The case for the Leafs pursuing the reigning Vezina Trophy winner at the deadline

Published January 22, 2022 at 12:58
BY COLE HAYES
Jack Campbell has recently shown signs of fatigue as he has struggled throughout the Leafs' most recent road trip. The 30-year-old has played in 29 games so far this season and is well on his way to blowing by his career-high 31 games in 2018-19.

The hope was that this season, Petr Mrazek would be a tandem option for the Leafs, but Campbell's stellar play this season combined with Mrazek's injury issues has solidified Jack as the Leafs' number 1. The issue is that he needs rest, and Mrazek's play and lack there of has made him somewhat of a non option.

Recently, the Chicago Blackhawks announced that all players not named Johnathan Toews, Patrick Kane, and Seth Jones are available for trade. This includes the reigning Vezina Trophy winner and 3-time Stanley Cup champion Marc-Andre Fleury. In 27 games this season, Fleury has a 13-11-3 record and a .916 save percentage on what has been a pretty bad Blackhawks team.

Fleury could bring experience, stability, and stellar play to Toronto that would instantly give the Buds one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL. That being said, it is being reported that Marc-Andre Fleury controls his own destiny when it comes to a possible trade.



Currently, Fleury has his sights set on getting the Blackhawks to the playoffs. That being said, if the Blackhawks do not get any closer to a playoff spot Fleury will likely want to go play for a contender.

Having Fleury would do wonders for the Leafs and would undoubtedly give them a great fallback option if Jack Campbell struggles. That being said, would Fleury in Toronto work?

The Leafs need to clear cap space in order to resign Jack Campbell this summer. Moving on from Mrazek and bringing in Fleury would not only upgrade the Leafs' goaltending but also provide the cap space to do so, as Fleury is a pending UFA.

One caveat is that we saw what happened when the Vegas Golden Knights had both Fleury and Robin Lehner and the controversy that was created during the playoffs, courtesy of Fleury's agent, Allan Walsh. If Fleury controls his own destiny in a trade I would assume he wants to get somewhere where he is the starter or would received the lion's share of the work.

It could also be seen as a slap in the face to Jack Campbell from his perspective if the Leafs went out and acquired a starter. It would be almost as if the team has no faith in Campbell being able to carry the torch through the postseason. That being said, the logo on the front trumps the name on the back and there's no argument to be made that Fleury doesn't make the Leafs better.

Bringing in Fleury would take up the bulk of the cap space that the Leafs could use for picking up secondary scoring or a top-4 defender, unless there is retention and Mrazek's $3.8M is moved out. Having two Vezina caliber goalies would mask many of the defensive lapses, but should the Leafs bolster a strength or improve on a weakness?

Realistically I think that the Leafs should address other areas of need. If a good trade isn't there and the Leafs have the opportunity to being in Fleury, do it. Moving Mrazek provides them with the space to re-sign Campbell and it gives the Leafs the some extra insurance between the pipes, which could make a world of difference in the postseason.
Latest 10 stories
LEADERS
GPGAPTS
1-  NIKITA KUCHEROV
56365894
2-  NATHAN MACKINNON
57335992
3-  CONNOR MCDAVID
50216283
4-  DAVID PASTRNAK
56354580
5-  ARTEMI PANARIN
56324375
6-  J.T. MILLER
58284775
7-  AUSTON MATTHEWS
53492473
8-  ELIAS PETTERSSON
58294473
9-  WILLIAM NYLANDER
54294372
10-  MIKKO RANTANEN
57294271
2023-2024 LEADERS  
FOLLOW US
facebookinstagram
253 580 followers