Could the Toronto Maple Leafs Still Trade Freddie Andersen?

Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Freddie Andersen is set to become an Unrestricted Free Agent next off-season but is there any chance the Toronto Maple Leafs could trade him now?

The Toronto Maple Leafs have let multiple UFA’s walk out the door in years past, but should they do that with Freddie Andersen? With one year left on his contract, his $5M cap-hit is a tradeable asset. In a pandemic world, his contract is even more valuable because he’s only owed $1M in real cash next year, which could help a financially-strapped franchise.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have four NHL goaltenders on the roster at the moment. Although Andersen is clearly ahead of Jack Campbell, Aaron Dell and Michael Hutchinson, all four have NHL experience. It wouldn’t be ideal to have a tandem of Campbell/Dell every night, but if it gave the Leafs an opportunity to save $5M and upgrade another position, it could be worth the risk.

Trading your starting goaltender is something that doesn’t typically happen during the regular season. Especially when you’re competing for the Stanley Cup. Say what you want about the Toronto Maple Leafs, but this team is in “win-now” mode.

So if you’re the Toronto Maple Leafs, what do you do in this situation? If you think Andersen is your goaltender of the future or you think you can win with him this season, you have to keep him. The only way you could trade him is if you feel that he’s not your goaltender next season and you think you can upgrade the position immediately.

Who Could Start Instead of Andersen?

In my opinion, there are only two real options that work right now, without doing a crazy hypothetical trade or blowing up the salary cap.

Jack Campbell:

This is the most interesting situation in my opinion. I truly think the organization values Campbell tremendously and not just as a back-up. With a relationship that started during his OHL days, Kyle Dubas believes in Campbell’s capabilities.

It would be a risky situation to have him lead the team, but his $1.6M cap-hit for the next two seasons could make it worthwhile. If they can get a starting goalie for that little, they’ll be able to upgrade the rest of their team so much easier and bring in another star defenseman. Or they’ll be able to use that money saved to sign Zach Hyman and Morgan Rielly.

Darcy Kuemper:

This trade makes almost too much sense for everyone involved. The Arizona Coyotes struggle financially (even in a good year), so the ability to clear Kuemper’s $4.5M contract would be key for them. Like I mentioned before, Andersen may have a $5M cap-hit, but it’s only $1M in true cash, so the Coyotes would be saving money in this deal.

The Coyotes would be getting a similar goaltender but for less money on the books. This trade would also benefit the Toronto Maple Leafs because Kuemper has two years left on his contract, instead of one, so the team is buying another year of a cheap quality goaltender tandem, which is so crucial to their cap situation.


I don’t think the Toronto Maple Leafs will end up trading Freddie Andersen because it’s too risky right now. A player typically performs at his best during a contract year, so this should be the best Andersen the team has ever seen.

Andersen knows if he puts up another stinker in the playoffs or has a rough regular season, that’s going to effect him financially and that’s the last thing he wants. The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a good position and if Andersen plays himself into a contract they can’t afford to pay him, that means they got the most out of him, which is good for both sides.

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Anything can happen in this crazy world of professional hockey, but I doubt Andersen goes anywhere.