Hitting the Links


Some reading material for your weekend enjoyment:

– The boys over at PPP provide us with a nice piece about European free agent goaltender Jussi Rynnas. The 6’5 22 year old is coming off an impressive season in the Finnish Elite League, posting a 2.50 GAA to go along with a league-best 0.929 SV%. For comparison’s sake: Mikka Kiprusoff posted a 1.86 GAA and 0.936 SV% during his age 22-23 season in the SM-Liiga. Jussi is in the midst of a five city North American tour, with Toronto not being one of the destinations. However, Burke and Nonis have both made the trip out to Helsinki and later brought Francois Allaire along to speak with Rynnas during his stopover in Montreal. Rynnas is not as highly regarded as Gustavsson was last offseason, and will likely be playing for an AHL team next season. The scouting report on him is that he’s a big guy who can struggle at times with rebound control and positioning, much like our own Gustavsson, and his style of play has been compared to that of Nashville’s Pekka Rinne.
– Speaking of goaltending, here’s an interesting article over at a Dallas Stars’ fan blog that outlines an intriguing debate: Jonas Gustavsson or Kari Lehtonen. Keep in mind the Stars were pretty much the runner-up in last year’s Gustavsson sweepstakes.

– The National Post provides us with a mostly useless article that tells us something we already know: people will watch the Leafs even when they are in 29th place. The Toronto Star upholds that same standard of ineptitude by providing essentially the same information, but kudos to them. They managed to add a quote:

“In every other case, a bad team kills ratings,” says TSN president Phil King. “Not with the Leafs.”

– Alas some hope for the mainstream media: The Burlington Free Press provides us with some excellent insight into Brayden Irwin’s sentiments on a strong college career and his NHL debut with the Leafs. Here’s one of Brayden’s more candid quotes:

“It’s tough to put into words,” he said of stepping onto the ice of Air Canada Centre as an NHL player. “I grew up as kid watching the Leafs and there’s been so many unbelievable players who have gone through that organization, so to be able to pull on that jersey and step out on the ice with the guys was something pretty special and something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”