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Maple Leafs Quick Hits: Kase, Engvall, Kallgren & Woll

The Toronto Maple Leafs are not sure of their starting goalie, but they do know their backups. What else is the team anticipating?

The Toronto Maple Leafs’ roster remains up in the air. However, Maple Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas is making some decisions. Obviously, the biggest decision is the starting goalie. but there are also some RFAs that need decisions made about.

In this post, I’ll take a look at some of these decisions both about two RFAs and the backup goalie situation.

Related: Why Maple Leafs’ Trading Mrazek to Blackhawks Makes Sense

Quick Hit One: Maple Leafs Unlikely to Qualify Ondrej Kase

It isn’t as if Ondrej Kase played poorly during the season. Quite the opposite, when he was healthy he played well. But the “when” part was a bit of an issue. Yesterday, when speaking with the media, the Maple Leafs GM said he “wasn’t sure yet” if the team would issue a qualifying offer to Ondrej Kase. 

Reading between the lines, it would seem that the team will not qualify Kase. As a result, he’ll become a UFA. There are three more days to go. If Kase is not qualified, he’ll be able to take his skills on the open market.

Too bad for him. He plays hard and is skilled. Last season he scored 14 goals and added 13 assists (for 27 points) in 50 games. 

Quick Hit Two: Maple Leafs Will Qualify Pierre Engvall

On the other hand, Dubas reported that the team would qualify Pierre Engvall. Similar to Kase, Engvall is a pending restricted free agent and he does have arbitration rights. He’s just finishing a two-year, $2.5 million contract. Last season, Engvall put up career-best totals of 15 goals and 20 assists (for 35 points) in 78 games. 

So, it summary, the Maple Leafs’ plan is to qualify restricted free agent Pierre Engvall (at the cost of $1.25 million), before Monday’s deadline. Although Dubas notes that he doesn’t know if the team will qualify Ondrej Kase. That’s a hint that Kase will probably not be qualified.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Engvall No Longer in Keefe’s Good Graces

Quick Hit Three: Erik Kallgren and Joseph Woll Will Battle for Backup Goalie

Dubas was clear about one thing. There will be a battle for the position of Maple Leafs’ backup goalie between two youngsters who played well for the team last season in limited appearances. Those goalies are Joseph Woll and Erik Kallgren.

Dubas noted that “I think I feel good about Kallgren and Woll battling there as well and that gives me confidence that the focus will certainly be one (goalie) and then we’ll see what the cap situation is from there, and proceed.”

Joseph Woll Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender
Joseph Woll (Upper Deck cards)

What Maple Leafs’ fans are unsure of is who will be the starting goalie. Dubas traded Petr Mrazek to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night at the NHL Entry Draft. There might not be a goalie, but now there is some cap space to sign one. 

Related: Has Philippe Myers Found a Home with the Lightning, Not the Leafs?

9 Comments

9 Comments

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  5. afp1961

    July 9, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    Jim, good piece of work by Dubas to correct last years mistake. Trading Mrazek freed up cap but the leafs, baring any other trades still only have 10.2M. Things will be awfully tight IMO. I see things go like this:

    Jack or a facsimilie = 4.5M
    Sandin = 1.4M
    Engvall = 1.25
    Kase = NQO
    Lyubushkin/7th = 1.5M
    13th Fwd = 900K

    That leaves roughly 500K of space in case any deal above needs slight tweeking.

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