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5 potential commerce targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs in aim

The Toronto Maple Leafs want a goalie.

The Leafs tandem on Sunday night time in Raleigh boasted a complete of 18 video games of NHL expertise – all with Erik Kallgren. Earlier than his huge 29 save effort in Sunday’s win over the Hurricanes, Kallgren had struggled with an .888 save proportion in these first 18 video games. Toronto moved to signal Marlies farmhand and second-year professional Keith Petruzzelli to an NHL contract Saturday night time after Samsonov went down.

Oft-injured netminder Matt Murray, out since opening night time with a hamstring harm, is predicted to observe for the primary time Tuesday and coach Sheldon Keefe mentioned he has again “on the horizon”. The Leafs are nonetheless awaiting outcomes from an MRI to correctly assess the severity of Ilya Samsonov’s harm. He left Saturday’s recreation after making an ungainly save on a penalty shot from Brad Marchand – and Keefe mentioned it is doable Samsonov can be out past the required minimal week.

Although Samsonov is sidelined for under a brief time frame, there isn’t any doubt that the Leafs spent a part of Sunday probing the goaltending market to see what is likely to be out there on account of Murray’s harm historical past. It is exhausting to depend on Murray being proper now for any prolonged time frame.

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So, what are the Leafs’ choices?

Listed below are a couple of completely different ones, with doable short-term and long-term options:

1. Joonas Korpisalo, Columbus Blue Jackets

Age: 28
Stats: 1 GP, 5.01 GAA, .889 SV%, .900 SV% HDscA
Contract: Pending UFA, $1.3 million AAV |
Building Value: Reasonable

Korpisalo labored his means again from offseason surgical procedure to make his season debut in his native Finland on Saturday as a part of the NHL World Sequence. The Blue Jackets are one in every of a number of groups with a goaltending surplus; Columbus is just one of two groups (Ottawa) presently carrying three NHL objectives on their roster. We all know that Daniil Tarasov’s treasured prospect shouldn’t be going wherever. Tarasov signed a three-year, one-way contract final season. He may very well be despatched to AHL Cleveland as he’s nonetheless exempt this season. Sources say Korpisalo was provided to groups final summer season for a mid-to-late decide. He’s once more an upcoming UFA. All of which makes me marvel… given the troublesome begin to Elvis Merzlikins’ season, and the truth that it appears to be an emotional rollercoaster for him game-to-game in physique language, is it doable that the Blue Jackets would contemplate shifting Merzlikins? It is doable, however that time period and contract would in all probability scare off a staff like Toronto proper now, the place Korpisalo is a greater match for plenty of causes.

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2. James Reimer, San Jose Sharks

Age: 34
Stats: 9 GP, 2.88 GAA, .910 SV%., .780 SV% on HDscA
Contract: Pending UFA, $2.25 million AAV|
Building Value: Reasonable

Superb, wonderful. Reimer is off to a different nice begin this season with a .910 save proportion and difficult objectives saved above expectations, regardless of taking part in with an inferior staff in entrance of him . That is what Reimer does is play exhausting. He is without doubt one of the most constant guests in a really unstable state of affairs. Reimer has ever had a full season save proportion under .900 and his profession common is .913, effectively above the league common over that span, which often hovers someplace round .904 to .907. It is simply stable. We all know the Sharks can be in sale mode quickly, with GM Mike Grier open to creating modifications. Reimer is a pending free agent, so until they plan to re-sign him, he is primarily out there. There’s that one level with Reimer: Toronto’s previous. He was the person in internet for the Sport 7 collapse in opposition to Boston in 2013. That needs to be historical historical past, but it surely is likely to be sufficient for Leafs followers (and the entrance workplace ) to maintain them awake at night time, which might make it a tougher promote.

3. Jonathan Fast, Los Angeles Kings

Age: 36
Stats: 10 GP, 3.34 GAA, .890 SV%., .900 SV% on HDscA
Contract: Pending UFA, $5.8 million AAV
Building Value: Reasonable

This two-time Stanley Cup winner and lifelong Los Angeles King is closing in on 750 video games with the franchise. He was glorious final season with a .910 save proportion in a breakout yr. Fast might have been a bit higher this season than his general numbers would recommend, posting a career-high save proportion (small pattern dimension) in opposition to high-danger scoring alternatives. Would the Kings transfer him? The toughest half is that Cal Petersen has actually struggled to search out his recreation the final two seasons – and he is within the first yr of a $15 million contract. If Petersen and Pheonix Copley, probably the greatest third objectives on the market, might carry the ball – it’s doable. Kyle Dubas and Rob Blake have carried out offers earlier than. Fast has the pedigree and desires to win. He’s the last word competitor. Fast has no commerce safety, however he would possibly get an excellent lay of the land from his brother-in-law, Maple Leafs professional scout Matt Moulson. How a lot does Fast price? That is the fascinating query. Would Nick Robertson and a 3rd spherical decide do it? Would that be sufficient to entice the Kings to maneuver one in every of their franchise pillars in a yr with increased expectations? Perhaps not.

4. Dan Vladar, Calgary Flames

Age: 25
Stats: 3 GP, 3.82 GAA, .865 SV%., .846 SV% on HDscA
Contract: This season at $750,000 AAV, adopted by a 2-year extension at $2.2 million AAV
Building Value: Excessive

Vladar is on his technique to turning into the No. 1 netminder within the NHL. That is his second full NHL season backing up Jacob Markstrom in Calgary and it is easy to overlook how younger Vladar is. Carter Hart is taken into account probably the greatest “younger” goaltenders within the league, however Vladar is lower than a yr older at 25. The Flames noticed a high quality enchancment in Vladar’s recreation and signed a two-year extension a yr for him simply a few weeks in the past. That has given Calgary the last word flexibility. Vladar is effectively positioned to proceed taking part in extra video games to take among the workload off Markstrom’s plate. However he is additionally locked in at a really affordable wage cap quantity, which makes him a useful commerce commodity if different groups assume he is able to be a beginning goaltender sooner or later throughout the season. that contract. Vladar was additionally the most costly product on this board. That is as a result of it matches Toronto’s age scheme completely. And this season, he’s taking part in on the bottom contract within the league. The Leafs could be in an excellent place shifting ahead with Samsonov and Vladar linked as a tandem, if they may pull one thing like that off.

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5. Anton Khudobin, Dallas Stars

Age: 36
Stats: (in AHL Texas) 5 GP, 3.04 GAA, .905 SV%
Contract: Pending UFA, $3.33 million AAV
Building Value: Low

Khudobin is the straightforward reply for a down and soiled resolution that would spell the leaves for a couple of weeks, or longer, if wanted. He has been parked within the AHL for a lot of the previous yr as a wage cap casualty. When the Stars misplaced Jake Oettinger to harm final week, they could not recall Khudobin as a result of they could not afford him. The acquisition price could be actually nothing, the Stars could be more than pleased to get his $2.2 million in useless cap cash off their books. The Leafs might ship some minor league contracts again to Dallas to unencumber some a lot wanted contract house. The issue with Khudobin could be – what occurs if Samsonov and Murray are wholesome once more? If Jake Muzzin can be wholesome once more (no assure), the Leafs could have the identical drawback as Dallas, and so they will not have the cap house to entry Khudobin’s penalty kill if he is down with the Marlies. Is there a break-even level for the Stars the place they keep a few of Khudobin’s wage? That would cut back their useless cap house drawback (with out fixing it fully) and reduce the blow to the Leafs in the event that they need to ship him down.

Honorable Point out: Alex Nedeljkovic, Detroit Purple Wings

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Lately by Frank Seravalli

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