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Toronto • 41 Years Old • Male
If I was JFJ, I would send Andrew "Red Light" Raycroft to the minors and I would do it now. Unlike some of the other over priced Toronto Maple Leafs, Raycroft does not have a no movement clause nor a no trade clause. It is pretty obvious that the Leafs have been unable to trade Raycroft, and really, no surprise here, who would want him?

Raycroft is sloppy with the puck, sits too far back in his net, leaves 3 HUGE holes (high glove, high blocker and 5 hole) that any decent NHL'er can exploit. Unfortunately, Raycroft is one of the young promising goalies that faltered under the new rules opening up lanes to the net along with the new limitations on Goalie equipment (anyone remember Theodore??)

Considering he is an untradable commodity, and considering the Leafs have 2 goalies (Clemmensen and Pogge) in their system which are both superior to Raycroft with better upsides and better equipped to handle the game as it is currently played along with the restrictions on goalie equipment - it is time to ship Raycroft to the minors and free up $2M in salary to be used elsewhere. The Leafs have several holes throughout their lineup that need filling, and $2M of cap space will go along way to filling at least 1 of those holes.

The timing of these comments is not co-incidental, I purposefully waited until Toskala and the Leafs were destroyed in a game. There is NO DOUBT that the Leafs have issues with defensive zone coverage, offensive scoring depth and team speed (although this has been improved significantly) - the simple fact is blowouts will happen and will happen to any team. You cannot have these games back and you have no chance of winning them. The other games are the concern here and you do not need to look further then the Leafs home opener against the Sens. The Leafs carried the play to the Sens for most of the game, outplayed and out chanced the Sens and managed to lose on 3 (out of 4) soft goals allowed by Raycroft. Raycrofts attitude also needs an adjustment, as his comments after the game "well, the bright side is, we got the point we missed the playoffs by last year" - when the reality is, there goes the point we missed by the playoffs last year. These are the games the Leafs must win this year to make the playoffs. Remember, the Leafs may have missed the playoffs by a single point, but, they were only 5-7 wins out of having home ice advantage. One of those wins was given up already this year by Raycroft - and personally, I watched enough of these last year. Toskala and Clemmesen (or Pogge) will account for the extra wins the Leafs need to make the playoffs, regardless of whether the same holes from last year still exist). The Leafs brass already know this, now it is just time for them to admit Raycroft was a mistake (and at the time, a GREAT gamble) - but, it hasn't worked out and you aren't fooling any other GM out there. No other team wants to take a chance on Raycroft and it is time to get his salary off the books and move on to filling other holes in the roster.
Filed Under:   Maple Leafs  
October 12, 2007 3:59 PM ET | Delete
you may have convinced people before last nights game, but since he was stellar in last night's game, you might have second thoughts. I agree about his inability to save pucks heading glove, blocker and 5 hole
October 12, 2007 7:05 PM ET | Delete
Raycroft has been significantly better than Toskala so far. Why can't you Leaf fans see that your team weakness is not goaltending (nor was it last year). Your team weakness is team defense -- both forwards and d-men suck defensively.
October 12, 2007 7:33 PM ET | Delete
With the exception of the third period against ottawa Raycroft has actually been pretty good! Pogge is not ready for the NHL, he couldn't handle the AHL last year and Clemmonson was so good he only got into 4 games last year. Besides what are they going to do with the cap room at this point? It's not like there is a ton of options that are any better then what Toronto already has out there.
October 13, 2007 2:51 PM ET | Delete
Hi rdfred - honestly, you are the LAST person I expected these sorts of comments from. Considering your Canucks went through the exact same thing - Dont you remember Cloutier? The Canucks missed the playoffs with Cloutier, then the same exact team, the next year, with upgraded goaltending, went on to have a nice run... If you still had Cloutier, fans in Vancouver would still be arguing about whether the goaltending is the problem or whether its the defense - the reality is, every team has defensive breakdowns - but, the difference between a good team and a bad team - is the team with the goaltending that can bail them out of a few mistakes.... as witnessed by the Canucks...
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