as only he can: "Seeing a prospect hockey fight on Labor Day is like hearing a roadie play the first few notes of a classic song during a sound check: Technically unrefined, but just enough to make you crave the real thing." [Puck Daddy]
... Sticking with Toronto for a moment, a seemingly innocent trade involving the Maple Leafs and Blackhawks on Saturday has led to speculation that Brian Burke could be plotting a move to acquire Phil Kessel from the Boston Bruins, something he reportedly tried to during the NHL draft back in June. On Saturday, the Leafs reacquired their own second-round pick in the 2010 draft from Chicago, which would give Burke the required draft picks to sign Kessel, a restricted free agent, away from Boston. From Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe:
If Burke were to hand Kessel something around $4.5 million a year or more via an offer sheet, then the Bruins would have to match the deal or take the compensation that would include first-, second-, and third-round picks. Until his deal yesterday, Burke didn't have the necessary draft picks to be in position to make Kessel an offer.... Finally, for some non-Leafs related news, check out the new paint job for Nikolai Khabibulin's mask. [The Goalie Guild]