If the Leafs lose Martin Jones on waivers, they may have another interesting 3rd string option available to them

Mike Armenti
August 22, 2023  (11:41)

A couple of short weeks ago, the Maple Leafs dipped into the UFA goaltending market to secure some veteran depth at the position, signing Martin Jones to a 1-year deal worth $875K. The move was looked at as a pretty solid addition, as Jones has a lot of experience in the league and will make an excellent 3rd string netminder for the Buds.

The big question that everyone had at the time of the signing was, will Jones clear waivers? Not only is it an interesting question, but there are valid concerns that he might not. Joseph Woll, the Leafs' projected backup goalie this season, also requires waivers now and would certainly be claimed if he were to be waived. I don't suspect that the Leafs will want to risk losing their potential future starting goalie, so I'd imagine Woll will be cemented into that 1B tandem spot to Ilya Samsonov's 1A.
If Jones clears waivers, we will have nothing to be concerned about. The organization will have no less than 3 very capable options. However, if Jones is claimed, the Leafs will have to look for another experienced veteran as an insurance policy.
As we all know, the Montreal Canadiens maneuvered their way into the Erik Karlsson deal between Pittsburgh and San Jose as a way of obtaining a number of assets, basically for free. They've already flipped defenseman Jeff Petry to the Detroit Red Wings and now it appears as though they may be preparing to flip another one of the assets they acquired in the high-profile 3-way deal.
Montreal Canadiens GM Kent Hughes told former Pens goaltender Casey DeSmith that he doesn't plan to bury him in the American Hockey League and will look at potentially trading him, but it may take some time with how the goaltending market is looking at the moment.
"I spoke with Casey (and Jeff) when the trade went down," said Hughes. "Casey was in a situation in Pittsburgh that was too busy, with four goalies. He arrives to the Montreal Canadiens in a situation that also has four goalies. I told Casey to be patient, the goal is not to bury you in the American Hockey League. We will continue to look at possible trades or to make some changes. But it'll take patience with the goalie market, it's always slow."

It sounds like the Canadiens and DeSmith have an understanding where if there's a team calls to inquire on DeSmith, Kent Hughes will certainly listen. The allure for the Leafs here is that the Canadiens are still a rebuilding franchise and should have no problem eating half of DeSmith's $1.8M cap hit. A $900K contract would be right in the wheelhouse of what the Leafs would be looking to pay for a 3rd string goalie and very close to Martin Jones' $875K. DeSmith's cost of acquisition also shouldn't be significant, even with retention. A mid-late round pick may get the job done.
It's really anyone's guess how this is all going to play out. For all we know, the Leafs will opt for a 3 goalie setup this year and waive nobody, leaving the Samsonov/Woll/Jones trio intact. However, if for whatever reason Jones is waived and does not clear, the Leafs may not be in too bad of a spot.
Source: Montreal Hockey Now
22 AOUT   |   255 ANSWERS
If the Leafs lose Martin Jones on waivers, they may have another interesting 3rd string option available to them

If Leafs 3rd string goalie Martin Jones is claimed off of waivers, is Casey DeSmith the best available replacement?

Yes13051 %
No12549 %
Latest 10 stories