There are few things that can elevate a team like a franchise goalie. The Toronto Maple Leafs do not currently have one. But if one is available, they should do whatever it takes to get him.
The Toronto Maple Leafs arguably haven't had a franchise goalie since the days of Ed Belfour and Curtis Joseph. Their current goaltending situation is bad, no matter how you spin it.
But if, as has been rumoured, the Nashville Predators are willing to trade Juuse Saros, then the Leafs can solve their goaltending problems for about adecade. To do so, they are going to need to be all-in. If Saros is available, the Leafs would have an opportunity to achieve the dream of general managers everyone and "build from the net out."
No offense to Joseph Woll, but there is probably around a one-in-one-hundred chance that he's a franchise goalie on the level of Juuce Saros. If such a player is available, the Leafs need to pursue him to the ends of the earth.
If Saros Is Available, As Rumored, the Maple Leafs Need to Be All-In
They owe it to Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, William Nylander, Morgan Rielly and each and every one of their fans to pursue Saros if he is available.
In the above linked video, Elliotte Friedman mentions Quentin Byfield as an example of the kind of player the Predators would want for Saros. On the Leafs, that means Matthew Knies and it's an easy call to make. Franchise goalies are rare, and the Leafs already have four star forwards + Bertuzzi + Robertson and so its sensible to trade from a position of strength to address one of weakness.
If Saros is indeed available, the Leafs need to be in constant pursuit and cannot let him go to another team. This season we've seen what the Leafs core can achieve with a fairly crappy surrounding cast as long as they get some semblance of goaltending.
Normally I wouldn't advise trading or investing much in goalies since most of them seem to be interchangable from year to year. However, this is one of the best goalies alive, who is only 28 and is dirt cheap with a $5 million cap-hit.
You don't get chances like this very often. Andrei Vasilevskiy and Connor Hellebuyck have never changed teams. Carey Price never changed teams. Once teams identify goalies of this caliber, they do not let them get away.
Juuse Saros has the 13th highest all-time save-percentage in NHL history. He could be the cornerstone of the rest of Auston Matthews prime. You can lock him up to an extension and never have to worry about goaltending for the rest of the time this core is together.
The Leafs really need to approach this with the idea that outside Matthews, Marner and Nylander, nothing is off the table to get this player. This is a once-in-a-career chance for Brad Treliving to make the kind of move that sets a franchise up for a decade.