Toronto Maple Leafs: Playoff performance crucial for Frederik Andersen’s future

Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs will have to start thinking about Frederik Andersen’s future with the team and the playoffs will be a big indication.

If there is one thing that never gets old, it’s looking far ahead into a future problem for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

When you consider the way the future sets up for the team and the potential impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the salary cap, there continues to be a question on every Leafs fan’s mind. What does the future look like for Frederik Andersen?

The Leafs netminder is under contract until the end of the 2020-21 season and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. While the decision about Andersen’s future isn’t a pressing issue at this moment, it won’t be long until it becomes one.

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You would think that at the earliest time, the Leafs will be having a conversation with Andersen in order to determine what he would be looking for in his next contract. Then the team would have to weigh the options they have going forward, the upcoming expansion draft and how much space they would have on their salary cap.

The team has Jack Campbell under contract for two more seasons at $1.65 million and a reasonable amount of faith in Joseph Woll’s development.

As Luke Fox of Sportsnet writes, the Leafs have some serious considerations to make with Morgan Rielly and Zach Hyman due for a pay raise. Fox also suggests that trading for Campbell wasn’t just to solve the backup goalie problem, but to also provide some insurance if Andersen were to leave.

Both could be options as a tandem for the Leafs if they ultimately decide to not re-sign Andersen and that evaluation should start as soon as the team is back on the ice.

During the regular season, Andersen has been a workhorse for the Leafs and has got them into the playoffs in each of the three seasons he has been with the team. Unfortunately, that hasn’t translated to success in the playoffs and at some point, he will have to get them over the hump.

The main benefit the Leafs have right now is that Andersen has had the time to rest and should be fresh when the NHL returns. Having Campbell behind him should also motivate Andersen to be ready right out of the gate.

If not, there will likely be conversations around whether the Leafs need to go with a different option between the pipes down the road. For now, that shouldn’t be the focus but you can bet it will be sooner rather than later.

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What do you think about Andersen’s future with the Leafs? Is it too early to talk about or is it something they should be concerned with? Let us know in the comments below.