The Pros and Cons of the Toronto Maple Leafs Trading for Jusse Saros

Vancouver Canucks v Nashville Predators - Game Six
Vancouver Canucks v Nashville Predators - Game Six / Brett Carlsen/GettyImages

Heading into the summer of 2024, the Toronto Maple Leafs current goaltending situation is a complete unknown. The Leafs have the oft injured Joseph Woll and the inexperienced Dennis Hildeby. Ilya Samsonov is not coming back, and Matt Murray likely isn't either.

The Toronto Maple Leafs need a goalie, either one to pair with Woll and help ease him into the number-one role, or preferably due to Woll' injury history, is to finally pair Auston Matthews with a franchise-level goalie.

Most writers keep coming back to one name and that is acquiring Nashville Predators Juuse Saros.

There is a lot to like about Saros as over the past three seasons he has proven to carry a heavy workload starting averaging 65 starts a season (per: During that span he has posted a 2.73 GAA and .915 save percentage and even finished as a Vezina finalist in one of those seasons.

There are pros and cons with acquiring the 29-year old Finnish goaltender.

The Pros and Cons of the Toronto Maple Leafs Trading for Jusse Saros

The pros are obvious and that is the Maple Leafs finally get a top goalie that has continually put up Vezina Trophy caliber play. He would solidify the net in Toronto and could create a top of the league tandem with Woll, while also limiting the American goalies workload to help aid him in his constant injuries.

He also has one more year left on a very reasonable $5 million cap-hit. This would give the Leafs a year to decide if he's worth big money, and it would give them one year of dirt-cheap elite goaltending.

Acquiring Saros seems like a no brainer, so how could be there be any negatives with bringing him to Toronto?

The first down part is that goalies are generally unpredictable, which is why there aren't a lot of big trades for goalies even thought they are clearly the most important players on any team.

If the Leafs put together the kind of package it will take to land Saros, there is no guarantee that he even improves the team. Those kind of assets spent on a defenseman may have a lower potential pay-off in a best-case-scenario, but they have a higher probability of not being wasted completley.

The risk vs reward on putting together a package for Saros would be very high.

The second part is that by acquiring the 5'11" goaltender, you have now blocked Woll or Hildeby from essentially ever becoming the Maple Leafs starter of the future. If the two current Maple Leafs goalies pan out, they could offer the team a much cheaper scenario in net which would allow the team to spend elsewhere.

The third negative with acquiring Saros is that with his expiring deal, and the cost to acquire him, the Leafs may feel they have to instantly sign him long-term to a massive deal. When they have a low-cost Joseph Woll in the fold already, this may not be the best utilization of cap space.


So the question is, are you ok with giving up the assets, giving the money/term and blocking two potential cheaper starters?