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Brian Burke should be on the phone for a goalie right about now

Nov 9, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT

Brian Burke Getty Images

Leafs coach Ron Wilson made it crystal clear that both Jonas Gustavsson and Ben Scrivens are not the answer they’re looking for in a backup goalie in Toronto. With James Reimer still out dealing with a whiplash-like injury, it’s been on those two to stop pucks. In their last few games they’ve done anything but that.

So what now? With Reimer’s status still up in the air as to when he’s getting back, the backup issue is going to stay terrible and isn’t changing without a trade being worked out. Marty Turco is readily available as a free agent but he wouldn’t do anything to fix the problem. Brian Burke does have a couple of teams he could talk to about a deal though.

Florida has a glut of useful goaltending at the top with Jose Theodore and Scott Clemmensen with Clemmensen being the guy most likely to be moved. Clemmensen has just one year left on his deal and with Jacob Markstrom back in the AHL for the time being and with a future as their eventual top guy, Clemmensen is just the guy holding things down in the mean time. Dale Tallon and Brian Burke working on a trade has the potential to be explosively glorious.

If that doesn’t tickle their fancy there’s always the Islanders. The Isles are rolling with Rick DiPietro, Al Montoya, and Evgeni Nabokov in goal and Nabokov is the guy most readily available to move. Nabokov isn’t a permanent solution but would likely improve their backup situation dramatically and give Ron Wilson a guy he’s more than familiar with from his days in San Jose. Only question here is what it would take to get Garth Snow to move Nabokov. It won’t be cheap.

One way or another, Burke has a move to make here to keep the Leafs riding high all season. Backup goalie is a huge Achilles Heel for this team and they’ll need a fix sooner than later.

  1. skoobyfl - Nov 9, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Fail Leafs fail, Sabres will be past you soon.

  2. cbjfan75 - Nov 9, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Columbus is in even more dire need of one…

  3. imleftcoast - Nov 9, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Is there any chance Luongo would waive his NTC and go to Toronto? I have a feeling it’s possible.

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 9, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    No way in hell Burke will pay a steep price to pick up Nabokov. Plus DiPietro is likely to get injured long term at any given time, why would the Isles trade their insurance?

    But I do have to concede if Reimer isn’t back by next week there’s a serious problem that needs to be fixed here. Actually, two serious problems if you take into account these goalies have gotten 1 goal in support over the last 2 games

  5. bcisleman - Nov 9, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Going into the season, I would not have thought Nabby would command much value. He has, however, been quite good. He was a little shaky the other night in Boston, but he was coming off more than a week and a half out of action due to the usual squeaky clean play of Saint Mario’s haloed bunch. I should add that he was pretty much hung out to dry on all three goals as the team did not play well Monday.

    The Isles need a bona fide #2 D. Steve Staios is a good guy, but he isn’t getting it done. Cody Franson seems to be more of a spare part in Toronto than anything else and Nabby has a boatload of history with Ron Wilson. Nabby and a conditional pick for Franson would work and solve both teams’ problems.

    • danphipps01 - Nov 9, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      I like the sounds of that trade. Franson’s struggling to break into the lineup, he’d be an automatic inclusion in New York. On the flip side, though, it’s been said already – as long as DiPietro is your starter, you need two backups, because you’ll be playing them most of the year. Nabokov’s price will be driven up because of the Isles’ unique goaltending situation, I think.

      I like Clemmensen too, though. Wonder what the Panthers would want?

  6. gbiscottagecheesefatties - Nov 9, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Plenty of options to choose from in Minny but I doubt the Wild would trade with Toronto if Columbus would be willing to play ball.

  7. kingjoe1 - Nov 9, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Hi Brian this is Paul Holmgren. If you take Hartnells and Meszaros contract we will throw in Bobrosky.

    • danphipps01 - Nov 9, 2011 at 6:06 PM

      You know, points-wise Hartnell only really had one bad season – a season in which he rebounded to notch eight goals and nine assists in the Flyers’ Finals run. Aside from that, he’s generally a solid player for a little over four million.

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