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3 goaltenders the Toronto Maple Leafs could sign to add depth for next season

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Photo credit:Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
9 months ago
There’s been a ton of chatter of late around veteran netminder Brian Elliott and the potential of signing a one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. While Elliott could provide a veteran presence to come in and push for a spot in training camp, he’s not the Leafs’ only option.
The free-agent market has thinned out, but there’s still a trio of goalies to consider for the Maple Leafs. General manager (GM) Brad Treliving would be wise to add some depth to his team’s crease and create some internal competition for camp. Here are some options besides Elliott to consider:

Martin Jones

When Jones signed with the Seattle Kraken last season it didn’t make much sense at the time as they already appeared to have their goalie situation figured out. Turns out that wasn’t the case at all and Jones ended up appearing in 48 games for the Kraken in 2022-23.
He posted a record of 27-13-3, which is quite impressive, however his .886 save percentage is slightly concerning and so were a lot of his underlying numbers. Regardless, if Treliving wants to add another goalie to the Leafs, the 33-year-old Jones may be his best option on the open market.
At 6-foot-4 Jones has a ton of size, he’s a veteran who has shared the crease in the past and is known to be a good teammate in the room. Given his age, he’s one of the younger options available and it shouldn’t be too concerning should an injury occur and his playing time gets ramped up.
Jones is coming off a one-year deal making $2 million. He’s unlikely to get this much money for next season, but could likely come in around $1.5-1.7 million. Depending on how the Leafs financial situation works itself out with Ilya Samsonov’s contract and Matt Murray’s likely buy out, if Toronto can afford to add Jones, they may want to consider it.

Jaroslav Halak

Halak’s agent Allan Walsh confirmed the veteran netminder is committed to play the 2023-24 NHL season. After spending last season as the New York Rangers backup, the team decided to add local boy Jonathan Quick to back up Igor Shesterkin and now Halak is looking for work.
The 38-year-old appeared in 25 games last season on Broadway and posted a respectable 10-9-5 record with a 2.72 goals against average. While he’s not the biggest goalie in the league, standing at 5-foot-11, Halak is still athletic enough to get the job done and in spot duty, can be really effective. If asked to play too much, there could be issues.
Halak’s played in big markets, he understands the business and he’d be a solid depth signing behind Samsonov and Joseph Woll. Having internal competition to push Woll to perform could do wonders for the young netminder.

Jon Gillies

Gillies is an interesting name to watch as he has some history with Treliving in the Calgary Flames organization. Gillies was a third-round pick back in 2012 and ended up signing three different contracts over the years, all with Treliving running the show.
The 29-year-old Gillies is a monster at 6-foot-5 and last season he appeared in some games in both the NHL and American Hockey League. Gillies went 1-1-0 for the Columbus Blue Jackets and also played in 15 AHL games. His numbers weren’t great but he wouldn’t be asked to save the day for the Maple Leafs.
Of the three, Gillies would be the cheapest option and likely the only one the Leafs could sign on a two-way deal. He’d be a great contender for the Toronto Marlies starting job and should Woll struggle early next season, he’d give the Leafs an option, and one Treliving is very familiar with.
The Maple Leafs goaltending situation is going to work itself out and Leafs Nation shouldn’t be too worried about it. Yes, Connor Hellebuyck is available, but at this point that’s a very long shot. It’s much likelier Treliving re-signs Samsonov via the arbitration process, which then opens up another window to buy out Murray. This process then leaves Samsonov and Woll to hold down the fort next season. A solid 1-2 punch, however Treliving would be wise to add a security blanket on the cheap.

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