Leading trade candidates to replace CuJo in Toronto
Kevin Weekes, Tampa Bay Lighting: It’s no secret that Weekes wants out of Tampa Bay. He was assured in the off-season that he would play an important role with the Bolts but has played just 19 games. He patience is wearing thin and there is no future for him in Tampa as long as Khabibulin is around.
Jeff Hackett, Montreal Canadiens: Jose Theodore is the future in Montreal and the Habs would dearly like to unload Hackett’s $4.5 million contract. When healthy, Hackett is a top 20 goalie. But his health problems and hefty salary might scare away the Leafs.
Jamie McLennan, Minnesota Wild: He’s a long shot. Minnesota has been trying to deal him all season. He’s been in the minors since opening day and has compiled a very ordinary 18-16 record and a .894 save percentage playing for the Houston Aeros in the AHL.
Stephane Fiset, Los Angeles Kings: He was earmarked as a future starter with the Kings but was bumped this season by Felix Potvin and Jamie Storr. Injuries have limited him to just 19 games for the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs where he is 7-4-6 with a 2.86 goals against average.
Trevor Kidd, Florida Panthers: Kidd has been sitting on the sidelines the entire season while future star Roberto Luongo mans the nets. The 29-year-old veteran still believes he has the ability to lock down a starting job despite numerous failed attempts. His 3-9-3 record will do little to help his cause.
Mike Vernon, Calgary Flames: Vernon’s best days are behind him but the veteran has the ability to jump into a pressure-filled situation. The 39-year-old only has one win this season but has won two Stanley Cups. He has agreed to waive his no-trade clause in order to secure some playing time on another team.
Steve Shields, Anaheim Mighty Ducks: Many have forgotten that Shields was a starting goalie for the San Jose Sharks once upon a time. Injuries and the emergence of Jean-Sebastien Giguere have limited his playing time in Anaheim. But he did win 27 games two years ago and comes relatively cheap.
Ed Belfour, Dallas Stars: Stars’ management has hinted that it doesn’t intend on re-signing Belfour in the off-season. Youngster Marty Turco is the goalie of the future in Dallas and Belfour’s recent tirade in Vancouver hasn’t helped his cause. Former Stars’ coach Ken Hitchcock has a good relationship with Leafs’ GM Pat Quinn and the team does have a recent trade history.
Fred Brathwaite, St. Louis Blues: Another long shot but the Blues are going to have to choose a starting goalie some day and it’s likely going to be Brent Johnson simply because he’s younger and has a better record. The Blues could also use a scoring injection with Weight and Keith Tkachuk injured.
Miikka Kiprusoff, San Jose Sharks: It would take a lot for the Leafs to pry away Kiprusoff but a deal is doable. Evgeni Nabokov is just hitting his prime and at 26, he’s got a long future ahead of him. The Sharks’ system is loaded with goalie prospects so don’t be surprised to see Kiprusoff on the block.
(Josh Brown, Faceoff.com