Toronto Maple Leafs Goalie Trade Possibilities

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in search of a team that is going to bring winning back to Toronto – and it all starts with the right goalie.

The Maple Leafs and Mark Hunter have done a great job in a short period of time to completely overhaul the teams list of prospects from some of the poorest in the league to arguably the best. But it is no surprise to say that they are heavily invested in their forwards in terms of depth and the defensive prospects receive an average grade, at best. What is often overlooked however is the total lack of depth in the goalie position.

With Reimer now traded to San Jose, the Leafs depth consists of Bernier, Bibeau, and Sparks.  Bernier once thought of as a number 1 goalie has all but played himself out of that position. Bibeau, who started as the top goalie prospect for the Leafs has had a solid but uninspiring season.

Garret Sparks (31) in the third period at Canadian Tire Centre. The Maple Leafs defeated the Senators 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Sparks has been the only one that has shown, well, a spark. But let us not forget he is one season removed from playing 36 games for the ECHL Orlando Solar Bears (and one game this year). While he has continued to impress and surprise at each level he has competed on; he is still very much an unknown commodity. While I think the Leafs need to draft at least one goaltender this and next year, goalies take a long time to mature enough to compete at the NHL level. So, I thought it would be a good idea to look at who the Leafs could target in a trade.

While he has continued to impress and surprise at each level he has competed on; he is still very much an unknown commodity. While I think the Leafs need to draft at least one goaltender this and next year, goalies take a long time to mature enough to compete at the NHL level. So, I thought it would be a good idea to look at who the Leafs could target in a trade.

The Leafs would want a goalie that is young enough to grow with the team to be apart of the core going forward. If Lou ‘s history shows anything, it shows how important he thinks a number one goaltender is to the success of a team. He drafted Martin Brodeur 20th overall in the 1990 draft and had him for more years than we can count. Then he traded the 9th overall pick in 2013 draft (Bo Horvat) for Cory Schneider, a young

He drafted Martin Brodeur 20th overall in the 1990 draft and had him for more years than we can count. Then he traded the 9th overall pick in 2013 draft (Bo Horvat) for Cory Schneider, a young 27-year-old at the time, who will be around for the Devils for a long, long time. To keep this tradition going I only added guys I thought were young enough to be part of that core going forward, even if they aren’t yet ready to play in the NHL or take over full time as a number 1 goaltender.

To add to the fun I graded each goaltender based on my own opinions of who the Leafs should target. The grades are based on the following

A ; Leafs should go hard after these guys. These guys have true top goalie potential. Possible top 10 goalie in the league at some point.

B ; Secondary options to go out and trade for. Good but maybe not great. Top 15-25 in league potential.

C ; Probably not an upgrade from our current goalie prospect pool. Not likely Cup contending goalies. Maybe good for stop gaps.

*These grades have nothing to do with likelihood of the Leafs trying to trade for them, it only represents who I think they should look into.

**Stats are as of March 6, 2015

29 GP, 3.00 GAA, .903 SV%

Kristers Gudlevskis is the only person to have played in the ECHL, AHL, NHL, Olympics (Latvia), and the IIHF World Championships in the same season.  He really held his own and made a name for himself in the Sochi Olympics when he got the start against Canada saving 55 of 57 shots. With Ben Bishop having one year left it’s likely that Andrei Vasilevsky will take over as a cheaper option as Tampa is struggling to juggle around the cap ceiling. With the salary cap likely dropping this year because of the poor Canadian dollar, and especially if they resign Stamkos, Tampa will have to look for cheaper options.  Gudlevski would be a good cheap back-up option for Tampa but as it sits right now, they have three good goalies, one will become expendable at some point.

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KRISTERS GUDLEVSKIS

G, Syracuse Crunch

C+

6’3”, 218 lbs, 23 years old.

5th round, 124th overall Tampa Bay Lightning

29 GP, 3.00 GAA, .903 SV%

Kristers Gudlevskis is the only person to have played in the ECHL, AHL, NHL, Olympics (Latvia), and the IIHF World Championships in the same season.  He really held his own and made a name for himself in the Sochi Olympics when he got the start against Canada saving 55 of 57 shots. With Ben Bishop having one year left it’s likely that Andrei Vasilevsky will take over as a cheaper option as Tampa is struggling to juggle around the cap ceiling. With the salary cap likely dropping this year because of the poor Canadian dollar, and especially if they resign Stamkos, Tampa will have to look for cheaper options.  Gudlevski would be a good cheap back-up option for Tampa but as it sits right now, they have three good goalies, one will become expendable at some point.