Linus Ullmark Trade Signals the Toronto Maple Leafs Have Limited Options

The Linus Ullmark trade to the Ottawa Senators is an indication that options are becoming limited for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the goalie market. The club may have no choice but to turn to lower-priced backup options for the recently-extended Joseph Woll.
Linus Ullmark signals the Toronto Maple Leafs are running out of options in the goalie market.
Linus Ullmark signals the Toronto Maple Leafs are running out of options in the goalie market. / Rich Gagnon/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs need a goalie, but they won't be getting Linus Ullmark.

The trade of Ullmark is the second big-name goalie to come off the board this week, and the Toronto Maple Leafs options seem to be getting more limited by the day.

Just before the start of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Ottawa Senators announced they had traded for Linus Ullmark. Sportsnet reported the Senators sent Joonas Korpisalo, center Mark Kastelic, and the 25th overall pick in this year’s draft.

The trade was surprising because the return for Ullmark was much lower than expected. In fact, this trade mirrors that of Jacob Markstrom, where the Calgary Flames received much less than they should have.

Linus Ullmark Trade Signals the Toronto Maple Leafs Have Limited Options

The Ullmark deal is a clear signal that the Maple Leafs have limited options left on the goalie market. Ullmark is the third high-profile goaltender to be traded in the last few days. Along with Ullmark, and Markstrom, Darcy Kuemper has also been moved. As such, there seem to be few starting netminders for the Leafs to pursue.

Unless the Leafs can pull off a massive trade for someone like Juuse Saros, it seems Toronto will need to dip its toes into the free-agent market. There, the current goaltending options point to solid backup goaltenders at best.

Does GM Brad Treliving have something up his sleeve? No one knows for sure. But there is a silver lining in the Ullmark trade. The cost to get a solid starting netminder isn’t as high as most would believe. Perhaps the Leafs can pull off a trade for a number-one goalie without mortgaging the farm.

Joseph Woll Signing Makes Sense in Hindsight

Earlier, news had broken about the Maple Leafs signing Joseph Woll to a three-year contract extension. At first glance, it seemed like the Leafs were committing to Woll as their starter of the future. While that assessment makes sense on the surface, in hindsight, it seems like a reactionary move.

Toronto went ahead and signed Woll, as the club knew it was going to miss out on another goaltender. So, it made sense for the Leafs to lock up Woll. By locking up Woll, the Leafs know they have at least one capable goaltender on the team.

Personally, I feel the plan is to go with Woll as the starter, at least as it stands today. However, the huge question is whether Woll can stay healthy. If that’s the case, the Maple Leafs may have solved their goaltending issues internally. But if Woll doesn’t stay healthy, the club will need to scramble like it did this season when Ilya Samsonov and Woll got hurt at the same time.


Ultimately, the Linus Ullmark trade signals that the Leafs are running out of time to do something about their goaltending situation. Signing Woll was a big step in the right direction. But beyond that, it remains to be seen if Treliving can sleep at night knowing that the Leafs’ dwindling competitive window rests on Joseph Woll’s shoulders.