Maple Leafs And Goalie Have "Mutual Interest" In Free Agency

 There’s no doubt that goaltending is one of the prime focuses for the Toronto Maple Leafs this off-season. And while there was some word last month that they’d be going “big game hunting“ for a proven true No. 1, the latest word is that they’ve also got a “1B” option on their radar, in Laurent Brossoit.

The career backup had his best year as a pro with the Winnipeg Jets this past season, going 15-5-2 with a .927 save percentage and a 2.00 goals against average. The 31 year-old will become an unrestricted free agent once again this summer if the Jets aren’t able to re-sign him by July 1. Brossoit is in line for a bump up from the $1.75 million, one-year deal that he signed last year with the Jets.

James Mirtle writes in The Athletic that he figures the Leafs should go more “economical” in their bid to upgrade their goaltending, and that Brossoit would be a great option to split time with incumbent Joseph Woll.

Brossoit hasn’t played a ton, but he has put up good numbers the past few seasons. His top priority as a 31-year-old UFA is going to be to go to a good team where he can start frequently. The Leafs fit the bill, and my understanding is there is mutual interest.

What would it cost to secure Brossoit on the free agent market? Mirtle estimates somewhere around $3 million annually on a relatively short deal. Throughout his 10-year career, since the expiry of his three-year entry-level deal, Brossoit has only signed one or two-year deals, with his biggest being the two-year contract he inked with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2021 that carried an AAV of $2.325 million. He should surpass that this time around, as there is a dearth of viable goalies on the open market this summer. 

The Jets will probably find it hard to commit that kind of money to keep Brossoit, as they’ve already got $8.5 million tied up annually between the pipes in starter Connor Hellebuyck for another six years.

 Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports