Toronto Maple Leafs: Addressing the Backup Situation…Again

The Toronto Maple Leafs have run out of patience with Michael Hustchinson.

After failing to secure a win in any of his five games this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs back-up goalie has been replaced with the Toronto Marlies starter.

At least in the interim, Kasimir Kaskisuo will spell Frederik Andersen.

He’s been good in the AHL, but he probably isn’t the Leafs first choice, so in the coming days, we’ll try to explore some other options.

Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Option: Ryan Miller (ANA)

The standout option in my opinion is veteran goaltender Ryan Miller, who I somehow left off my first list, back when I explored other options in training camp.

The 39 year old Michigan native has done very well (.926 SV%) in five games (same as Hutch) with Anaheim this season. This performance is around the same as his illustrious run in Buffalo, which is a massive positive given his age and heavy workload over his career.

Obviously, an experienced goaltender with good stats is extremely attractive for the Leafs, but Miller has a cap hit of $1.125 million, which is something that the Leafs simply cannot afford at the moment.

Now, the NHL is a crazy place and Ducks GM Bob Murray is a crazy man , so I’m sure that a deal with major salary could take place.

Off the top of my head I would want defensive anchor Cody Ceci and his $4.5 million cap hit in the deal, but the Ducks would struggle to take that on.

That being said, salary retention is most certainly still a thing, and it would absolutely be worth it for the Toronto Maple Leafs to take advantage of in this scenario.

So, here’s my trade proposal.

TOR Receives:

ANA Receives:

  • G Michael Hutchinson (29 Y/O, 5GP-.879SV%, 1YL @ $700K)
  • RD Cody Ceci (25 Y/O, 19GP-4P, 1YL @ $4.5M–50%Retained–$2.25M)
  • Total Cap Hit: $2.950M

Cap Transaction

  • ANA Gains: 2.95-1.975=975
  • Therefore TOR saves $975k

In my opinion, this trade kills (more than) two birds with one stone, as the Leafs ditch their worst *active* contract, finally open an opportunity for Tyson Barrie, and add a much needed upgrade at the backup position. (Former Leaf Korbinian Holzer’s inclusion in this deal is a mix of pain, fun, and just a need to balance roster spots).

The only real major roadblock in this deal is…not Cody Ceci (who gives Anaheim a “name brand” presence in light of their disastrous D situation following injuries to Josh Manson and Hampus Lindholm) but rather with Ryan Miller, who has a six-team No Trade Clause. Now, Miller has made it very clear that he signed with the Ducks to remain on the West Coast so that he could stay with his family.

Anaheim, however,  is expected to finish out of the playoff mix and the Leafs, who are near playoff locks, could provide the ringless Miller an opportunity he has never had before.

Next: The Leafs Best Statistical Defensive Player Will Shock You

Overall, I think that Miller could be the short term option that the Toronto Maple Leafs need, and the proposed trade helps both teams in their own way. It’s not an ideal solution, but it’ll have to do.

 

 

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