Goaltending Rumors Provide Smoke That Threatens to Burn the Leafs
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The talk surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs' goaltending has been going on since last summer. Despite some solid play from James Reimer and Ben Scrivens, the rumors of acquiring a veteran goalie refuse to die.
Gossip surrounding Vancouver's Roberto Luongo and Calgary's Mikka Kiprusoff are all over the media world. A report from NBC Sports is stating that Toronto has received permission to talk to Kiprusoff, while reports of Luongo discussions are further fueling speculation.
Everyone understands improving a team, but what makes little sense is mortgaging potential future success for a single playoff run. Most fans realize the Leafs can make some noise in the playoffs, but the addition of a veteran goalie even as good as Luongo or Kiprusoff will not move them into the favorites category.
Toronto still has too many holes to jeopardize the future on this Stanley Cup run.
The Leafs have been somewhat inconsistent in the offensive zone. The return of Joffrey Lupul has seemed to help with that, but some help in the top six forwards is still needed.
Defensively is where the Leafs can get the most value from a move. A top-four defenseman will help improve many of Toronto's shortcomings.
Captain Dion Phaneuf has had an increase in his ice time due to the weakness on defense. Cutting his minutes down will keep him fresh for the third period.
A top-four defenseman will also help the goalie situation. Toronto has had an issue with giving away the puck in their zone giving opponents prime opportunities. A reduction in quality shots faced will improve an already solid save percentage.
The concern is the amount of smoke surrounding Toronto and veteran goalies. We have seen before what giving up the future for today cost a team down the road.
With the reduction in salary cap next season, the road to consistent success moves towards a strong base of young affordable players. Trading for veterans with long expensive contracts will destroy the foundation Toronto has worked hard to build recently. The Maple Leafs are on the rise, but the wrong trade can plateau the growth and set them back several years.
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