Who Should Make Up the Toronto Maple Leafs' Goaltending Duo in 2014-15?

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Who Should Make Up the Toronto Maple Leafs' Goaltending Duo in 2014-15?
Len Redkoles/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs had one of the best goaltending duos in the NHL in 2013-14. Both Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer were the Leafs' best players on more nights than not over the course of the season.

Bernier emerged as the team's No. 1 starter with good reason. The talented former Los Angeles King played inspired hockey right from the beginning of the year.

The Laval, Quebec, native posted a .923 save percentage over 55 games. He earned 26 wins, many of which were of his own doing. Not only did the Leafs give up the most shots in the league, but the quality of these shots was very high in many games.

A steady dose of 36 shots per night is very challenging and the Leafs have to focus on reducing these high shot totals in 2014-15.

Here are some goalies who could join Bernier as part of the Leafs' netminding duo next season.

 

James Reimer

The other half of this season's dynamic duo, Reimer was more than a capable backup in 2013-14.

Reimer posted a .911 save percentage and also bailed the Leafs out on many nights, with the club receiving shoddy defensive play from both forwards and defencemen

Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun commented on Reimer's impending restricted free-agent status when Reimer came in to try and save Toronto's season in late March and April following Bernier's groin injury.

The Leafs have some leverage here. While it may be difficult to convince Reimer to stay in primarily a backup role in Toronto, with higher-profile goalies like Jonas Hiller and Ryan Miller set to be unrestricted free agents, signing a one- or two-year deal might not be the worst choice for the talented Reimer.

 

Al Montoya

Al Montoya of the Winnipeg Jets is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. If Reimer doesn't return, Montoya could be a very good fit in Toronto.

He could likely be signed at under $1 million per season based on his most recent contract. His .920 save percentage in 2013-14 was also very good, as the Jets were not a top club in the Western Conference and spent a lot of nights on their heels this past season.

 

Justin Peters

Former St. Michael's Majors goaltender Justin Peters could be an interesting fit in Toronto. The Carolina Hurricanes goaltender is set to become a UFA this summer.

The Blyth, Ontario, native posted a very good .919 save percentage and 2.50 goals-against average this season on a pedestrian Carolina team.

Peters could be a potential bargain pickup for the Leafs, who will want to spend their money elsewhere this summer if possible.

 

Thomas Greiss

Like Peters, Thomas Greiss is another netminder under the age of 30 who could be a longer-term solution for the Maple Leafs. He's another pending UFA.

Greiss' numbers were relatively strong with the Phoenix Coyotes this season, registering a .920 save percentage and 2.29 GAA.

Greiss also posted decent numbers in San Jose when he was with that organization.

Who should the Leafs sign to complement Jonathan Bernier?

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Granted, both of these teams have been much better defensive clubs than Toronto in the past few seasons, but Greiss would not be required to play more than 20 or 25 games as long as Bernier remains healthy.

With Bernier as the anchor, the Leafs could put themselves in a good position if they can acquire a high-quality backup with the mindset that he's there to support Bernier and play at a high level when needed.

 

Salary and free-agent information courtesy of CapGeek.com.

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