The 5 Worst Toronto Maple Leafs Trades or Signings Since 2000

Dave Nonis, Brian Burke, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Dave Nonis, Brian Burke, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Vesa Toskala, Toronto Maple Leafs
Vesa Toskala, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

Leafs Trade for Vesa Toskala (2007)

The Toronto Maple Leafs desperately needed a goaltender. All three goalies that were on their roster had under a .900 save percentage.  It looked as if the opposing team could shoot the puck from the other side of the ice and score it. That is how bad the goaltending was. What goalie would give up such a horrifying goal?

Anyway, general manager John Ferguson Jr. wanted to shake up the NHL with a blockbuster trade. It would not only give the Leafs their starting goaltender for the foreseeable future but also a physical forward. He called the San Jose Sharks and made a trade for goaltender Vesa Toskala and forward Mark Bell. All it cost was a first and second-round pick from the 2007 draft and a fourth-rounder from the 2009 draft.

Why have the opportunity to draft Kevin Shattenkirk, Wayne Simmonds, or Mattias Ekholm when you can have Toskala? Yes, speculation surrounding “what could’ve been” at a draft is a waste of time. That doesn’t mean it won’t sting, though. Okay, I got a little sidetracked again. How exactly did the players Fergeson traded for in the blockbuster deal pan out?

Let’s start with the six-foot and four-inch-tall power forward Bell. He would play only 35 games in the ’07-’08 season before leaving in free agency that offseason. In those games, he accumulated ten points 60 penalty minutes and was a minus two.

That is okay because Toskala was the main piece of the trade anyway. He would play two seasons with the Leafs as their starter and another half of a season before being traded to the Calgary Flames.  As a Leaf, Vesa had a .894 save percentage and a 2.94 goals-against average. While the save percentage doesn’t surprise me, his GAA is better than I thought it would be.

Fergeson set the Toronto Maple Leafs back countless years with this trade alone. Not only would the draft picks help the team rebuild around their aging legend, but he could have grabbed a different goaltender.