Maple Leafs 'dipping toes' in trade market due to Samsonov.

Maple Leafs 'dipping toes' in trade market due to Samsonov.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have started to make waves in the trade market due to the poor play of Ilya Samsonov.

Jonathan Larivee

The play of Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov has left the Maple Leafs in a less than ideal scenario heading into the holiday break,

In spite of the fact that Samsonov has not been playing up to the level of a National Hockey League goaltender this season, the Leafs have been forced to use him due to the fact that Joseph Woll is currently sidelined with an injury. The result of this has been disastrous for the Leafs, with perhaps the final straw coming last week against the Buffalo Sabres. In that game Samsonov allowed 5 goals on 24 shots, recording a .737 and eventually forcing Sheldon Keefe to pull him from the net.

The Maple Leafs have a number of options here, none of which are particularly ideal

The first option would be to place Samsonov on waivers for the purpose of demoting him to the American Hockey League. The issue there is that a rival team in theory could claim Samsonov, although with the way he has played this season that seems unlikely.

Another option for the Leafs would be to make a trade of some kind, and over the weekend NHL insider Elliotte Friedman indicated that the Leafs have in fact begun to explore that option.

"Samsonov in Toronto has been a lot of the topic," said Friedman of the goalie market. "I do believe that Toronto has dipped its toes into the goaltending market."

Those hoping for a quick fix on the part of Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving may be left disappointed however. Friedman indicated that there is nothing imminent on the trade front due to the teams with available goaltenders looking to price gouge teams like the Maple Leafs.

"I don't expect anything to happen right when the freeze ends," said Friedman. "The other thing I am hearing out there is that the team's that have the goaltending surplus, they know. What they are asking for is a lot... and I just think all these teams out here that are looking for goaltenders find they are being extorted."

If the Leafs do manage to pull a move off after the holiday roster freeze is lifted on Wednesday, it may be a costly one.