The Toronto Maple Leafs have had goaltending questions for the last several years. Those questions finally seemed to gain an answer last season, in the former of James Reimer, who had a strong regular season, and an outstanding postseason performance. Then Dave Nonis threw a big wrench into everything.
The Leafs went out and acquired Jonathan Bernier from Los Angeles this summer, in one of the more significant trades of the summer. They didn’t surrender too much to acquire him, but giving up depth and a solid backup goaltender, to create a controversy and take on more money, made little sense.
Now the Leafs will roll into the season with Reimer and Bernier as their goaltending duo. Rather than improve other aspects of their team, that actually needed addressing, the Maple Leafs chose to make their goaltending situation into an even larger question.
It’s one that has yet to gain an answer. There appears to be competition for the job, but either way you’re treading in dangerous waters. If Bernier wins the job, you run the risk of alienating your former starter and a guy that looked like a potential building block.
If Reimer wins the job, then Bernier is stuck in the exact same situation he was in Hollywood. A player capable of being a starting goaltender, but sitting on the bench.
Of course, that’s assuming that the Maple Leafs are actually going to name one sure starter, and won’t roll with the duo in a pretty even split. We have no idea what the plan is for the Leafs. What we do know is that what could have been an answer for a franchise in need of some stability between the pipes, just became an even larger question. Just not in the way it was before.