Why the Toronto Maple Leafs Need To Bring Up Justin Pogge

Tyler Hill@@tyler_hillVPAnalyst IJanuary 1, 2009

                             As featured in TOSports Magazine 

Has Justin Pogge not spent enough time “developing” in with AHL Toronto Marlies? Or, has he not proven himself a capable NHL goaltender?

Maybe the Leafs want to save him for next year, so they can use him the whole year and also get a decent draft pick in this year's NHL Entry Draft.

I’m not sure what the reason is, but it seems that for some reason the Leafs, either do not want Pogge to play this year, or they refuse to believe that their young prospect is ready for the NHL.

Pogge has clearly proven—in his debut against Atlanta—that he is fully capable of playing at the NHL level. Not only can he play, but, he can play well. If given the right opportunity may even be able to steal a game or two.

Toronto’s management must realize that at some point he will no longer be their “young prospect”, but rather, their 30-year-old (NHL ready) goalie still playing in the AHL (ring any bells, Boston?). Some cases have shown that, holding a goalie in the AHL until he's in his 30’s might not ruin him.

Nonetheless, I wouldn’t recommend it, in Toronto’s case—or any team for that matter. Except Montreal; they have enough goalies running in and out of that city.

Anyway, Justin Pogge is clearly ready now! Why are the Maple Leafs wasting their time waiting for Vesa Toskala to return to his form!?

They need to trade Toskala while they can still get something decent for him. By the time they realize he has to go, the rest of the league will be caught up in the reading (as in being on the same page). Thus, no one else will want him either.

They may still be able to get rid of him, but for what? A third-round draft pick? I don’t think so, they might as well keep him if that’s all they’re going to get for him.

The best way to go for the Leafs is to get rid of Toskala as soon as possible, then bring up Pogge and Play him against a few tougher teams than the Thrashers. Get him some games so he can develop from an AHL goalie into a NHL goalie.

He needs to play against teams other than just the weak ones. Doing so is the only way he can reach his full potential. My co-host from Leafs This Week seems to think that the best way to go is to play him against weak teams to build his confidence.

All that will do is build him up for a horrible demolition when he plays a team with some real fire power.

You know the saying, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall.”

Pogge plays against weak teams and wins a lot of game then he will become “bigger,” but if he is put into a game against a team such as Detroit or Boston he will “fall harder.”

Keeping Pogge in the AHL and playing him against weak teams isn’t helping him in anyway. The time is now! Stop letting him rot in with the Marlies and put him in some real game action!

I am tired of waiting around for the Leafs management to do the right thing; they better get their asses in gear and figure out that me and half of Leafs Nation is right!

Why does it seem that the only people involved with a team that can’t see what the right move is are always the people that have the power and the control of that team!? Why do fans seem to be the only ones who know what’s right for a team?

Most importantly, why is Justin Pogge, after his performance against Atlanta, still not playing in the NHL?

Anyone who can answer even one of those questions, please feel free to inform me because I would love to know.