Despite turning 27 in October, Andersen has just three NHL seasons under his belt and only two seasons with more than 40 starts. His career .918 save percentage sits slightly above league average and is, at the very least, respectable after just 125 games. Andersen has clearly proven to be a capable starter through his early career, but the Leafs still value a veteran presence. Here are some experienced options from the slim UFA goaltending market Toronto can put behind the Danish goalie.
Toronto Maple Leafs Backup Options
Lindback was drafted 207th overall out of Sweden by the Nashville Predators in 2008. Since then he’s played for them and four other teams (Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, Buffalo Sabres, and Arizona Coyotes). Over the course of his career, the 28-year-old has never started more than 24 games and is often inconsistent year-by-year. He has two seasons with save-percentages north of .910, one season hovering around .900, and three seasons below .895. Obviously there’s a small sample size for each season, but with a career .904 save-percentage he is certainly below average quality.
Lindback, along with the other goalies on this list, is old enough to be considered a veteran. However, acquiring an unpredictable, journeyman goalie just for team presence could turn out to be a risky mistake next season.
Scrivens is a goalie Leafs fans are familiar with. He was Toronto’s backup from 2011 to 2013 and was a part of the team when they made the playoffs. Since then, Scrivens has gone on to play for the L.A. Kings, Edmonton Oilers, and Montreal Canadiens and coincidentally was a piece in the original Bernier trade. Scrivens, who will be 30 next season, has a career save-percentage of .905, but .910 when wearing blue and white. Despite a completely different look to the team, management and franchise, his experiences with Toronto could help him return to his form from five years ago. Highly unlikely, but its a reason to be optimistic.
Despite his poor career numbers, Scrivens has shown stability while in a low-pressure role as a team’s backup. Throughout the four seasons where he played less than half of the season (40 games or less), his save-percentage has been a fair .915. If Scrivens is capable of maintaining his performance under a backup role, the Leafs regime might be pleasantly surprised.
Enroth is arguably the front runner out of the remaining UFA goalies. He’d spent the majority of his career with the Sabres before playing with the Stars and the Kings since the 2014-15 season. As a regular backup through his career, Enroth is comfortable in a supporting role and has proven to be relatively consistent.
He has always finished a season with a save-percentage between .907 and .922 with the exception of one year. His career .911 save-percentage is more than what a team can ask for from a second option goaltender. The 28-year-old can certainly be a reliable alternative to go to on the odd night.
As far as reputation and past performances can go, Enroth seems to be the best bet behind Andersen. His reliability through seven NHL seasons can give comfort to Babcock knowing there’s a safe option behind his starter.
Whoever the Leafs end up deciding on as their backup to Andersen, it will come at a low risk. The second-option goalie will play a minimal amount of games barring any injury troubles. If Toronto can have a steady tandem in net, their supposed goalie issues by the end of last season might already be solved.