As detailed in this article by Chris Thomas, Jonathan Bernier has been dealt by the Toronto Maple Leafs to the Anaheim Ducks. Now, it seemed as though Bernier would be Toronto’s backup goalie headed into the season, so now, Toronto will need a replacement. There are still some free agent goalies available, as well as the option to call up one of the goalies in the system. Let’s explore these options further.
Jhonas Enroth (28 —> Last Contract was 1 year, $1.25 mil)
Clearly, Enroth would be an upgrade over Bernier. They are both born in 1988, but Enroth is obviously superior. Enroth is well above the league average in Adjusted Goals Saved Above Average per 60, raw SV%, and in high-danger SV%. Most impressive is his percentage of above average appearances (68.75%). Meanwhile, Bernier is well below the league average in each of these statistics. Last year Enroth was signed to a 1 year deal worth $1,250,000, so it seems like Toronto would be able to get him for relatively cheap. The biggest knock on Enroth is his small stature – he stands at only 5’10” – but with stats like these, I don’t see why this would be a problem at all. One thing to consider is the small sample size of these statistics, only 13 games.
Karri Ramo (30 —> Last Contract was 1 year, $3.8 mil)
It is immediately obvious that Ramo is not as good of an option as Enroth would be. In fact, he’s not much of an upgrade over Bernier. His AdjGSAA/60 is -0.1466 (Bernier’s is -0.4956), and his above average apperance% is 48.65% (Bernier’s is 42.11%). So Ramo is an upgrade, but only by a slight margin. The fact that he demanded $3.8 mil last season is worrisome, as he clearly thinks he’s worth more than he actually is, the direct opposite of Enroth. Not the best option in my opinion.
Ben Scrivens (29 —> Last Contract was 2 years, $2.3 mil)
A former goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Scrivens would be a familiar backup. Obviously, like Enroth, and unlike Ramo, he has been used as a backup instead of a starter over the past few seasons. He has an above average SV%, although it is a bit deceptive. His HDSV% is very bad 77.53%, but his MDSV% and LDSV% are both exceptional, bringing it up. Considering most shots are medium danger, this isn’t a huge deal, but it is an indicator that Scrivens may not be the best goaltender. His above average apperance% is quite good compared to Ramo and Bernier at 53.33%. I’d call Scrivens an upgrade over Ramo or Bernier, but not as good as Enroth. His last contract of $2.3 mil for 2 years falls right between Enroth’s $1.25 mil and Ramo’s $3.8 mil. That’s not to say it is what his demands are this time around, but it is a decent indicator of what he might think he deserves.
Anders Lindback (28 —> Last Contract was 1 year, $875k)
Lindback is probably the worst option so far. The only positive is his low price tag ($875,000), but other than that, his stats make him undesirable. His SV% is worse than Bernier’s and the league average in every respect, except that his HDSV% is slightly higher (83.16% to 81.69%). His AAA% of 42.11% is the same as Bernier’s, and his AdjGSAA/60 is very, very slightly better than Bernier’s. All in all, Lindback is most clearly of all these goalies, not an upgrade over Bernier, and probably the worst option for the Toronto Maple Leafs so far.
Garret Sparks (23 —> Last Contract was 3 years at $670k)
Wow. It’s obvious right away that Sparks was terrible last season. As we all know, the Leafs put him in net during their ‘tanking’ time, and it obviously worked. Every stat outside possibly the least important, LDSV%, is terrible from Sparks. The only pros to Sparks are that a) He’s already acquainted with the Leafs’ system, b) He’s already a Leafs’ fan favourite, and c) He’s young (only 23) and can still develop. But in all honesty, Sparks is an AHL goalie, not an NHL backup, and with Bibeau and Kaskisuo already in the Marlies system, there is no need for Sparks there. If the Leafs really want to make a push to start becoming a good team next season, Sparks isn’t the way to go, any one of the four goalie above would be a better option, even if a pricier and older option.
My conclusion from all of this is to sign Jhonas Enroth. Size aside, he clearly has the best stats of any goalie available in the UFA market, and at 28, he’s just hitting his prime years. He’s used to playing a backup role, and doesn’t seem to demand a lot of cash. I’d love to see Enroth in the blue and white next season.