It is no secret that Toronto General Manager Brian Burke is seeking an upgrade in net after goaltending woes plagued the Leafs for much of last season. Coming off a season in which the Leafs ranked 29th in the league in average goals allowed per game, at 3.16 per, it's safe to say that addressing the inherent goaltending issues will be a top priority for him this offseason.
Complicating the issue, however, is management's insistence that they still believe James Reimer can be a No. 1 goaltender in the NHL. It's difficult to ascertain whether he can be a starter in the NHL due to an admittedly small sample size, but he can't be written off after only playing 71 career NHL games either.
If Leafs' management does indeed believe Reimer can develop into a No.1 goaltender, Burke will be looking to add a veteran goaltender as a stop-gap measure. Ideally, said goaltender can mentor Reimer, shoulder some of the workload and hold the fort down until Ben Scrivens graduates from the AHL.
However, the Leafs' insistence that Reimer can ascend to No. 1 goaltender status partly compounds their goaltending issues. By giving Reimer a vote of confidence, it puts the Leafs out of the running for some of the more intriguing goalie options that will be available this offseason, as they'll likely be hesitant to renege on their assessment of Reimer's potential.
That said, it would be foolish for Burke not to explore any, and all, avenues when it comes to improving, or at the very least, steadying the Leafs' play between the pipes.