Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis says his club is still looking to add a veteran presence between the pipes.
“Yes,” Nonis replied, when asked by TSN1050’s Dave Naylor if Toronto was still looking to acquire an experienced goalie. “Both our goalies are aware of it, it’s not that we don’t think we have NHL-calibre goaltenders, or goalies with the ability to become very good starting goaltenders.
“But if we could add someone to help them along, a veteran that would help them grow, then we would do it.”
Toronto’s goaltending is awfully green right now with starting netminder James Reimer sidelined (MCL strain), leaving backup Ben Scrivens — he of the 19 career NHL appearances — to handle the load.
Third-stringer Jussi Rynnas has just two games of NHL experience, so he’s an emergency option at best.
The issue isn’t how well that group has handled things so far — Reimer has been solid, Scrivens outstanding in relief — but rather how they’ll react when things heat up.
The Leafs looked to be postseason-bound in 2011-12 but collapsed badly down the stretch, missing the playoffs for the seventh straight year.
The weight of that collapse was shouldered largely by Reimer (23 then, now 24) and partly by Scrivens (25 then, 26 now), leading many to suggest an older, more experienced goalie would prove crucial when the pressure rises.
Count Nonis among them — assuming he can find such a guy.
“At this point, there hasn’t been a veteran available, at least not at a price that makes any sense for us,” Nonis explained. “To the credit of both our goaltenders, they’ve stepped up and played very, very well.
“It hasn’t changed — we’d like to give them some help, some guidance along the way. But if that’s not available at a reasonable price, we’re content to go with the two we have.”
So…no Luongo, then?