Toronto Maple Leafs Must Offer Calgary Flames Godfather Deal for Markstrom

Toronto Maple Leafs v Calgary Flames
Toronto Maple Leafs v Calgary Flames / Derek Leung/GettyImages

The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently showing promise, but there's a critical piece missing from their puzzle: a true number-one goaltender.

For those banking on Ilya Samsonov or Joseph Woll to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a Stanley Cup victory, it's time for a reality check. While either goalie might have the occasional hot streak, relying on them for a championship run is a gamble not worth taking.

Consider this: you can get lucky and sink a birdie putt from 20 feet, but wouldn't you prefer a shorter putt for the win, say 5 or 10 feet? That's the analogy here. Opting for Samsonov or Woll is akin to taking the longer putt, while acquiring someone like Jacob Markstrom offers a more reliable chance at victory.

Now, Markstrom isn't the next Patrick Roy, but he's proven himself as a top-tier goaltender, even garnering Vezina Trophy consideration. With an affordable $6 million average annual value (AAV) contract for the next two seasons, he presents both short-term and long-term benefits. Pairing him with Woll keeps the goaltending duo under $7 million until 2025, a cost-effective solution.

Toronto Maple Leafs Must Trade for Markstrom

In his 26 career playoff games, Markstrom has maintained a respectable .911 save percentage (SV%) and 2.90 goals against average (GAA). More importantly, his experience and reliability instill confidence in the team, something lacking with Samsonov or Woll.

Samsonov's underwhelming performance in last year's playoffs, with a .898 SV% and 3.13 GAA, raises doubts about his ability to deliver when it counts. While Woll has shown promise, relying on a rookie goalie with health concerns is a risky proposition, especially in the high-pressure playoff environment.

It's crucial to look beyond wins when evaluating goaltenders. While Samsonov may have racked up six consecutive victories, his performance hasn't consistently met the mark. The Leafs strong offensive capabilities have often compensated for goaltending shortcomings, but this strategy won't suffice in the playoffs.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have the assets to make a move for Markstrom, including high-end prospects and future first-round picks. Sacrificing two first-rounders for three playoff runs with Markstrom is a worthwhile investment, considering the team's potential as a top Stanley Cup contender with solid goaltending.


While the allure of bolstering the defense with players like Chris Tanev is understandable, prioritizing goaltending is paramount given the team's offensive firepower. It's time for General Manager Brad Treliving to act decisively and secure Markstrom from the Calgary Flames before another team beats them to it.