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Should The Maple Leafs Shop For A Goaltender?

The recent struggles of Jack Campbell and Petr Mrazek has some observers wondering if Leafs GM Kyle Dubas will seek a goaltending upgrade.
Jack Campbell

The Toronto Maple Leafs are only four points out of first overall in the Eastern Conference. However, the recent struggles of Jack Campbell and Petr Mrazek have some observers wondering if general manager Kyle Dubas will seek a goaltending upgrade.

The Athletic's Jonas Siegel observed Campbell had a 12-4-1 record in his first 18 games with a .943 save percentage. Over his last 20 contests, he was 11-4-3 but his save percentage tumbled to .893.

Some pundits, such as the Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan, suggested sitting Campbell in favor of backup Petr Mrazek while the Leafs' starter works on improving his game. Mrazek, however, missed 23 contests in the first half with a groin injury and sports a 3.07 GAA and .895 SP.

Koshan's colleague, Steve Simmons, expressed concern with Campbell's decline and has little confidence in Mrazek. He speculates the Leafs could be among a long list of suitors for the Chicago Blackhawks' Marc-Andre Fleury.

Fleury, however, carries a $7-million salary-cap hit. Dubas could attempt to find a way to squeeze him into the Leafs' tight payroll after placing Jake Muzzin on long-term injury reserve. However, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported the Leafs won't hold Muzzin out of the lineup if he's ready to return before the end of the season. That would complicate any attempt to acquire Fleury, assuming the Leafs aren't on his 10-team no-trade list.

Semyon Varlamov and his $5-million cap hit through 2022-23 could be another suitable trade target but there's no indication the New York Islanders are shopping the 33-year-old netminder. Other options include career backups such as Detroit's Thomas Greiss or a past-his-prime former starter such as Dallas' Braden Holtby.

Sticking with Campbell and hoping he regains his first-half form could be the Leafs' only realistic choice.

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