A Low Risk, High Reward Goalie Option for the Toronto Maple Leafs

There may be a third goalie option for the Maple Leafs on the trade market that would cost less than Saros or Markström
Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks
Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

One of the big topics of discussions around the Toronto Maple Leafs world is who is going to be splitting time in net this upcoming season with Joseph Woll.

As of the time of writing, the current goalie tandem for the Toronto Maple Leafs is Woll who has yet to play more than 32 games in any professional hockey season and prospect Dennis Hildeby who has yet to make his NHL debut.

The two main goalies names that keep coming up for discussion are Nashville Predators netminder Juuse Saros, as well as Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markström. Both goalies would be a huge upgrade over any goalie the franchise has had since Ed Belfour, however, the cost to acquire each may be too high and their is no guarantee their current team's would want to make the move.

Additionally, Markstrom was traded to the New Jersey Devils yesterday afternoon.

Another option could be Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson. The former first round pick will be 31- years old in less than a month, has posted a 3.57 GAA and .898 save percentage over his three previous season and carries a cap hit of $6.4 Million for three more years. Sounds like a perfect fit right?

Low Risk, High Reward Goalie Option for the Toronto Maple Leafs

While Saros and Markström are likely the better option, if GM Brad Treliving strikes out on acquiring either of those goalies, Gibson may be a sufficient third option as he is a better option than any other on the free agent market.

The cap hit can be taken care of by getting the Ducks, who aren't expected to compete for a couple more years and have a lot of space could retain half which would bring him down to $3.2M per season for the Maple Leafs.

His numbers do look bad over the last half decade, but you have to look at the team he has been playing behind. Perennial bottom pairing defenseman Radko Gudas had the second highest ice-time on the blue line in Anaheim last year at nearly 20-minutes.

Even with the weaknesses the Maple Leafs have had on the back end the last couple of years, their defense is leaps and bounds ahead of what Gibson has been playing behind in Anaheim. When you add in all the talk that the Leafs are likely to spend in free agency on a couple of top four defenseman, Gibson and Toronto could be a perfect fit.


If things don't work out, there are several options to move on from Gibson which include a demotion or trade.