Leafs Trade Tuukka Rask for Andrew RaycroftPublished by Toronto Mike on June 25, 2006 @ 12:24 in Toronto Maple Leafs
I didn't get the news until midnight last night, but during yesterday's NHL entry draft the Toronto Maple Leafs traded last year's #1 pick Tuukka Rask for Boston's Andrew Raycroft. When I first read about the deal, I hated it. Rask is only twenty years old and was named the top goaltender of last year's World Junior Championship. Raycroft, on the other hand, had a dismal .879 save percentage last year with a 3.71 goals against average and just eight wins in 30 starts. Yuck.
Today, I don't hate the deal nearly as much. Having both Rask and Justin Pogge was going to be a difficult balancing act and there's little doubt which goaltending prospect I want starting for the blue and white. The choice is now clear. Furthermore, Raycroft was solid in 2003/2004 and is only 26 years old. If he and Jean-Sebastien Aubin can get us through next season, Pogge may be ready in 2007/2008. Besides, Raycroft comes nice and cheap, meaning we have a little coin for the blue line.
The Ed Belfour era is officially over, at least it will be when we buy out his contract next week. As for Mikael Tellqvist, I see him as the odd man out. Aubin and Raycroft will be doing the heavy lifting, making Telly an extra part. We can't send him to the Marlies as Pogge will be the man there. I suspect we'll trade him for a draft pick.
I've gone from hating this trade to accepting the potential benefits in one night. Perhaps tomorrow I'll love it.