Some suggested moves for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and updates on Olli Jokinen’s future with the Calgary Flames.
TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports the challenge for Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke is finding a top quality goaltender this summer. Tomas Vokoun, Josh Harding, Martin Biron and Chris Mason will be available via free agency, but Koshan calls on Burke to aim higher. “Could Roberto Luongo, whose contract last forever, or Cory Schneider be on the market in Vancouver if the Canucks flame out in the playoffs? Has Miikka Kiprusoff run his course in Calgary? Will the San Jose Sharks revamp their goaltending situation if they have yet another early exit, provided they make the playoffs?”
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle recently suggested the Maple Leafs are asking defenseman Dion Phaneuf to do too much. Mirtle doesn’t believe Phaneuf is “the type of all-around player who is going to excel as a No. 1 defenceman, and Burke would be well served by trying to find someone to bring in who could bump Phaneuf down the depth chart at least one spot”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good point by Mirtle, which could have some folks musing about the Leafs pursuing Nashville’s Ryan Suter if he should test this summer’s UFA market. The priority, however, is the goaltending, and Koshan is right that Burke will have to make a trade if he hopes to land a true quality starter. It remains to be seen what happens in Vancouver or Calgary. They won’t be the only clubs Burke could contact about goalies.
CALGARY HERALD/CALGARY SUN: Another disappointing season raises questions over the future of center Olli Jokinen with the Calgary Flames. Though Jokinen, an unrestricted free agent this summer, had a bounce-back season, over the past ten games he had only two points, which were contributing factors in the Flames inability to secure a playoff spot. Jokinen maintains his desire is to return with the Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Jokinen and his family love Calgary and wish to stay, the Flames could be facing a significant, and long overdue, rebuild in the off-season. It remains to be seen if he’ll be part of that rebuild. The determining factor could come down to what he seeks for a new contract, and what the Flames are willing to pay.