I understand that there has been a flu bug going around the Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room over the past month, but I was unaware that the bug made the team’s goaltenders allergic to stopping the puck.
Former Toronto MapIe Leafs starter Ilya Samsonov is lost, and based on his recent press conferences, that’s not going to change anytime soon.
He’s clearly going through a mental struggle, and it’s affecting his play on the ice. We saw the same thing recently happen to Jack Campbell during his tenure in Toronto, and the Leafs must send him to the minors to regain his confidence.
I’ve spoken about this before, but when Jonathan Bernier went through his issues in Toronto, his four-game trip to the Toronto Marlies was the best thing that could have happened to him. He posted three shutouts, got his mojo back, and continued a long and prosperous NHL career.
The same thing needs to apply to Samsonov, or they just need to ship him out of town. At $3.5M AAV, he’s wasting valuable cap space that could be utilized on a top defenseman or another goalie, so Brad Treliving needs to do something about this problem.
Toronto Maple Leafs Should Trade for Markstrom
We’ve talked endlessly about Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev, but what about Jacob Markstrom’s availability? Treliving signed him to a team-friendly $6M AAV contract during his time in Calgary, and he should do whatever he can to get him to the Leafs.
Based on the Flames’ potential rebuild and Markstrom being 33 years old, they could be open to trading him for the right price. Treliving may have to pay a little extra for Markstrom’s services, but he’s a really good number-one goalie and can push the Leafs back towards being a Stanley Cup contender for this year and years to come.
Markstrom has struggled (based on his standards) in Calgary the past two years, but it’s mostly been due to the team in front of him. He’s still been a top-15 NHL goalie, and in the right situation, there’s no reason to believe he can’t contend for a Vezina Trophy again soon.
I’m losing hope in this team with every game I watch, and the rest of the fanbase should feel the same.
We have four of the greatest players in Leafs history playing their butts off every night, but they don’t have anyone in the net who can stop a puck. We’ve known that defense would be an issue since the offseason, but Treliving hasn’t done anything to address it yet.
If he doesn’t make a trade soon, the Leafs could find themselves out of a playoff spot before we know it.