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New Maple Leafs’ Goalie David Rittich Should Stay for the Long Haul


Maybe it’s manner too early to invest about subsequent season when the Toronto Maple Leafs nonetheless face the potential of a protracted Stanley Cup run through the 2020-21 season. Nonetheless, as I sit up for the roster modifications that the workforce will face after this season, my logic tells me that new Maple Leafs’ goalie David Rittich is just not a rental.

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I just like the addition of Nick Foligno and consider he’ll convey rather a lot to the workforce over the top of this season and into the playoffs. I additionally hope the group guessed appropriately and that Foligno jumps in to assist push the Maple Leafs all the best way to the Stanley Cup. Nonetheless, when the ice chips soften on the 2020-21 NHL season, I’m placing my cash on my perception that, when the 2 key trades Maple Leafs’ normal supervisor Kyle Dubas made on the commerce deadline are assessed from the attitude of in Maple Leafs’ historical past, the commerce for Rittich will stand because the extra essential commerce.

Nick Foligno, Former Columbus Blue Jackets’ Captain (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Rittich checks off lots of packing containers the workforce must verify off; and, because the Maple Leafs head right into a 2021-22 NHL common season the place the salary-cap-flattening affect of COVID-19 on NHL revenues gained’t but have been vaccinated away, the workforce merely gained’t have the ability to signal all 24 of their upcoming free brokers.

The 2 important free brokers on the workforce’s roster the place choices should be made are beginning goalie Frederik Andersen and top-six winger Zach Hyman. Each will deserve salaries round $5 million and that merely appears unattainable even with the magic that Assistant Normal Supervisor and salary-cap-genius Brandon Pridham can do.

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My name is that Hyman might be prioritized over Andersen as a core to the Maple Leafs’ future.

Toronto Maple Leafs’ Zach Hyman, Morgan Rielly, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Meaning the Maple Leafs will want one other goalie and I consider Rittich will possible be the workforce’s selection. It additionally is sensible that the workforce would have the ability to signal Rittich to a contract that each suits into the workforce’s wants and plans because it makes an attempt to limbo beneath the unchanged higher limits of a flat wage cap. Logic means that Rittich will signal once more with the Maple Leafs and develop into both goalie 1A or 1B with Jack Campbell for subsequent season.

Contemplating the Rittich Commerce on Its Personal Advantage

When Dubas spoke in regards to the Rittich commerce, he famous that, given the unsure harm standing of Andersen, the Maple Leafs introduced Rittich in to shore up their goalie corps and to assist the goalies who had introduced the workforce to the place it stands right now atop the present North Division standings.

To get Rittich from Calgary, the Maple Leafs moved a third-round draft selection within the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. The Flames retained 50% of Rittich’s contract. That appears deal for the Maple Leafs, given their wants and the standard of goalie Rittich has been.

It’s most likely a win-win commerce for each Rittich and the Maple Leafs. Rittich had develop into the backup when Calgary signed Jacob Markstrom on a long-term contract because the workforce’s beginning goalie. Nonetheless, Rittich has been a robust goalie. He’d been named to the NHL All-Star Sport in 2020 and he’d been a robust starter for a number of seasons with the Flames.

Assessing Rittich’s First Sport in a Maple Leafs’ Uniform

Given each the weird circumstances and the scheduling context through which the sport was performed, Rittich performed properly for the Maple Leafs and helped the workforce dangle in there for a single level in a 3-2 time beyond regulation loss to the workforce he had simply been traded from.

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In reality, bodily transferring to Toronto from Calgary was a little bit of an odd journey. Rittich took the Flames airplane with the remainder of his former teammates to Toronto so he may face those self same teammates in his first Maple Leafs’ sport.

So far as the sport went, Chris Johnston was impressed with Rittich’s debut as a Maple Leafs’ goalie. Not solely was it “unprecedented” for Rittich to fly into Toronto along with his former workforce to affix a brand new workforce, however the truth that he instantly performed towards his previous workforce within the subsequent sport hadn’t occurred within the NHL for 20 years.

Rittich additionally famous about how odd the state of affairs was. There was a time through the sport the place he forgot which workforce he was on and he was startled by a Blue Jersey. He had no likelihood to cease Johnny Gaudreau’s nice transfer in time beyond regulation. Nonetheless, given all of the Rittich confronted, he made some nice saves within the third interval and allowed the workforce to hold in there to get a minimum of a degree from the sport they entered on a back-to-back and given some a troublesome journey.

Rittich himself famous how powerful his first Maple Leafs’ begin was and that enjoying his previous teammates ”was powerful. I’ve acquired some (life-long) pals there.”

In the long run, it wasn’t the beginning both the workforce or Rittich had hoped for. On the season, Rittich file moved to 4-7-2 with a goals-against-average of two.90 and a save share of .903.

What Occurs for the The rest of the Season and into Subsequent Season?

Until issues go very incorrect, through which case Rittich is liable to play greater than anticipated, Maple Leafs’ followers ought to anticipate Rittich to behave as Campbell’s backup till Andersen returns to the line-up. One ought to hope that Andersen would return through the common season. Would the Maple Leafs let Andersen sit after which play him through the playoffs? That doesn’t appear logical to me.

Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Shifting into subsequent season, as I famous earlier, there appears to be little likelihood Andersen might be again with the workforce as a result of I feel the group will commerce Andersen’s salary-cap hit for the area to re-sign Hyman. Thus, the Rittich transfer would possibly provide a touch into Dubas’ plans transferring ahead.

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Rittich ought to get some enjoying time on the finish of this common season; and, if all goes properly, there’s greater than an opportunity he’ll be again subsequent season. Is the Maple Leafs plan to go along with Campbell as their starter (and even 1A) subsequent season and re-sign Rittich because the backup (and even 1B)?

Given Rittich’s file this season and the affect of COVID-19’s flat wage cap on contracts, Rittich will possible not signal for for greater than his present contract of $2.75 million. Might he signal a short-term, bet-on-himself contract with the Maple Leafs? In that case, enjoying with a robust workforce just like the Maple Leafs would permit him to place up stable numbers subsequent season and get a better contract someplace ought to he select when issues settle down a bit.

I feel Dubas sees Rittich as greater than a rental. Even when I’m incorrect, buying and selling for Rittich this season was transfer for the group.


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