Photo Credit: Candice Ward/USA TODAY SPORTS
We all knew it was coming, but it was just a matter of when. Nearly a month after reports originally surfaced, Jhonas Enroth and the Toronto Maple Leafs have finally agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth $750,000.
The Maple Leafs have signed goaltender Jhonas Enroth. #TMLtalk
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) August 22, 2016
As we mentioned back in July, Enroth was the cream of the crop as far as free agent backup goaltenders. The 28-year-old consistently puts up save percentages at or above the league average and has a stellar quality start percentage of 55.5% over 147 career games.
While he only played 16 games behind Jonathan Quick with the Los Angeles Kings last season, he posted a very impressive 0.922 save percentage.
As Ryan Fancey pointed out a few weeks ago, the Andersen/Enroth duo exceeds the Reimer/Bernier duo by a hair in save percentage performance, but appears to have more consistency, comes with less prior baggage with the fanbase and organization, and at less than $6 million, carry a lower combined cap hit.
At $750,000, it’s easy to feel that the Leafs have made a slam-dunk signing. This allows for Garret Sparks to get a few more months of AHL development time, puts one of Antoine Bibeau or Kasimir Kaskisuo into a clear starters role with the Orlando Solar Bears, improves the NHL team’s odds of winning hockey games, and does so at a premium of just $175,000. Because of his low cap hit, if he does sputter out, the entirety of the deal can be buried in the minors.
Needless to say, it’s not hard to argue that this is Toronto’s shrewdest outside acquisition of the offseason.