Calgary Flames have granted Toronto Maple Leafs permission to talk to Kiprusoffs representatives #TSN
— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) April 1, 2013
That said, Ward was vindicated somewhat by the word of Bruins’ GM Pete Chiarelli, who said that he thought that there was a deal in place. I don’t have a reason yet to distrust Aaron Ward’s sources, and the general belief is that the Leafs are looking for an upgrade over Ben Scrivens. John Shannon has also mentioned it.
Obviously, you’d need Kiprusoff on board before exchanging any sort of assets for him. He still has a year left on his six-year deal and is 36. Complicating matters is that despite no no-trade or no-movement clause, it’s been reported that Kiprusoff would not report to his new team in event of a trade.
My position on this is pretty firm. I don’t think that Kiprusoff represents a clear upgrade over James Reimer at this point. He’s been one of the streakier goalies in the NHL since the end of the lockout. There is an argument to be made that the Leafs could bring in a veteran backup to replace Ben Scrivens if you felt like experience was necessary on the bench, but the assets to acquire such a goalie may be too high.
It all depends what kind of ransom Jay Feaster wants for Kiprusoff. The Leafs have a tonne of cap space for next season so his salary hit isn’t much of an issue, but if the tangible assets Feaster wants for one of his franchise’s premier players since its resurgence are exchanged, the Leafs would probably come out behind.
For the record, Reimer’s save percentage numbers better than Kiprusoff’s over the last three seasons. If Toronto are going to spend assets on a player, it should be for one who is likely to get a lot of ice time during the playoff stretch or playoff run.
The other thing to consider is that these are unsourced reports from media insiders who generally do the work for general managers to raise players’ trade values in exchange for a few scoops. Perhaps Dave Nonis is trying to convince Mike Gillis that he has other options not named Roberto Luongo? Of course, neither Kiprusoff or Luongo make all that much sense for the Leafs at this point.