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Stars host Finnish goaltender Jussi Rynnas

Last summer, the Stars held out hope that Swedish free agent Jonas Gustavsson would choose to come to Dallas and be Marty Turco’s backup. With Turco in the last year of his contract, it was entirely likely that Gustavsson would have the chance to earn the starter’s sport for the 2010-11 season. He would ultimately choose Toronto, leaving the Stars out in the cold.

Now, the Dallas Stars are beginning a walk down the same road, although I’m willing to bet they’ll tread a bit more carefully this time around. Finnish goaltending free agent Jussi Rynnas was in town on Thursday night, as he visited with team officials, the coaches and Finnish legend Jere Lehtinen. From Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News:

``It was really a typical recruiting visit,’' said Les Jackson, the Stars director of scouting and player development. ``We wanted to let him know what we had to offer, and just show him how we operate.’'

The situation is a bit different with Rynnas than it was with Gustavsson, as there is no pressure to promise him significant NHL minutes right away; he’s reportedly open to spending some time in the AHL adjusting to North American hockey.

The Stars were burned by Gustavsson’s indecision last year (or, their stubbornness to believe he would actually choose Dallas), and with Kari Lehtonen staking his claim on the starter’s position for next season, there isn’t as much pressure on the Stars to get Rynnas.

Yet the backup position is still up in the air, and having two 6-5, mobile Finnish goaltenders on the roster would make an G.M. drool.