Alberga’s Take: The Leafs need to put some urgency behind solidifying the crease

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
20 days ago
One by one, the list of available goaltending options is dwindling for Brad Treliving and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
At this point, barring something out of left field, it’s becoming increasingly likely that the Leafs will end up addressing their crease needs in free agency.
On Wednesday, two marquee names – at least trade wise – dropped off the board as Jacob Markstrom was dealt to New Jersey and Darcy Kuemper was sent to Los Angeles.
Next up is Linus Ullmark, who by all accounts, is highly likely to be on the move from Boston over the next few weeks. That said, if you were hoping for the Leafs to scoop up the 2022-23 Vezina Trophy winner, don’t hold your breath. According to sources close to TheLeafsNation, Toronto’s on Ullmark’s 14-team no-trade list. Furthermore, he has no immediate plans to change his mind on that front either.
Translation: Linus Ullmark will not be coming to Toronto.

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And so, the search will continue to find someone serviceable to pair with Joseph Woll next season.
From a trade perspective, Minnesota’s Filip Gustavsson is still firmly out there. So is Anaheim’s John Gibson. Meantime, with the NHL Draft now just a week away, there hasn’t been much conversation about Juuse Saros’ potential availability out of Nashville. In addition to those three prolific names, there’s no telling who else could be available.
Luckily, the Leafs possess one of the most active general managers in the league. So, rest assured, if someone’s out there, Brad Treliving will be all around it.
Any way you slice it though, Toronto needs to act swiftly, or they could end up with another Ilya Samsonov situation on their hands. For an organization feeling the pressure and under the gun to win next season, that’s far from an ideal situation. Yes, the position is as volatile as it’s ever been, but there’s no way they can enter the 2024-25 campaign with more question marks surrounding the crease than they broke for summer with.
If they can’t find a good solution, next season could be doomed before it even starts.
The pressure is on as the game of musical chairs in between the pipes continues. When the music stops, it’s imperative that the Leafs have somewhere to sit.

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