Insider Links Leafs To ‘Economical’ Free Agent Goaltender

Laurent Brossoit of the Winnipeg Jets looks on.

Getty Laurent Brossoit of the Winnipeg Jets looks on.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are entering a new era led by head coach Craig Berube after his appointment in May 2024 following another early postseason exit.

James Mirtle of The Athletic wrote a comprehensive analysis on June 10 discussing how the Maple Leafs should spend their available salary during the offseason, also including “chasing big fish” free agent defensemen.

PuckPedia gives the Leafs nearly $20 million in projected cap space entering the NHL draft scheduled for June 28-29.

Working under that assumption (Mirtle considers in his piece the Leafs have $20 million of cap room), the author thinks Toronto should try to go “economical” on the goalie market instead of signing a top-dollar netminder, building a tandem with the Leafs’ Joseph Woll.

“Go relatively economical in goal,” Mirtle highlights as the No. 1 item, in his opinion, to include in Toronto’s to-do list through the 2024 summer.

“There’s not a bona fide No. 1 available in free agency, and I expect it’ll be extremely difficult for [Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad] Treliving to pry either Jacob Markstrom or Linus Ullmark out of Calgary and Boston,” Mirtle wrote. “That leaves someone like Laurent Brossoit as a tandem option to split starts with Joseph Woll, who, it should be said, Leafs management remains very, very high on.”

Jets’ Laurent Brossoit Named As Leafs’ Potential Target

Mirtle focused more on what Toronto might not be able to do instead of providing multiple options for what the franchise should do. That said, Mirtle at least provided one name: Laurent Brossoit.

Brossoit turned 31 in March 2024 and will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Mirtle guesses that wherever he signs his next deal, it will be “a relatively short-term deal for around $3 million.”

According to Dom Luszczyszyn and Jesse Granger of The Athletic, Brossoit has a projected value of $3.8 million. Evolving-Hockey projects Brossoit to get a little lower contract, projecting the veteran to sign a three-year deal with a $3.3 AAV.

Brossoit played 23 games (15-5-2) in 2024 with the Jets, starting 22 of them. He maintained a .927 save percentage while allowing 2.00 goals against on average. It’s the first time since 2020 Brossoit played more than 21 games, something he’s only done twice since debuting in 2015.

The veteran netminder just completed a one-year, $1.75 million deal in Winnipeg after he signed that bridge deal in July 2023 attempting to rebuild his value.

Insider Links Leafs to Calgary Flames’ Jacob Markstrom

The Leafs have Joseph Woll’s deal running through the end of the 2024-25 season but no other netminder under contract.

Whether they sign a bonafide season-long starter or a 1B to form a tandem with Woll’s 1A, someone will inevitably have to come to Toronto’s net at some point.

In a contrasting approach to Mirtle’s, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman linked the Maple Leafs to Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom as a potential trade target on June 9.

“Toronto–and I know deals with Toronto and Calgary are kind of complicated–but the GM in Toronto is the guy who signed Markstrom in Calgary and, just on paper, a Markstrom-[Joseph] Woll combination is a pretty good combination,” Friedman said on the 32 Thoughts podcast on June 9. “So, I look at that and I say, ‘I could see why a team like Toronto would be interested in that, potentially,’”

Markstrom will make $6 million in each of the next two seasons. The Flames goalie, however, has a No-Move Clause in his contract so he has the right to block any trade. Friedman suggested Markstrom could waive the clause for the Leafs, the New Jersey Devils, and the Ottawa Senators as his places of choice.

“If your choice is trading for a goalie, especially him with that contract, or going out and signing someone in free agency that might be a bigger number, you’re very happy to take (Markstrom),” Friedman said. “So I can understand why there’d be a lot of interest in Markstrom, but obviously a lot of people are suspecting New Jersey, and there’s a few teams that suspect Toronto and Ottawa as well.”

Markstrom appeared in 48 games (23-23-2) in 2024, posting a .905 save percentage and allowing 2.78 goals against average.

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