Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Gustavsson undergoes heart procedure
TORONTO -- Swedish goaltender Jonas Gustavsson's bid to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs has been stalled by a heart problem coach Ron Wilson describes as a minor concern.
Gustavsson experienced a racing heartbeat following fitness tests Saturday and took part in on-ice sessions Monday. He was not at the team's practice facility Tuesday.
Doctors have performed an ablation, which requires an incision in the groin area, Wilson said.
"They go in a touch a part of his heart that was misfiring," Wilson said. "It's a simple procedure that's actually fairly common with athletes."
"Our doctor said he'll do 10 NHL players in a summer if they're ever shown this [problem]. It's not a difficult procedure. We don't expect him to miss more than 48 hours. You don't want him to put his gear on until he's comfortable and there's no risk of infection," he said.
Gustavsson is trying to win the backup position behind incumbent Vesa Toskala. He had a 1.96 goals-against average with Farjestads of the Swedish Elite League last season.
"He's 24 and this has never popped up before," Wilson said of the racing heartbeat.
Gustavsson was "the most powerful guy we had" in some of the fitness tests before the problem arose Saturday, Wilson said.
Joey MacDonald, who played in 49 games for the New York Islanders last season, is also competing for the backup job.