While the Leafs haven't confirmed anything, it's looking increasingly likely that James Reimer will be out with concussion-like symptoms for quite a while. The nature of his injury combined with the lack of information being released all but says Reimer won't be back any time soon. James isn't even doing off-ice workouts right now, let alone practicing. Clearly, the tandem of Scrivens and Gustavsson isn't feasible to keep in place until Reimer returns. Scrivens just isn't ready and would benefit more from playing under much less pressure in the AHL, and Gustavvson hasn't turned it around like we all hoped. Taking all this into account, it's time for the Leafs to look at bringing in outside help in net. I've outlined some options that Brian Burke could pursue after the jump.
Could the former San Jose head coach and starting goalie reunite? Nabokov's currently tending net in Long Island where he's posted a record of 1-5 with a 2.89 GAA and a .910 SV% this season. After initially refusing to report to the Islanders, it's quite clear Evgeni would rather play elsewhere. The former Vezina nominee posted very good numbers in 09/10 (his last full season in the NHL) but was pretty lackluster in Russia last season.
Turco's been working out with the Soo Greyhounds of the OHL and looking for an NHL contract. Burke has already stated that he has no interest in the 35 year old, but that may change down the road. All things considered, there's a reason no team signed Turco this off-season as his 10/11 season with Chicago was pitiful. If such a list existed, Marty would be pretty far down on Burke's list of goalies to pursue.
Scott Clemmensen was injured early on this season but returned on Tuesday to shutout the Dallas Stars 6-0. With the emergence of Jacob Markstrom in Scott's absence, it looks like Clemmensen could be pushed out. Many believe the only reason he started on Tuesday is because Dale Tallon was showcasing him for a possible trade. Leaf fans are familiar with Clemmensen (he played here in 07/08) and Scott's put up some pretty decent numbers over the last few years in a backup role. Looks like this could be a good fit for both parties.
Macdonald is currently with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL playing behind Jimmy Howard and Ty Conklin on Detroit's depth chart. There's some familiarity here as Macdonald spent 09/10 with the Marlies and Leafs. MacDonald's played in 70 NHL games over the past 3 seasons (not including this one) while putting up okay at best numbers.
With Antero Niittymaki on the shelf nursing an injury Greiss is backing up Antti Niemi in San Jose. In 6 games this season he's posted a 3-3 record with a 2.15 GAA and a .919 SV%. An acquisition of Greiss likely wouldn't come for another 3 weeks or 4 weeks until Nittymaki returns. Greiss is no amateur as he spent the full season backing up Nabokov in 09/10 before spending last season in Europe. Another thing to consider is with Greiss' fairly solid play this season, there's been rumblings that Nittymaki (with his more expensive contract) and not Greiss may be on his way out of San Jose.
There's been trade rumors surrounding Rask as of late and he actually had another outburst/tantrum at practice today (Thursday). The chances of Boston trading Rask at this point are unlikely; likewise are the chances of Brian Burke giving up the premium price it will take to get Tuukka. Many in Boston look at Rask as the goalie of the future once Tim Thomas moves on. It would be nice to see the Leafs right a wrong and re-acquire Rask, but it's safe to say that probably won't be happening.
The case of Cory Schneider is largely similar to that of Tuuka Rask. The major difference is Rask is playing behind the reigning Vezina winner and Schneider's playing behind well...Luongo. With Roberto unpredictable these days, Mike Gillis probably wants to hold onto Schneider rather than peddle him elsewhere. Burke also likely wouldn't pay the top price it will take to acquire the goalie his assistant Dave Nonis drafted. All in all, the chances of the Leafs getting Cory Schneider right now are highly unlikely.
Pascal Leclaire is another free agent goalie currently looking for NHL work along with Marty Turco. Let's file this under "former Ottawa Senators player" and leave it at that. Hopefully we won't ever be seeing Pascal LOLclaire in a Leafs jersey.
Alright, that pretty much covers it. Not saying the Leafs should pursue all these goalies, but they're options that could be available. Let me know in the comments if there's any other goalie Burke could pursue that has a chance of ending up a Leaf this season.