Some remaining UFA goalie options who may fit the bill for the Leafs as their 3rd string goaltender

Ryan Smitheram
July 31, 2023  (1:56 PM)

The Leafs made it clear that their tandem between the pipes to begin next season will be Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll when they announced that Matt Murray would be placed on LTIR for the upcoming season. The move came as no surprise once Samsonov received his 1-year, $3.55M award following arbitration.

If the Leafs are preparing for the upcoming season like Murray will not be returning, they will have to look at adding an veteran 3rd string goalie, in case Samsonov and/or Woll struggle or suffer an injury. There are still a handful of experienced UFA goalies on the market and there are some that would be very viable options for the Leafs.
Brian Elliott has reportedly garnered some interest from the Leafs already this off-season and would provide them with a very stable and reliable safety net. The 38-year-old played last season with the Lightning on a 1-year deal that saw him earn just $900K. He managed to get into 22 games last season for the Bolts and while his numbers were not great (12-8-2, 3.40GAA, .891sv%), Elliott has played in 524 career NHL games and has a career 2.57GAA and .909 save percentage. Should the Leafs want to sign Elliott, he will come cheap, likely around the same dollar amount as last season.
A second viable option for the Leafs would be another 38-year-old in Jaroslav Halak. The Leafs would have to find some additional cap space for Halak as his previous contract was just over $1.5M last season with the Rangers. However, Halak might be the best "third-stringer" still available. He played in 25 games for the Rangers last season where he went 10-9-5 with a 2.72GAA and .903 save percentage. A journeyman, who has played for seven different NHL teams, Halak has not posted a save percentage below .903 since the 2012-2013 season with St. Louis and has not had a GAA above 2.95 in his entire career. Over 581 career games, he has posted a record of 295-189-69 with a 2.50GAA and .915 save percentage.
The cheapest two options for the Leafs that remain on the UFA market are Alex Stalock (35) and Aaron Dell (34). Both Stalock and Dell played last season on contracts at or slightly above league minimum and would both likely sign similar deals for the upcoming season. Stalock played in 27 games for the lowly Blackhawks last season going 9-15-2 while posting a respectable 3.01GAA and .908 save percentage while Dell spent the majority of last season in the AHL with the San Jose Barracuda playing in 38 games and going 15-17-4 with a .898 save percentage and 3.14GAA. In 4 games with the Sharks last season Dell posted a .913 save percentage and a 2.71GAA while going 0-3-0.
Of the viable third-string options for the Leafs, the most logical seem to be one of Stalock, Dell or Elliott as they will not only provide a veteran presence behind Woll, but they will provide the Marlies with a mentor for their young goalies and have the best chance of clearing waivers. Halak, on the other hand, may be enticing to another team if the Leafs attempt to sign him and sneak him through waivers.
31 JUILLET   |   410 ANSWERS
Some remaining UFA goalie options who may fit the bill for the Leafs as their 3rd string goaltender

Which of these goaltenders do you think best fit the Leafs' needs in a 3rd string goalie?

Brian Elliott10826.3 %
Alex Stalock6616.1 %
Aaron Dell6515.9 %
Jaroslav Halak17141.7 %
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