Minus Ben Scrivens, who is expected to compete for a spot in the minors this season, the Maple Leafs now have two NHL goaltenders, and a third that could crack the roster if Jean-Sebastien Giguere is not with the team come October.
In short, they have three NHL goalies.
As bad as that may seem, it really isn't. Some of this may sound like cliche to you, and thats because some of it is.
Giguere is a veteran goaltender that has been around the league, seen many things and done many things, including winning the Stanley Cup with Anahiem. The Maple Leafs claim that they did not get Giguere to mentor the young Jonas Gustavsson, or just so they could unload Jason Blake's heavy contract. Now of course, we will have to wait until the draft, at the earliest, to see if that is true, based on whether or not they trade him.
However, as much as the Maple Leafs and Giguere himself deny that he is, or was, trying to mentor the young Swede, he is. In fact, The Monster's play began to pick up about four games after Jean-Sebastien was picked up from the Ducks.
Now, assuming that Giguere stays with the Leafs this season, that will give Jonas another year of learning from one of the most experienced goalies playing in the NHL right now, which would be great considering that there is the potential for the dreaded "sophomore slump."
As you can see, it seems like it would be a very poor decision to get rid of Giguere, but there are still other ways to look at it.
If Giguere is sent out of town at the draft, than that frees up cap space that can be used to sign a top six forward, which of course the Maple Leafs badly need. At the same time, you would still need to make sure that Gustavsson does not fall into a sophomore slump, but continues to play well. As good of a leader that Dion Phaneuf seems to be, even he cannot help his young goalie on that one.
If Giguere was sent to a new team to begin next season, than that would open up a spot on the roster for another goalie, which would most likely be Jussi Rynnas' best chance at making the NHL out of training camp next season, seeing that there is no other NHL ready goalie, so to speak, that the Maple Leafs could bring in so Gustavsson would have a backup.
Bringing Rynnas into the National Hockey League right away could be a horrible decision, which we very well could be starting to see with Luke Schenn, who struggled last season in his sophomore year. Of course, we will still have to see if that was a sophomore slump or not.
Nazem Kadri on the other hand, was kept in the OHL last season and played outstanding, and played better than expected during an emergency call up game with the Leafs.
If Rynnas is introduced to the NHL to begin next season, than the rookie goaltender's season, or career, could be ruined.
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