Heard On Episode 4.12 of A Foot In The Crease
No matter how good of a general manager you may have running your team, inevitably some moves that are made just simply don’t not turn out well.
After all, nobody’s perfect.
Cliff Fletcher made several moves over the course of the summertime that put the Maple Leafs in a significantly better position than they were in a year ago. Mikhail Grabovski looks like a forward with top-six potential. Niklas Hagman has proven to be a reliable two-way forward, above average in both the offensive and defensive zones. The play of nineteen-year-old Luke Schenn simply speaks for its self.
In Curtis Joseph, the Maple Leafs knew he was no longer the goalie he was during his previous Toronto tenure between 1998 and 2002, but he was still thought to be a reliable backup, capable of playing fifteen to twenty games.
However in the brief action he has seen thus far this season, Joseph’s play has been anything but what the Leafs were hoping for.
Frankly, the game looks like it has passed Joseph by. He has looked very uncomfortable in the Toronto net, clueless at times and has allowed numerous goals that simply have to be stopped at the NHL level.
By no means should Joseph feel any shame. He has been a wonderful, upstanding citizen throughout his remarkable NHL career. But as so happens, players reach a point where they can no longer compete at the level they once could, and it is clear Joseph has indeed reached that point.
It’s now or never for Justin Pogge at this point in his professional career, and it is time for the Maple Leafs to start seasoning him at the NHL level—especially during a season where they seem to be more concerned with development than in wins and losses.
Joseph should be kept on in the organization in a coaching or advisory role, but to have him finish the season as their second-string netminder is merely setting back the development process.
But hey, all that was just rigmarole.