There are two interesting albeit minor storylines worth following in this early portion of the Leafs’ season. One is the presence of Brandon Prust, who’s seen his involvement with the club grow from a PTO cut to someone who hangs around the team to a regular now at practices and morning skates. It’s worth keeping an eye on, because Prust could potentially work his way into a one-year deal, and of course the arguments in Leafland to follow will have the heat turned way up.
But far more intriguing than the hanging-on of Prust is the somewhat under-reported inclusion of goaltender Karri Ramo into the Toronto fold.
Ramo first started practicing with the Leafs in the opening week of November and at the time Babcock had this to say about his situation (via Sportsnet):
“So Ramo was out there with us today,” said coach Mike Babcock. “His agent has a relationship with (GM) Lou (Lamoriello), he knows Lou. So he needed to get in shape and get his knee redone. Our guys helped him with that process and he was out on the ice today with us because we didn’t want Andy to have a whole bunch of shots…So that’s the scoop there.” Asked if Ramo will continue skating with the team, Babcock replied: “Yeah, that’s a good question.”
It’s a little bit strange to see that sort of apparent disconnect between coach and management, but it just seemed at the time like Ramo was getting some conditioning in with hopes of another team giving him a call.
Then this happened:
Karri Ramo now has a stall in the #leafs dressing room at Air Canada Centre.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 12, 2016
I’m pretty sure Joffrey Lupul doesn’t even have a stall at the Air Canada Centre, and he’s under contract for two more years. Ramo’s promotion from the practice facility to the big building is definitely curious.
Calling it: Leafs sign Ramo, trade Enroth to Philly.
— Steve Dangle Glynn (@Steve_Dangle) November 15, 2016
Dangle had this to pass along, and though it’s supposedly just a guess, there’s probably more to it. Even if it’s not going to be the Flyers involved here specifically, with the way this situation is playing out, Enroth could be shipped off to make room for someone Lou likes more. I’ve also seen more than one person suggest Babcock isn’t a big fan of small goalies, but I’m not sure where that’s rooted so take it with a major grain of salt.
While this would obviously be a minor tinkering move between a couple backups, it’ll be interesting to see if anything gives here. Enroth and Ramo had vastly different performances last year, with the former putting up a .922 sv% with the Kings and the latter posting .909 in Calgary. But the caveat here is Ramo started in 37 contests as the go-to guy for the Flames while Enroth was limited to just 16 in Los Angeles.
Enroth currently has a .866 sv% in four appearances for the Leafs this season and carries just a $750K cap hit for this year only.