The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a little bit of a slump as they head into their bye-week.
Falling out of a playoff spot, it’s safe to say the Toronto Maple Leafs have been struggling the last few games.
Although they’ve been battling injuries left and right, especially on defense, some blame has to go to goaltender Frederik Andersen, who hasn’t been on top of his game recently, giving up 18 goals in his last five starts.
Now not all the blame is on him, however. Michael Hutchinson may have won a few games, but he is still not an entirely reliable backup goaltender, so much so that Andersen is still needed to play more games than he’d probably desire.
With a lack of options in net and Andersen slumping, the time is perfect for the Leafs to pull the trigger on a reliable backup goalie. I’m not saying it’s time to push the panic button, but the Toronto Maple Leafs should be trying to acquire a new goaltender as soon as possible.
Last month, I wrote a post about five goalies the Leafs should trade for. While the list of candidates still stands to some degree, some new rumours have come around.
But as of right now, what should the Leafs plan of action be?
The rumour mill has been turning and the hottest candidate for the Leafs to target is Alexandar Georgiev. This trade makes complete sense. Georgiev is just 23-years-old and has posted a career .914 SV% in 65 games with the New York Rangers over the past three seasons.
However, the Rangers are struggling and also have Igor Shestyorkin, the 24-year-old highly-touted prospect ready to backup Henrik Lundqvist instead. In this situation, Georgiev is left as an expendable asset and the Rangers would likely want to pick up some picks or assets for him.
The rumour, however, is that the Leafs have been trying to acquire Georgiev, but the Rangers asking price is just too high. According to James Mirtle of the Athletic, the Rangers asking price for Gerogiev is quite high and as Darren Dreger reports, it’s probably more than a roster player like Kasperi Kapanen.
If that’s the case, as much as I’d love for the Leafs to acquire Georgiev, I’m not sure if it’ll work. I think the Leafs need a goaltender as soon as possible, because a load needs to be taken off of Andersen’s shoulders soon.
So here’s what I think the Leafs should do. My next top pick for a backup goalie would be Ryan Miller. He’s currently the oldest goaltender in the NHL, which could be seen as a positive in terms of experience or a negative since he’s continuing to regress.
However, Miller is still putting up effective numbers on a subpar Anaheim Ducks team. Although his current save percentage has dropped to about .904%, he has held a .914% in his last three seasons.
He also has accumulated five wins and two overtime losses in 12 starts for the Ducks and I’m sure he can win some more here in Toronto. For comparison though, Hutchinson only has three wins in nine starts.
Miller would also be very cheap. The Ducks are an older team than the Rangers, who are not looking to make the playoffs this season.
Miller is signed to a one-year deal, so letting him go as a rental would be perfect for them. At this point, they’d probably give him up for a third or fourth round pick.
Although I would really want theToronto Maple Leafs to acquire Georgiev, if they really can’t work something out without breaking the bank, I would definitely pull the trigger on Ryan Miller soon.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are on their bye-week currently, which gives Kyle Dubas some more time to figure things out. If one thing’s for sure though, I would like to see a move made before the Leafs take the ice again.