The goaltending position has long been a position of need for the Toronto Maple Leafs, ever since the lockout and the eventual retirement of Hall of Fame goaltenders Curtis Joseph and Ed Belfour.
After the lockout, the Leafs were never the same perennial playoff contender. You can argue part of the reason was because the team often bought their way to the playoffs, and rented or signed players to get them over the hump.
With a hard salary cap post-lockout, the Leafs have never made the playoffs since.
Contrary to popular belief, though, the Leafs old defence, back when they were making the playoffs, wasn't that much better than their defence today; some may argue it was worse.
The one huge difference between the two squads is between the pipes. Gone are "Eddie the Eagle" and "Cujo." In their place were a handful of mediocre goaltenders who, more often than not, let games slip away—rather than steal games from the opposition.
Vesa Toskala, Andrew Raycroft, Jonas Gustavsson, JS Giguere, James Reimer, Martin Gerber and Justin Pogge have all tried but failed to be the No. 1 goalie in Leafs Nation.
To make matters worse, the Leafs traded a first-round pick in order to acquire Toskala. They traded the better goaltending prospect Tuukka Rask in order to acquire Andrew Raycroft. And last season, they may have been better off re-signing Giguere and trading away Gustavsson—instead of keeping Gustavsson, and letting Giguere leave via free agency.
Here are seven goaltenders the Leafs should look into this offseason to help them make the playoffs for the first time since the lockout.