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NHL Rumour: Toronto Maple Leafs Could Look To Upgrade In Net

Toronto Maple Leafs Goaltenders

The injury bug is going around. Not only with the skill guys up front, but to the goaltenders. Unfortunate events have seen the New Jersey Devils lose Mackenzie Blackwood with an MCL strain. One other team has felt this much worse. The Toronto Maple Leaf’s goaltenders are both down with injuries. For how long remains to be seen, but it will be something to watch for how they address the position in the future.

Toronto Maple Leafs Could Seek Help In Net

Rumour: Jonas Siegel from The Athletic discusses the situation with the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending. 

The Toronto Maple Leafs goaltenders are both down with injury. Matt Murray is still recovering from the adductor injury he sustained three weeks ago. That storm seemed easy to weather, but the storm got worse. Ilya Samsonov suffered a knee injury in the game against the Boston Bruins Saturday night. His timetable to return is uncertain. This team has all the talent up front, but questions remain between the pipes. But where does this team go from here with a lot of season left?

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Keep It In House

The in house option is young goaltender Erik Kallgren. For now the crease belongs to him. Fortunately for him he is not being fed to the wolves. He has 18 games of experience and appears to have that confidence in himself. He has gone on to say, “I played a few games last year. I played a few games this year. So I’m prepared to play,” Källgren said after stopping all seven shots he faced to procure the Leafs their second straight win. “And I want to play, of course.”

“I’m ready,” he added. “We’ll see what happens.”

This is not the first time he has filled in for an injured goaltender. Last season he came in to relieve Petr Mrazek and Jack Campbell. In 14 games last year he won eight of those and finished with a 3.31 goals against average and a .888 save percentage. In addition he gave up five more goals than expected. In five games this year he earned his first win Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes. Before that, he never finished a game with a save percentage higher than .900. He now has a .904 save percentage and a 2.76 goals-against average. Kallgren may not be the long-term solution, but he can be for the short-term.

Looking On The Outside

Aside from Kallgren, the Toronto Maple Leafs could look for help elsewhere. One team they could look into is the Vegas Golden Knights. With Logan Thompson and Adin Hill forming a solid duo in net, Laurent Brossoit is the odd man out. Between Thompson and Hill, the Golden Knights boast the leagues best team save percentage (.930). You may wonder why the Leafs should target him. Well financially is a good place to start. Brossoit carries a cap hit of $2.325 million dollars per season. That fits the budget as Kyle Dubas would not have to break the bank to get goaltending help.

Another area they could look if that fails is to Aaron Dell. He is currently in the AHL with the San Jose Sharks. His cap hit is A lowly $775,000. The former Leaf could return in relief.

Final Thoughts

The Toronto Maple Leafs goaltenders being down with injuries is a crushing blow. To have both starters go down is something some teams don’t recover from. Dubas could be a busy man in the coming weeks as he aims to patch up the crease. It remains to be seen what option they go with, but it all depends on the timeline of Samsonov. One player that has endorsed Kallgren is superstar Auston Matthews. The star centre went on to say, “He’s just really calm and collected in the net,” Auston Matthews said of Källgren. “He doesn’t really say too much. But I think his demeanour does the talking for him. His confidence speaks for itself. He’s really steady in there. So I think all of us have a lot of confidence in him to go in there and win some games for us.”

All eyes are on Kallgren in Toronto, but they will also be on Dubas once the injury timelines become clearer.

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