Could Martin Jones Return to the Toronto Maple Leafs?

The Athletic's Joshua Kloke is reporting that Martin Jones has interest in returning to the Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs v Carolina Hurricanes
Toronto Maple Leafs v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

Last August the Toronto Maple Leafs made a peculiar signing with they inked veteran goalie Martin Jones to a one-year deal on August 9, 2023, but things made sense as days later fans would learn that Matt Murray would be shutdown for the season with upcoming hip surgery.

The signing by new Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Martin Jones was actually a pretty smart move at the time as the team was obtaining a veteran third string goalie for just $100,000 over the league minimum salary.

The signing ended up doing two things, it gave them insurance in net, but it also gave them a false sense of a security blanket in goal. Jones was able to fill in as the starter last January when Joseph Woll went down with an injury and Ilya Samsonov had his battles that landed the Russian goalie himself on waivers.

Over his first 12 games appearances, Jones posted an 8-3-0 record with a 1.98 GAA and a .934 save percentage while posting a pair of shutouts. Unfortunately, management felt the could depend on him for the remainder of the season rather than going after a permanent solution or at least giving prospect Dennis Hildeby as opportunity. In his following and final ten appearances, Jones posted a 3-5-1 record with a 3.94 GAA and .863 save percentage.

Bringing back Martin Jones would be a smart move

The Athletic's Joshua Kloke reported earlier this week that Jones had interest in returning to the Maple Leafs.

When looking at the second half numbers you may cringe at bringing back the 34-year old, however, if he came back the role he was supposed to serve in at the same salary, Brad Treliving should look at making the move.

Treliving still needs to find a goalie to either split time with Woll or take the bulk of the games, but bringing back Jones would give the team a third goalie that could fit in for 5-10 games in case of injury. What he is not is a long term solution to a goalie issue.

Jones helps avoid a situation where the Maple Leafs general manager has to give up an asset to get a goalie for a couple of games, similar to 2021 when Kyle Dubas acquired Dave Rittich for a third round selection at the trade deadline. Rittich would go on to start four games total for the Maple Leafs, while the Calgary Flames would be able to use that pick to acquire Nikita Zadorov.


Bringing back Jones in a defined role and not a solution is a smart decision.