A Number-One Goaltender Will Solve Every Toronto Maple Leafs Problem

Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

The entire Toronto Maple Leafs community is talking about blowing up the roster, but in reality, all they really need is a number-one goaltender.

If you look at the four remaining teams left in the NHL playoffs right now, 75 percent of them are there thanks to goaltending. The New York Rangers have Igor Shesterkin, Dallas Stars have Jake Oettinger and Florida Panthers have Sergei Bobrovsky.

The only team that can't rely on goaltending is the Edmonton Oilers, but they have Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid.

The Oilers can win in the playoffs, despite their goaltending, which is rare most years. It can definitely happen, as shown by the Colorado Avalanche two years ago, but the playoffs areusually the same: Whoever has the best goalie, wins.

If the Leafs trade Mitch Marner, or keep him, the playoff results really won't matter, unless the Leafs get a number-one goalie. If Toronto trades for Juuse Saros tomorrow, Toronto will be a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, whether or not Marner is in that trade.

A Number One Goalie Will Fix Leafs Problem; Not a Marner Trade

I find it hilarious that people are saying that Marner needs to be the one who gets traded in order for this team to be successful. That statement is only true if the Leafs get a number-one goalie in return for Marner. If the Leafs traded Marner and received a top-pairing defenseman, I'm not convinced that they're going to be more successful in the playoffs.

Obviously, the defenseman would help, but wouldn't you rather have a top-right winger than someone like Shea Theodore and hope that Joseph Woll is healthy and good?

Speaking of Woll, if he can become a top-10 goalie in the league and stay healthy, the Leafs would all of a sudden have the best steal in the NHL and could not only keep Marner, but add to their defense without subtraction. That's hands down the best case scenario, but based on his health conerns, we can't really bank on it.

All I'm trying to say is that trading Marner is a fine decision, if it brings you back a top-10 goalie in the NHL, but I don't think that's going to happen. What team in their right mind would trade a legitimate goalie for Marner, when everyone in the league knows just how important it is to have a top netminder?


If you're going to lose the Marner trade and get a defenseman, don't make the trade. However, if you're going to ship Marner out for someone of Shesterkin's skillset, do it. But let's not bank on this summer and assume that Marner will be a member of the team next year.