There's No Rush
Nobody likes the three-goalie system, at least not for long.
But until the Maple Leafs are sure they have a bona fide starter, doesn't it make sense for them to keep all the goalies they can get their hands on?
Let's be honest. Nobody, even super-confident goalie consultant Steve McKichan, can yet say for certain that Andrew Raycroft will bounce back from a sub-par season last year with the Boston Bruins.
Yes, the Bruins were awful. Yes, having Hannu Toivonen and Tim Thomas in and out of the lineup even when Raycroft was healthy didn't create a stable working environment.
Still, nobody knows for sure whether Raycroft is again ready to be a No. 1 goalie for a team that will need sterling goaltending to make the post-season.
And you won't know, realistically, until late November or early December.
So what if he bombs? Wouldn't it make sense under that scenario to have both Mikael Tellqvist and Jean-Sebastien Aubin around, particularly since that tandem seemed to work fairly well for the club in the last weeks of the season last spring?
Neither Tellqvist nor Aubin is eating up a lot of salary cap room. The team can easily go indefinitely with 13 forwards, seven defencemen and three goalies.
And the possible returns in a trade for either Aubin or Tellqvist are likely to be no more than a mid-round draft pick at best right now, particularly since neither is a proven backup, let alone a proven starter.
It's not like dealing one or the other is going to patch another hole in the Leaf lineup.
Remember when San Jose figured it had to get rid of a goalie, figuring three was too many? The Sharks kept Evgeny Nabokov and Vesa Toskala, and dumped Miikka Kiprusoff to the Calgary Flames for a second round pick.
This, of course, is not to compare either Aubin or Tellqvist with Kiprusoff. But the point is the Leafs need more information on all of their netminders before they feel the need to dump one. Geez, they only gave Aubin a shot at all last season because they had no choice, and look what they found out about him.
Moroever, this is a bit of a phony debate since the Leafs don't have to make a decision. The only people left uncomfortable in a three-goalie system are the No. 2 and 3 goalies, because they don't get enough work in practice, and the head coach, 'cause he's got to deal with long faces.
So let Raycroft establish himself and get comfortable. Once that has taken place, then it will be time to choose between Aubin and Tellqvist.