After the Philadelphia Flyers made a trade last week involving Ivan Provorov, even more trade talk started to rise over in Philadelphia after The Fourth Periods David Pagnotta’s tweet about Flyers current goaltender Carter Hart. The official tweet by David said, “The Flyers are also working in a trade involving goalie Carter Hart. It’s not at the finish line, like the Provorov deal, but Philly is actively on it”. The exact and full tweet can be seen below.
With the young goaltender still not officially moved out yet, speculation has started to rise as to which team could acquire Carter Hart. Obviously, with the Maple Leafs goaltending position being an uncertainty at the moment, talk amongst the fanbase has started to flow as expected. The 24-year-old goaltender had a 2.94 goals against average and a .907 save percentage through fifty-five games last season with the Flyers. With Carter Hart being a former highly touted prospect and his strong 2022-23 performance given what was in front of him on the ice, there’s no doubt the second-round pick from the 2016 NHL Entry Draft could be a spectacular addition with a change of scenery.
So with that said, should the Maple Leafs trade for Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart?
Simple answer, no they should not.
As much as I like Carter Hart and what he did last season, it just doesn’t make much sense for the Maple Leafs right now. The rumored return for the 24-year-old goaltender is quite hefty, and given the Maple Leafs current window to win, I rather not take another gamble at the goaltending position. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in Carter Hart’s abilities, but taking a chance at the goaltending position once again is definitely something I would try to avoid heading into next season.
After the emergence of Joseph Woll last season and his extremely team-friendly cap hit, spending a premium at the position instead of taking advantage of Joseph Woll’s $766,667 for the next two seasons would be a waste. Although Joseph Woll is still young and finding his way at the National Hockey League level, having a goaltender who looked as promising as Joseph Woll did is encouraging. With the Maple Leafs being tight on cap space, having your potential starting goaltender under contract for two more seasons under a million dollars needs to be taken advantage of.
Related Story: The Flyers Should Stick with Hart in Goal
When it comes to Ilya Samsonov, of course, there is a lot more uncertainty with the 26-year-old needing a contract, but I’m more inclined to roll with Ilya once again. After a solid 2022-23 season with the Maple Leafs, Ilya Samsonov’s play was crucial and a massive reason why this team accomplished what it did. After playing in forty-two games for Toronto last season, Samsonov had a 2.33 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. In a season that had a lot of ups and downs, Ilya Samsonov was reliable when healthy and certainly came up large when Matt Murray dealt with injuries.
Now that the other Maple Leafs goaltender Matt Murray has been brought up, that situation will surely be the most interesting out of the Maple Leafs current goaltenders. Although Matt Murray had some bright moments with Toronto in 2022-23, his season was plagued by injury and forced him to play in only twenty-six games. I’m definitely a lot higher on Matt Murray than the consensus, but with his $4,687,500 cap hit, the 29-year-old has to be moved.
Carter Hart is a good goaltender, and the upside is still very much there. It’s just that I see such a great opportunity here for the Maple Leafs to take advantage of Joseph Woll and his contract. Reaching a deal with Ilya Samsonov on a reasonable cap hit to share the crease with Joseph Woll would be my favorite, most realistic scenario, but of course, anything can happen. With new Maple Leafs General Manager Brad Treliving already tasked with sorting out the Matt Murray situation, adding more controversy to arguably the most important position on the ice just seems like a bad move.
If Joseph Woll can continue to develop as he’s shown, with Ilya Samsonov building off of last season, that’s a really good goaltending duo that’s not going to cost much. In a tight salary cap league, anytime you have a goaltender who’s shown what Joseph Woll has already on a $766,667 cap hit, you ride with him and spend money elsewhere. The savings at the goaltending position will allow you to strengthen your overall roster, maximizing the success of the current group. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart would cost too much in a trade and would be a risky gamble.
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