Toronto Maple Leafs Are Making a Smart Decision Re-Signing Joseph Woll

Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers
Toronto Maple Leafs v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs have supposedly re-signed goaltender Joseph Woll to a contract extension, which is a great deal for both parties.

According to ESPN's Kevin Weekes, it's being reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Woll are closing in on a three-year contract extension between $3.5 to $4M AAV.

As much as his health has been a concern throughout his young career, that could end up being a steal if Woll can plays up to his best self.

Currently only making $766K for the next season, Woll was set to become an RFA after this year and would hold arbitration rights. Instead of waiting out the season and potentially fighting through negotiations next summer, the Leafs are taking a low-risk on re-signing Woll, while getting him still on a cheap contract.

When it comes to number-one goalies in the NHL and eventually winning a Stanley Cup, there isn't a perfect answer. As seen by the Florida Panthers and Edmonton Oilers, the Panthers had a $10M goalie while the Oilers had a $2.8M netminder and they both reached Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. All you really need is a goalie that's good enough to get you into the playoffs and then once they start, you need a miracle run for two months and it doesn't really matter how much that goalie costs.

Toronto Maple Leafs Are Making a Smart Decision Re-Signing Joseph Woll

I can understand anyone who is upset about this signing because Woll's injuries came at a disasterous time last year. Woll stole the job from Ilya Samsonov and played amazing while Samsonov struggled mightly, then out of nowhere got injured on a weird play. Then, after helping the Leafs climb back from a 3-1 series deficit, he found himself getting injured on the last play of Game 6, which made him miss Game 7.

When the team needed Woll, he wasn't able to play, but that shouldn't stop this team from giving him a chance. Those injuries could actually be a blessing for Toronto because if Woll was healthy this entire time, he could be asking for a contract much higher. Instead, they're getting him on a shorter term and for less money, which will help the overall team.

At the end of the day, a $4M contract will not hurt this team if Woll plays bad. Speaking of the Oilers, they had Jack Campbell signed long-term at $5M AAV and still managed to reach the Stanley Cup Finals. If Woll's contract is so bad and he's never healthy again, they can just bury it on LTIR and move on.


I'd bet that the more likely outcome is that Woll is their everyday starter so taking a risk on Woll is a good idea, especially since the Leafs haven't developed a netminder in more than 30 years.