Analyst Weighs in on Maple Leafs’ Offseason Goalie Targets – The Hockey Writers – Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs have at least one key question for the offseason: Who should they target for goaltending help for Joseph Woll next season? In a recent The Jeff Marek Show episode, Luke Fox joined Matt Marchese to discuss the goaltending puzzle facing the Maple Leafs. The discussion focused on several potential targets, including Juuse Saros, Laurent Brossoit, and Anthony Stolarz.

Related: 5 Goaltenders the Maple Leafs Should Look at This Offseason

Last week, I discussed three Maple Leafs goalie options. I landed on Chris Driedger as the best choice between Cam Talbot and Stolarz. While both Fox and Marchese mention Talbot and Stolarz, their discussion further dissected the current situation, focusing on Woll’s injury status and the necessity for a reliable third goalie like Martin Jones. Here, they offer additional insights about the context and the intricacies of the team’s needs. This post compares their viewpoints about potential solutions for the Maple Leafs’ goaltending dilemma.

Each goalie mentioned in the video is attractive, but which one—if any—will the Maple Leafs pursue to bolster their goalie roster?

The Key Goalie Discussion Points for Fox and Marchese

During their discussion on the video, Fox and Marchese explored potential goalies who could fit the Maple Leafs’ needs. Three names specifically emerged – Saros, Brossoit, and Stolarz.

First, Saros is seen as a significant target who would be a good acquisition for the team. That said, acquiring him would likely involve a hefty trade package. Although the Nashville Predators seem determined to keep him on their roster, there’s a belief that a substantial offer could change their minds. However, are the Maple Leafs willing to make that offer?

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Brossoit, the second goalie mentioned, was also considered a solid option. However, the knock on him is that he hasn’t played enough games to prove himself as anything more than a really good backup goalie. And that raised the question of whether the Maple Leafs could count on Woll as the team’s starter. The truth is that Woll has a strong resume from his NHL work. However, he hasn’t played enough games to prove himself as the go-to starter.

Third, Stolarz had a respectable season with the Florida Panthers. However, he played behind the NHL’s best defence, which leaves uncertainty about how he’d perform behind Toronto’s less powerful defence.

Joseph Woll’s Uncertain Future Suggests a Path Forward

The biggest challenge for the Maple Leafs is the uncertainty surrounding Woll’s health. Despite showing great promise, his injury history casts doubt on his reliability. During the video discussion, this point led to the consensus that Toronto needed a goalie with extensive starting experience. If Woll goes down again, as he did in Game 7 of the first-round series against the Boston Bruins this past postseason, who would handle most of the games? His potential for injury setbacks complicates the team’s decision.

Joseph Woll Toronto Maple Leafs
Joseph Woll, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

At that point, the conversation turned to the Maple Leafs’ success this season with third-stringer Jones. Fox noted that the team needs an experienced third goalie like him in 2024-25. The conversation highlighted this season’s importance of having a dependable third-string goalie when both Woll and Samsonov were unavailable. Re-signing Jones or finding a similar veteran presence for a minimal cost could be a strategic move.

Have the Maple Leafs Already Missed Goalie Opportunities?

Fox was concerned that the Maple Leafs might have missed several prime goalie targets. One he noted was former Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark, who has already found a new home in Ottawa with the Senators. This narrows down the viable options in trade and free-agent markets.

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In all this conversation, Fox outlined what he saw as the Maple Leafs’ real dilemma: balancing the need for a reliable starting goaltender with the financial constraints and uncertainty surrounding Woll’s durability. The Maple Leafs front office faces a challenging task with limited cap space and high trade costs. They must work to secure a goalie who can not only share the workload with Woll but also step up as a primary starter if necessary.

The discussion on The Jeff Marek Show underscored Toronto’s complex situation in its quest to solidify its goaltending. Whether through high-stakes trades or strategic signings, the team’s decisions in the coming weeks will be pivotal for their success next season.

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