Fergusons decision making
John Ferguson had a choice on draft day. Actually he had a lot of choices. Did he make the right one?Fergusons Draft day options were simple. He could have gone after the best goalie available via trade in Vokoun. He could have gone after the goalie who was easiest to aquire (Fernandez). He could have done nothing and signed a good backup like Garon or Aebischer. He could have done nothing and signed an experienced backup like Belfour or Joseph. While you can argue he overpaid for Toskala, it could have been a lot worse.
He could have gone after the best goalie available via trade in Vokoun.
This would have cost a 2008 1st, a 2008 2nd, a 2007 2nd, and likely a bit more, as the Leafs are a better team (with lower picks) than the Panthers. At the end of the day, the Leafs traded the pick in the weak draft, and saved the pick in the strong one next year. Plus Vokoun has close to a 6 million dollar cap hit.
He could have gone after the goalie who was easiest to aquire (Fernandez).
Fernandez is slightly overpaid, making the price on him lower. Most teams will only take him if they give useless salary back. At the end of the day, that 4.5 million dollar cap hit is nice to stay away from.
He could have done nothing and signed a good backup like Garon or Aebischer.
These guys are now the best of the Free agent goalies, and will cost more then they are worth. And none of these guys will win a bunch of games by themselves, or be any real improvement over Raycroft.
He could have done nothing and signed an experienced backup like Belfour or Joseph.
We do not want to go back to the Pat Quinn era of having an old team. Neither of these guys are playoff worthy at this point in their careers.
He DID trade for Toskala and Bell.
He traded away his top 2 picks in a weak draft for Toskala and Bell.
Toskala is a top 20 goaltender in the NHL. Maybe top 15. Raycroft fell off after 50-60 games last season, but did anyone else notice that he was very good during the first 30 games. Toskala has grown into a goaltender that can be great for 40 games a season. As has Raycroft. Sharing the load like this, helps a goalie stay healthy and Sharp come playoff time. Mark Bell is an interesting aquisition. He is a big gritty player, who often wears down other teams defenders. Sound like anyone… How about Antropov and Poni. Ferguson may have found a guy who can Play in between those two, freeing up Sundin to play with more skilled players.
Now my question for you is, What would you have done:
1. Trade your top 2 picks in the 07 draft for Toskala(1.35 mil) and Bell.
2. Trade your top 2 picks in the 08 draft plus an 07 2nd for Vokoun(5.7 mil).
3. Trade the fewest amount of picks for Fernandez(4.5 mil).
4. Sign Garon or Aebischer for 2 mil
5. Sign Belfour or Jospeh at a hometown discount.
So while I believe we gave up too much, it was the best option Ferguson had.