Posted 4:42 PM ET | Comments 1
One of the more debated issues this summer for Maple Leaf fans will be - who's gonna back up Andrew Raycroft? Would the Leafs want a goaltender who would make a strong push for the starter job like say one Patrick Lalime or would they want someone who would still want the starting job but wouldn't make as strong a push but would still be there to mentor young Raycroft like the infamous Curtis Joseph and also would've had previous success(more than just a rookie season), or John Ferguson (or Richard Peddie) and crew could give up on Raycroft, trade him away and try to sign 2 goalies, with having to be a proven star goaltender or this whole option would be worthless for the any playoff chances for the 07/08 season. The best option for JFJ in my opinion is the first one because in case Raycroft does have a few bad games or like this season he becomes picky with where he'll play well (home or away), then the backup could step in and play well asuming JFJ can get his hands on a potential starter. The backup, if playing well, could give Raycroft the backup position making him now work for the starting position instead of just being givin it like last season when no one could challenge him. If you remember from Raycrofts Calder Trophy season, he started the season behind Felix Potivin and worked his way to the starting position almost midway through the season leading the Bruins to clinch the Northeast Division one point ahead of the Leafs. The key to that was that season for Raycroft was that he had to earn the top spot, he wasn't projected to be anything more than a backup that season. If the Leafs get two goalies that will battle for the top job every chance they get putting there hearts out every game, they might just get that 1 extra point needed to make it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs instead of the golf course (not Kyle Wellwood though, he hates golf). That is also the least likely scenario considering the salary cap and JFJ's managing abilities (no offence). The most likely way that the organization goes will be the second choice (sorry to who left the comment I forgot to add this part). If the Leafs do get a mentor for Raycroft who will also challenge him for the starting job and will be a leader in the room not a problem then it will help this team dearly, and asumming JFJ gets someone just past there prime, once again like Joseph, who can still play the game well and of course someone who isn't inury-prone (Dominik Hasek). This is just one of the many issues that JFJ and Jeff Jackson face this summer, it will be very interesting. I'd love to hear your input.