Toronto Maple Leafs: Goaltending market is thin but there are options to consider
What the Leafs were able to get out of Jack Campbell last season and in the playoffs was nothing short of spectacular.
His emergence was something the Leafs needed considering they aren’t in a position to pay a starting goaltender what the market dictates they should make. Having him means the team doesn’t need to go for a goalie looking to make $5-plus million with term but it also reinforces the need to add another netminder for a stable tandem.
Chris Driedger was the logical candidate but the Seattle Kraken jumped in to grab him in the expansion draft and give him a three-year deal. Left on the free agent market are Jaroslav Halak, Linus Ullmark, James Reimer, Devan Dubnyk, Petr Mrazek, Antti Raanta, Braden Holtby and Martin Jones.
Do any of those goalies look like the ideal partner for Campbell? All these players have experience as a starter or in a tandem role but that doesn’t mean they’re all the ideal matches.
Of the goaltenders listed above; Ullmark, Reimer, Mrazek, Halak and Raanta have put up respectable numbers recently. They would be the ideal players to sign to a reasonable deal even if Toronto has to go beyond one year.
On the trade market only one goalie seems to make the most sense for the Leafs and has been a rumoured target and that’s Darcy Kuemper. The Arizona Coyotes goaltender is in the final year of his deal and has been linked to Toronto as well, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.
If Toronto can avoid paying an unrealistic price to acquire Kuemper, he would be the best option to pair with Campbell but there has to be some level of caution taken as well. The 31-year-old has dealt with injury concerns the last few years and has only played more than 40 games once in a season and has tried his best to make the Coyotes a respectable contender.