Are the Leafs going to move on from Enroth already?

There are two interesting albeit minor storylines worth following in this early portion of the Leafs’ season. One is the presence of Brandon Prust, who’s seen his involvement with the club grow from a PTO cut to someone who hangs around the team to a regular now at practices and morning skates. It’s worth keeping an eye on, because Prust could potentially work his way into a one-year deal, and of course the arguments in Leafland to follow will have the heat turned way up.

But far more intriguing than the hanging-on of Prust is the somewhat under-reported inclusion of goaltender Karri Ramo into the Toronto fold.

Ramo first started practicing with the Leafs in the opening week of November and at the time Babcock had this to say about his situation (via Sportsnet):

“So Ramo was out there with us today,” said coach Mike Babcock. “His agent has a relationship with (GM) Lou (Lamoriello), he knows Lou. So he needed to get in shape and get his knee redone. Our guys helped him with that process and he was out on the ice today with us because we didn’t want Andy to have a whole bunch of shots…So that’s the scoop there.” Asked if Ramo will continue skating with the team, Babcock replied: “Yeah, that’s a good question.”

It’s a little bit strange to see that sort of apparent disconnect between coach and management, but it just seemed at the time like Ramo was getting some conditioning in with hopes of another team giving him a call.

Then this happened:

I’m pretty sure Joffrey Lupul doesn’t even have a stall at the Air Canada Centre, and he’s under contract for two more years. Ramo’s promotion from the practice facility to the big building is definitely curious.

Dangle had this to pass along, and though it’s supposedly just a guess, there’s probably more to it. Even if it’s not going to be the Flyers involved here specifically, with the way this situation is playing out, Enroth could be shipped off to make room for someone Lou likes more. I’ve also seen more than one person suggest Babcock isn’t a big fan of small goalies, but I’m not sure where that’s rooted so take it with a major grain of salt.

While this would obviously be a minor tinkering move between a couple backups, it’ll be interesting to see if anything gives here. Enroth and Ramo had vastly different performances last year, with the former putting up a .922 sv% with the Kings and the latter posting .909 in Calgary. But the caveat here is Ramo started in 37 contests as the go-to guy for the Flames while Enroth was limited to just 16 in Los Angeles. 

Enroth currently has a .866 sv% in four appearances for the Leafs this season and carries just a $750K cap hit for this year only.

  • Stan Smith

    I don’t know if Babcock’s statement is proof of any disconnect between management and coach. I have seen enough interviews with Babcock to know when he says “That’s an interesting question” and then nothing else it means it is a question he is not going to answer. Ramo being here could be exactly what they say it is, a chance for him to work out and give Andersen a chance to rest between starts.

    i do have one question. Does anyone know if the Leafs could be paying Ramo and Prust some money for their services at practices without them being on contract? Possibly pay them as a coach or advisor?

    • LukeDaDrifter

      “That’s an interesting question”…….

      I suppose they could possibly be classed as consultants if the Leafs wished to throw them some money. They would likely need some sort of contract like Barbara Underhill so as not to confuse them as players. If they are classed as players though then the 50 man roster limit has to have some effect. Sometimes teams/employers will give themselves the benefit of the doubt, and try something different.

      When informed it is “forbidden” they say OH! We didn’t know that. We were really just helping them out with conditioning as a favour. We will inform them they can not longer practice with the Leafs…..Is it ok if they just skate around and work out on their own?

      On the other hand it may not be “forbidden” but I doubt it. Otherwise some rich teams would have a load of ” practice squad ” guys hanging about.

  • Snizzbone

    Singing Ramo and trading Enroth is just good asset management. even a late round pick could end up becoming a guy like Connor Brown or Dymtro Timashov. And if the pick becomes nothing both goalies will be long gone by the time we discover that and it doesn’t really matter anyways. it would be a smart move to make.

  • The Russian Rocket

    I don’t think they’ve had a good enough look at Enroth yet. Part of me is intrigued but If they’re going to lean on their backup for 25+ starts, you probably don’t want to roll the dice on a guy with a newly repaired knee when you have a solid looking backup in Enroth – especially if the Leafs are aiming for the playoffs.

    • LukeDaDrifter

      A valid point….The counter point is the Leafs may feel they have had a good enough look at him. From training camp, though six weeks of practice, and some NHL game time.

      We all know goalies usually have some unexpected injury time. When that happens your backup guy, becomes your starter for a lot of games. If Ramo did re-injure his repaired knee then plan B would be the Marlies,

      Plan C is to climb back into the TANK. I think the tank is still parked in the very bottom of the ACC. Only the Canucks have inquired about purchasing it so far.