Insider reveals Maple Leafs' plan B after missing out on Jacob Markstrom

Dean Chaudhry
June 23, 2024  (9:42)

Goaltender Jacob Markstrom celebrating a victory with Nikita Zadorov against the Winnipeg Jets on home ice.
Photo credit: Sergei Belski - USA Today Sports

With Jacob Markstorm off the market and Linus Ullmark controlling his own destiny, the Maple Leafs are forced to focus on plan B.

Mitch Marner has been at the centre of the rumour mill after the Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs. The core is in need of a shake up and Marner was the easiest scapegoat. However, as we near the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, goaltending has become more of a pressing issue and with Markstrom choosing the New Jersey Devils, it puts the Maple Leafs in a tough bind.
Aside from Markstrom, the goaltending market this year doesn't possess many true starting netminders or even 1A options. The Boston Bruins will continue to monitor the trade market for Ullmark, but with an extensive modified no-trade list, he's becoming a less likely option for Toronto. Juuse Saros was also mentioned as a potential option, but the Nashville Predators have gone radio silent on that front. That leaves us with the secondary market, but maybe that's not a bad thing after all.
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman mentioned on his 32 Thoughts podcast that the Leafs will be in the market for a stable backup goaltender who could provide Woll with a solid tandem pair. He considers Laurent Brossoit or Anthony Stolarz as potential running mates for Woll.
Brossoit has gone under the radar ever so slightly over the last couple of seasons. Relegated to a backup position, he's played a limited amount of games over the last 4 seasons, but in 72 games (64 starts), Brossoit has posted a 38-20-8 record with a 2.39 G.A.A. and a .915 SV% for the Vegas Golden Knights and the Winnipeg Jets.
Brossoit played behind Robin Lehner and Logan Thompson in 2021-22, Thompson and Adin Hill in 2022-23, and the favourite to win the Vezina Trophy in Connor Hellebuyck this year. The 30-year-old has found it difficult at times to get in the blue paint, but has still posted solid numbers throughout his career with a .911 SV and a 2.64 G.A.A in 140 games across 10 seasons. In 2023-24 he posted a 15-5-2 record with a .927 SV% and a 2.00 G.A.A.
Stolarz is another case where he's turned things around in recent years after a slow start to his career. Since 2019-20, Stolarz has only appeared in 83 games (67 starts) with the Anaheim Ducks and Florida Panthers but he's posted a 37-25-5 record with a .917 SV% and a 2.59 G.A.A. This year alone he went 16-7-2 with a league-leading .925 SV% and a 2.03 G.A.A.
While neither goaltender has appeared in more than 28 games or has started more than 24 games in their career, they would seemingly provide the Maple Leafs with a preferred 1B option to Woll's 1A.
The best part about going after a Brossoit or a Stolarz compared to a Markstrom or an Ullmark is that the cost of acquisition is far less. Markstrom not only cost the New Jersey Devils a first round pick and a prospect but also 4 million dollars in cap space for the next 2 years. Ullmark would come in at a relatively similar cost of acquisition and a 5 million dollar cap hit - if there's no retention.
Brossoit is entering unrestricted free agency coming off a $1.75 million dollar contract and Stolarz is coming off a $1.1 million dollar contract. Even with a modest raise, the Maple Leafs will assuredly make out like gang busters, considering Woll comes in at a $766,667 cap hit himself. They would walk into the 2024-25 season with a confident tandem at less than 3 million dollars combined.
Source for Laurent Brossoit's statistics: Hockey-Reference
Laurent Brossoit
Source for Anthony Stolarz's statistics: Hockey-Reference
Anthony Stolarz
Source for Laurent Brossoit's salary cap information: CapFriendly
Source for Anthony Stolarz's salary cap information: CapFriendly
23 JUIN   |   660 ANSWERS
Insider reveals Maple Leafs' plan B after missing out on Jacob Markstrom

Of the two goaltenders mentioned, which one should the Leafs prioritize this summer?

Anthony Stolarz13520.5 %
Laurent Brossoit24036.4 %
Neither28543.2 %
Latest 10 stories