This just in: we can officially put any and all Pascal Leclaire-to-Toronto trade rumours to rest.
“Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Pascal Leclaire will undergo ankle surgery Friday that will likely sideline him through the regular season.”
So THAT explains why they picked up Wade Dubielewicz last week.
For a while, the aforementioned Leclaire speculation made a lot of sense.Â Â Toronto has instability in the net, Toskala may or may not be on the block, Leclaire is young and talented, and Columbus has a rising star in rookie goaltender Steve Mason.
Now that Leclaire is likely done for the season, however, a trade deadline deal is off the table.Â Of course, anything can happen in the offseason, in terms of the Leafs’ goaltending situation, and we may see Burke pursue him yet.
However, if you had Brian Burke’s ear on this one, what would you advise him to do about the goaltending situation, now that trading for Leclaire is no longer an in-season option?
(a) Stick with the current Toskala-CuJo tandem the rest of the way, keep Toskala in the offseason and have Pogge serve as his backup next season;
(b) Convince CuJo to retire and call up Pogge to serve as Toskala’s backup the rest of this season;
(c) Try to move Toskala at the deadline; if successful let Pogge and CuJo finish out the season as the goaltending tandem;
(d) Try to move Toskala at the deadline, and acquire a goaltender to team with CuJo to finish out this season (and possibly remain with the team next season);
(e) Try to move Toskala at the deadline, acquire another goaltender, convince CuJo to retire, and call up Pogge to share duties with the new goaltender;
(f) Trade Toskala in the offseason, promote Pogge to the NHL club full-time, and trade for or sign a veteranÂ goaltender (e.g. Vokoun, Backstrom) to be the starter until Pogge is ready;
(g) Trade Toskala in the offseason, promote Pogge to the NHL club full-time, and trade for or sign a younger goaltender (e.g. Leclaire, Pavelec) to create an open competition between he and Pogge for the starter’s job.
Yes, I recognize there are a lot of options available, and I think I have exhausted them all.
The question is:Â if you had a say in all this, what approach would you advise Burke to take?