Big hat tip and thanks to Mark from Andrew's Dallas Stars Page for the Twitter links and updates found in this article.
While I was making the long drive back home from Montreal, some interesting news (and then lack thereof) hit the web regarding Jonas Gustavsson. Word at the draft was that he would most likely not announce which team he's choosing until Monday or Tuesday, but it would definitely be before free agency started on July 1st.
Early this morning, a Swedish newspaper reported that Gustavsson had narrowed his search down to two teams: Dallas and Toronto. According to Mark Stepneski, this Swedish report mentioned that he was leaning towards Toronto. The CBC picked up the report and posted a short article earlier today.
Adrian Dater of the Denver Post decided to investigate, getting in touch with one of his contacts in Sweden. Swedish journalist Anders Ronmark talked to Gustavsson personally, who had this to say:
"I’m reading the paper right now, and I don’t know where they got that from. I did an interview with Aftonbladet just the other day and I told them that all four clubs were still on my list. That’s still true today" said Gustavsson. "Colorado is still an interesting option for me, and I can’t say I’ve gotten any closer to a decision. Denver seems like a really nice city and it’s a club with great people and a strong tradition, but all four clubs made strong presentations."
So essentially, still no change in whether he's chosen a team or not. I still think that Dallas has a great shot in signing Gustavsson, but I'm concerned with Brian Burke's power of persuasion. Logically, Toronto would give Gustavsson the most playing time and he'll be an instant celebrity there, which could be a good thing or a bad thing.
Note: Derek makes a good point below, which proves just how much influence the Toronto media has had in the public opinion of where Gustavsson fits in the best. Of all the teams, Colorado would be able to guarantee him the most playing time right. Really stepping back and thinking about it, Colorado, Toronto and Dallas are all on even ground with who gives Gustavsson the best options. Each destination has it's pros and cons and it's all going to come down to personal preference by Gustavsson. And no one knows what those are.
The Goalie Guild did an analysis of each destination, and came to the conclusion that Dallas is the best fit:
Ahh, yes, Dallas would be quite a nice fit for the Monster. Not only is there more Swedish assimilation within the organization thanks to players like Fabian Brunnstrom and four others, IKEA’s close (just a joke, people) and there’s a Swedish following within the fan base. He would be treated with some of that good ol’ southern cooking and probably mesh well with the hockey community out there. Despite how different Texas and Sweden are, his teammates and fans would make him feel right at home.
Gustavsson would get paid handsomely in Dallas in a long-term contract and he’ll also compete and work with some solid goaltenders. The addition of the Texas Stars AHL organization in Austin makes it an even better fit for Gustavsson and cancels out one advantage Toronto had, which was having the Marlies close to home as well.
And while there have been some rumblings about Turco’s relationship with Andy Moog (goalie consultant), it looks as if they have been working on their relationship and Moog will return as the goalie coach once again. In fact, Crawford had Moog help him out in Vancouver for a little bit. Moog is expected to push Turco to return to his form from a few seasons ago, which of course will only mean time spent on the ice with Gustavsson. And that’s a plus.
They also make the point that if he signs with Dallas, then Gustavsson wouldn't have to get new pads. So there's that.