If the Toronto Maple Leafs hope to acquire an established goaltender, Brian Burke will have to explore the trade route.
Considering the unrestricted free agent class is absolutely skeletal in terms of starting goaltenders, and Burke’s abysmal track record in free agency, that should sit well with most Leafs fans.
The issue, of course, is that one of the prime goaltending options is now a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. According to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, the Leafs were not interested in granting a second year to Vokoun, so the 36-year-old goaltender wound up with the Penguins at an affordable cap-hit of $2-million for the next two years. I can’t help but...
General manager Brian Burke has limited options to bolster the Toronto Maple Leafs’ center position.
Much like goaltending, which is another priority this off-season, the market is bare. If Burke wishes to ensure better odds for a playoff berth next season, the goaltending and center positions will have to be addressed.
How exactly that can be accomplished remains to be seen.
This year’s unrestricted free agency crop lacks depth across the board, but particularly so at center, with Olli Jokinen being the top among the list.
So, who’s available in the trade market? Well, none other than the oft-rumoured Jordan Staal, of course.
With news of Roberto Luongo requesting a trade from the Vancouver Canucks, and the Tampa Bay Lightning deciding to explore other options for a starting goaltender, rumours of the Toronto Maple Leafs pursuing the 33-year-old goaltender have heated.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie, however, mentioned that the Leafs, as of now, are not believed to be interested.
Assistant general manager Dave Nonis has made it clear that the Leafs intend on acquiring a veteran goaltender this summer with James Reimer and Ben Scrivens expected to battle for the back-up role.
So, if not Luongo, which goaltender may the Leafs acquire?
Heading into one of the better weeks in sports as the NHL regular season winds down and playoff spots are finalized, I thought I would give some thoughts on the season and things I look forward to heading into the playoffs.
Next Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will face off in the final match of the season at the Bell Centre. It's an annual tradition that these two teams open and close their seasons against each other, and usually, the game has some sort of playoff implications, either for positioning or even clinching. We all remember the years where one team or the other played spoiler in that final game, and it always made the affair a little special. But this year, this match is a little different. Both the Habs and the Leafs will enter the game eliminated from playoff contention. In fact, they might even both be competing for a lottery pick when the puck drops on Saturday ...
Toronto Maple Leafs starting goalie Jonas Gustavsson took a puck to the leg in Thursday’s warm-ups. Gustavsson laid sprawled out on the ice and was forced to leave the ice before the game against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Once the puck dropped, the Flyers added insult to his injury.
Brayden Schenn opened the scoring just 5:34 into the game with a rifled shot past backup Jussi Rynnas. Schenn’s first shot was blocked, and moments later fired off a Wayne Simmonds assist.
He added another goal less than six minutes later on the power play. As the man advantage wound down, Daniel Briere found Schenn on a two-on-one. The rookie easily beat Rynnas for his 11th goal of the season.
Being mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the Trenton Titans have had only two goals; play spoiler to other teams in the playoff race, and try to catch the Bakersfield Condors and not be the worst team in the entire ECHL.
Sadly, they would do neither as the Reading Royals beat Trenton 7-0.
Coach Vince Williams has noted that the team is looking ahead to next season saying.
“You’re seeing what guys are made of,” he said. “You gotta earn what you’re gonna get. That’s how it should be.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs will seek to upgrade its goaltending this summer whether James Reimer returns to his rookie form in the final 15 games or not.
General manager Brian Burke has remained adamant on retaining Reimer as the goaltender of the future---reportedly shot down a deal that would have brought back a significant return at the trade deadline---so fans should not expect the 23-year-old netminder to be going anywhere anytime soon. Registering a .921 save percentage in his rookie season, Reimer’s .899 save percentage as a sophomore is reason for concern, but nothing to fret over---at least, not yet.
Sophomore slumps are nothing new in the National Hockey League. I...