3 Potential trade destinations for Maple Leafs’ Martin Jones

Photo credit:Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
1 month ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently carrying three goaltenders and that’s likely not going to be the case come March 9, the day after the trade deadline. The prime trade candidate is Martin Jones, the ‘third stringer’ who subbed in wonderfully early on this season as the injury bug has chomped down hard on the Maple Leafs’ crease.
With Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll both looking healthy and effective, Jones should be dangled ahead of the trade deadline as he’s almost guaranteed to be claimed if put on waivers. Brad Treliving is working the phones hard of late, trying to upgrade his roster and set up the Leafs for success this spring. Adding Jones in a package could be an option, and so too could be just moving him straight up for a mid-round draft pick. Here’s a trio of teams who could be interested in the veteran netminder:

Colorado Avalanche

Alexandar Georgiev leads the league in games started and appearances and the Avalanche have been actively trying to find some depth for quite some time now. They have lost Pavel Francouz to injury and are currently dressing 23-year-old Justus Annunen as their backup. Annunen is a former third-round pick from 2018 has appeared in five games and has performed well, posting a .913 Sv.%. With just nine career NHL games and no playoff experience, he’s not the type of security blanket the Avalanche are looking for in the Stanley Cup Playoffs should Georgiev go down with injury.
Jones is much more seasoned, he’s won a Stanley Cup, and his 63 games of postseason appearances is the kind of experience the Avs are looking to add ahead of the deadline. They’ve been linked to Jake Allen out of Montreal and there were even some reports the two teams were very close to completing the transaction, but so far, no deal.
Jones makes considerably less than Allen at just $875,000 against the cap and Colorado can easily afford adding the Leafs’ netminder without giving up a roster player as they have a projected $2.2 million available in cap space. Jones for a fifth-rounder in ’24, who says no?

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers’ goaltending situation has been messy all season long thanks to Jack Campbell not meeting expectations and the team having to send down ‘Soup’ along with his $5 million salary the next three seasons. There were some talks about a deal with Columbus earlier on this year, but nothing materialized. Could Ken Holland look to add another veteran?
Stuart Skinner is the 1-A, meanwhile are the Oilers going into the postseason with Calvin Pickard as their backup. The same Pickard who has zero Stanley Cup Playoff experience, and although he’s put up some decent numbers this season, spent the entire 2022-23 season in the AHL?
Treliving and Holland have discussed trades earlier on this season when the Leafs were dangling Sam Lafferty and Holland wouldn’t budge on moving defenseman Vincent Desharnais. Leading up to the trade deadline, the Oilers GM has admitted he’s looking to make some moves and add some more talent to the dressing room so expect to see Edmonton in on several conversations at multiple positions. Again, Treliving can’t expect to land very much for Jones and would likely have to settle for a mid-to-late round pick, which for the Leafs could be valuable as it helps alleviate some roster issues and lets them recoup some draft picks the next two seasons.

Los Angeles Kings

The Kings are currently in a wild-card spot in the Western Conference, which is rather impressive considering they have Cam Talbot and David Rittich leading the charge in net. With Phoenix Copley on LTIR, could the Kings be looking to add some more depth in net ahead of March 8?
The Kings know Jones very well as he spent six seasons with the organization between the AHL/NHL. So far this season with the Leafs, he’s appeared in 20 games, he’s 11-7-1 and has posted a .907 Sv.%. Jones has two shutouts this season with one of them coming against…the Kings, so they’ve seen what he can do up close and personal this season, which could be in the back of Kings’ GM Rob Blake’s mind.
Blake is also looking to add a forward for their top-nine so perhaps the two teams could work out a bigger transaction as the Leafs also have Nick Robertson who is becoming a prime trade candidate after being demoted to the AHL recently. The Kings have a slew of right-handed shot defenseman and there could be a deal that makes sense for both sides. Kings blueliner Jordan Spence is someone who would be an interesting add for the Leafs as he’s an offensive-minded rover type who at just 23 years old could be a long-term solution for some depth on Toronto’s back end.
Spence has 16 assists in 49 games this season and has a history of putting up some big numbers in the AHL the last two seasons. With Brandt Clarke coming into his own, Spence is likely available for the right price and considering he’s still on his entry-level deal and a pending restricted free agent, the team control could tickle Treliving’s fancy.
Honorable mentions go out to the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers. The Devils continue to discuss Jacob Markstrom with the Calgary Flames. Unfortunately for Devils fans, GM Tom Fitzgerald doesn’t seem in a hurry to add some depth in net, and it could cost New Jersey a playoff spot. As for the Flyers, they are rolling with Sam Ersson and Felix Sandstrom at the moment and are still in a playoff spot and could have an appetite to bring in an experienced Jones, who spent the 2021-22 season with the organization.
As for the Maple Leafs, if trade talks don’t materialize, Treliving could try his best to keep Jones on the roster as long as possible but having him just practicing and not seeing any game action isn’t necessarily a recipe for success. A waiver claim seems like a foregone conclusion, so to me, it makes more sense to just try and move on from Jones via trade, thank him for keeping the team afloat throughout December and January and see how creative of a return you can land in a deal. Treliving isn’t done adding to this Maple Leafs’ roster, we’ll just have to wait and see if Jones is someone he’s comfortable moving.

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