NHL Trade Rumors: Top Five Goaltending Options for the Leafs at the Deadline

Brad LeClair@beerad87Correspondent IFebruary 18, 2011

NHL Trade Rumors: Top Five Goaltending Options for the Leafs at the Deadline

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    With the recent injuries to goaltenders Jean Sebastien Giguere and Jonas Gustavsson lately, the Leafs goaltending, at which was three deep, is now very thin.

    The injuries could be severe enough for both to be considered season ending, so the Leafs are now hot on the pursuit of a goaltender who may be available at the deadline.

    Many teams will be looking to move some unwanted salary, while others will be looking to load up for a playoff run.

    Where the Leafs fall in amongst this is anyone's guess. From an outsiders point of view, it looks as if they are sellers, but with 24 games remaining and only being six points out of a playoff spot, it isn't out of the realm of possibilities that the Leafs could in fact make it to the playoffs.

    For them to do that, they will need to make a move to acquire some goaltending help. Here are my top five goalies available at the deadline for the Leafs.

5. Chris Mason—Atlanta Thrashers

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    He is having one of the worst statistical years in recent memory and having one year left on his contract doesn't bode well for this guy.

    But the thing about him is that he was good at one time, and is a good veteran backup goalie to have around.

    With a 3.78 GAA and an ab horrid .890 SV%, Mason could actually be had for not that much.

    While in St. Louis, he never had a SV% under .913, where he faced a barage of shots each night. Could he be a good risk to take for Brian Burke and company?


    Possible Trade That Could Bring Him Here: A Jamie Langenbrunner-like conditional fourth round selection.

4. Ty Conklin—St. Louis Blues

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    Conklin is one of those very underrated goaltenders in the NHL; he always seems to be ready when called upon.

    This year hasn't been his best, but in years previous, he's been practically a 2.50 GAA or less goaltender given enough ice time to show his worth.

    He will be a free agent at the end of the season and for the Blues, they'll be looking to bring in a young goalie like Ben Bishop or Jake Allen to take over as a back-up to Jaroslav Halak.

    Conklin has some championship experience playing with the likes of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings, and for the Leafs to make any sort of run at the playoffs, they'll need goaltending.


    Possible Trade That Could Bring Him Here: Philadelphia's Third Round Pick—essentially a rental goalie. I don't expect teams to give up much.

3. Marty Turco—Chicago Blackhawks

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    Personally, I think Turco could be a great influence on James Reimer.

    With Turco's contract ending at the end of the year and practically seeing no time with the Blackhawks down the stretch, Turco could be interested in returning close to home and playing in front of the Toronto crowd.

    A Sault Ste Marie, Ontario native, Turco has likely seen the best days of goaltending pass by, but he's still one of the better puck-handling goaltenders in the NHL and is also fairly positionally strong.


    Possible Trade That Could Bring Him Here: Fourth Line Veteran and a low draft pick. Thinking maybe Fredrick Sjostrom and a fourth rounder would suffice.

2. Craig Anderson—Colorado Avalanche

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    According to Mike Augello, some rumors out of the Denver Post have the Leafs interested in the Avalanche's goaltender Craig Anderson.

    Anderson, who is coming off his best season as a pro last year, is currently mired in a season long struggle for consistency, sporting a 3.28 GAA and a ,900 SV%.

    His price tag is very cap friendly at around $1.8 million this year and he's an unrestricted free agent at year's end.


    Possible Trade THat Could Bring Him Here: Again, another rental option; here I doubt the Leafs would give up any more than a third rounder, or a prospect such as Marcel Mueller.

1. Cory Schneider—Vancouver Canucks

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    Probably one of the better goaltenders available on the market today is Schneider.

    It will likely be the day Roberto Luongo retires as to when Schneider will be called the No. 1 goalie in Vancouver.

    He's always been pretty positionally sound, athletic and fearless in net, but still, he's stuck behind Luongo in Vancouver.

    If he ever wants to become a No. 1, it will likely come somewhere other than Vancouver.

    So many teams are out there looking for long-term No. 1 goalies right now: Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, San Jose among others would love to get this kid.

    Right now, with the Canucks having lost most of their top six defencemen to injury, could they be that desperate for defenders to deal their best goaltending prospect in their system?

    We will know by February 28th.


    Possible Trade That Could Bring Him Here: With the Canucks having lost most of their defenceman, possibly a Schneider for Kaberle deal could be on the horizon?