Leafs to trade one of their goalies this summer

Published March 27, 2023 at 11:55
BY DEAN CHAUDHRY

The goaltending situation in Toronto has constantly been under the microscope, as is just about everything in Canada's hockey mecca. Surprisingly, the Leafs have had much better luck with goaltending this season, despite all of the concerns that were on table before the season began.

Boasting a star-studded offense that includes heavy contracted players like Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander that combine for a cap hit $40.4 million AAV, while also having Morgan Rielly contracted at $7.5 million AAV - it was always going to be tough to build a competent team around that, including figuring out their goaltending.

Year-in and year-out, the Leafs have made really good depth acquisitions on the cheap-end and have fielded some dangerous and powerful teams but have found a way out of the playoffs in some way, shape, or form, largely due to suspect goaltending. Freddie Andersen didn't work. Petr Mrazek didn't work. Jack Campbell didn't work. They went out and traded for Matt Murray and signed Ilya Samsonov on a one-year prove-it deal and while they've showed great promise, the jury is still out on whether or not this tandem will work.

Murray is contracted for one more season at $4.687 million AAV, while Samsonov will become an RFA. Murray has shown flashes of brilliance that won him back-to-back Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins but has also reverted back to his play that got him booted out of Pittsburgh and exiled to Ottawa. 4 goals allowed in 7 of his last 8 games is not what the Leafs were hoping for to say the least. His health is the biggest concern of all. He just can't seem to stay healthy, which is very unfortunate.


Samsonov is an interesting option because he's younger than Murray and shouldn't cost as much either but with the emergence of Joseph Woll, the Leafs might have to be proactive once more on the goaltending front this summer. However he has been the superior option over Murray this year.

Woll signed a three-year extension in February and will be making the league minimum while providing stout goaltending. The lone caveat is that he will no longer be waiver-exempt so the Leafs will likely look to move on from either Murray or Samsonov.

Woll is 3-1-0 on the season, has only allowed 8 goals, and possesses a save percentage of .934 and a 2.03 GAA. It's a small sample size but he has proven that he can hang not only hang at the NHL level, but has excelled in his limited look.

The Leafs are probably more comfortable with Samsonov than they are with Murray. Trading either one shouldn't be too tough in the off-season either, considering that Murray will only be under contract for one season, while Samsonov will be an RFA.

The playoffs will determine which way Toronto turns, but Woll has done a fantastic job into playing his way into the lineup in Toronto and giving them something to think about - also doesn't hurt that he's making the league minimum.

POLL
March 27   |   1122 answers
Leafs to trade one of their goalies this summer

Which goalie will the Leafs trade this summer?

Murray99989 %
Samsonov534.7 %
Woll252.2 %
They'll try to waive Woll and lose him454 %
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