New Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonas “The Monster” Gustavsson went under the knife Tuesday, a day before the team kicks off its pre-season action at home against the Boston Bruins.
Gustavsson was riding the stationary bike at training camp on Saturday when he became dizzy and was taken to hospital in an ambulance with what the Leafs initially thought was a case of dehydration.
Further examination showed the electrical flow into the 24-year-old’s heart was being blocked, creating a short circuit that bothered his normal heart rhythms.
While considered only a minor problem, team doctors opted to perform a cardiac ablation – a non-invasive procedure – by inserting a catheter into a blood vessel in Gustavsson’s groin, and then sent the tubing into his heart to help alleviate the problem.
“It’s a simple procedure that’s actually fairly common with athletes,” Leafs head coach Ron Wilson told reporters. “Our doctor said he’ll do 10 NHL players in a summer if they’re ever shown this [problem].”
Luckily for the team, the 6-foot-4 Swede will be cleared to play once the small incision has completely healed.
“We don’t expect him to miss more than 48 hours,” Wilson said. “You don’t want him to put his gear on until he’s comfortable and there’s no risk of infection [at the site of the incision].”
Gustavsson is currently battling for the backup position behind starter Vesa Toskala,
The Swede had a 1.96 goals-against average with Farjestads of the Swedish Elite League last season and was a highly touted signing by the Leafs earlier this summer.
Joey Macdonald of Pictou, N.S., who played 49 NHL games for the New York Islanders last season, is also in the hunt as Toskala’s backup.
“Joey MacDonald has looked really good in the scrimmages so he’ll take up a couple of the periods [in exhibitions] Jonas would have played,” Wilson said.
After facing the Bruins, the Leafs will play Thursday in London against Philadelphia, Friday in Pittsburgh and back home Saturday against the Flyers.
NOTE: On Tuesday, Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment announced the new Atrium concession stand at the Air Canada Centre would be named “Burkie’s Dog House” after Brian Burke, the Maple Leafs fiery general manager.