It’s hard to believe that the Toronto Maple Leafs may have a new goaltender next year after their most recent starter went to the NHL All-Star Game this past season.
When you think of the Toronto Maple Leafs goaltending history, there are a ton of great names. From Johnny Bower, Terry Sawchuk, Felix Potvin, Curtis Joseph, Ed Belfour and most recently Jack Campbell, the goaltender is always a beloved player in this city.
Well, at least, it’s always been that way for me.
I never played the goaltender position, but it always fascinated me. The idea of jumping in front of a 110 MPH Zdeno Charo slap-shot seemed nuts, but I guess that’s why I always had so much respect for them.
It’s the hardest job in hockey because stopping or allowing one goal can be the difference in your season or career. If you stop one less puck every other night, that could be the difference between playing in the NHL or the ECHL.
If you have a 2.50 GAA and .920 SV%, you’re awesome, but if you have a 3.20 GAA and .895 SV%, you’re a bum and should never play the sport again.
Forwards don’t have to worry about that pressure every night.
However, as we look at the Leafs goaltending position next season, they have a big question to answer. Do they re-sign Jack Campbell and if they do, what price can they pay him?
Are there better options in free agency, or can the team make a trade for someone, similarly to how they acquired Freddie Andersen and Jack Campbell in the first place?
We’ll have to see, but here are three realistic options in-net for the Toronto Maple Leafs next season.