Planning the Toronto Maple Leafs Goalie Minutes

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

While many hoped the Toronto Maple Leafs were going to bring in an elite goaltender to be the number one goalie for the 2024-25 season with names like Juuse Saros, Jacob Markström and Linus Ullmark potentially being available.

What ended up happening was Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving signed Joseph Woll to a three-year extension at nearly $3.67 Million contract, while also signing free agents Anthony Stolarz to a two-year $2.5 Million contract and Matt Murray to a one-year $875,000 contract.

The details of Murray's contract have not yet been confirmed, but it appears to be the exact same contract that Martin Jones signed one summer ago. Part of the deal that Jones signed would see him earn a $100,000 signing bonus at the start of the season which in a way was waiver protection as the club put him on waivers and if a team claimed him they would be hit immediately with a $100,000 signing bonus.

If Murray's contract has the same stipulation in it, you can expect the same scenario and for him to start the season with the Toronto Marlies.

Planning the Toronto Maple Leafs Goalie Minutes

Heading into the start of the season, the expectation is that Joseph Woll will be the starter for the club, but what does that mean? The soon to be 27-year old has never played more than 32 games in a season since turning pro in 2019-20 season and he hasn't even reach 30 games since that first season. Last year would have been the first time you would consider Woll a full-time NHL goalie and he reached just 25 regular season games and three playoff games as he sustained two separate injuries during the season.

I think the best case scenario is that you hope Woll can get into 40-games and as such, Craig Berube should be planning his minutes accordingly. To start the season, the new Maple Leafs coach should not be starting Woll more than two games in a row and never on back-to-back.

If and that is a big if Woll can start 40 games, that leaves a similar amount of games left to be filled. Newly signed Anthony Stalock inked a two-year deal at $2.5 Million per year and this may turn out to be one of the top five signings this past July 1.

The 6'6" goalie finally got an opportunity to play behind a top end NHL team in 2023-24 and capitalized on the opportunity posting a 2.05 GAA and .925 save percentage in 25 games. The key part of that sentence is 25 games, this was an NHL career high for the New Jersey native.

Like Woll, Stolarz has never consistently had a heavy workload over his career. In 2019-20, he played in 40 games split between the NHL and AHL, and almost a decade ago in 2015-16 he played in 47 games in the AHL. Outside of those two seasons, Stolarz has not played 40 games in a season, but unlike Woll it has more to do with being a career back-up rather than injuries.

The most ideal situation is both goalies stay healthy and push each other in a similar fashion that the Boston Bruins tandem of Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark have done the past few seasons. This past year, Swayman started 43 games and Ullmark started 39 games.

Injuries to one or both of Woll and Stolarz are likely, which is where Murray and Hildeby come into play. Murray is a complete question mark as he is just returning to action after major hip surgery, while Hildeby has still yet to see NHL action.


The Best case scenario is Woll starts 42 games and Stolarz gets the other 40 games. The likley scenario, Stolarz gets 35 games, Woll 30 games, Hildeby 7 games and Murray 5.