Teams not interested in Raycroft

Most GMs not convinced Razor is a starter

With a quality goalie like Ilya Bryzgalov being waived by Anaheim, it makes you wonder about the trade value of Maple Leafs goaltender Andrew Raycroft on the open market.

Damien Cox and Spector are reporting that there is virtually no interest in Maple Leafs goaltender Andrew Raycroft from around the league.

This supports what I have been saying for many months now, going back to last July (see links below). The only difference is you heard it here long before the media reported it.

Some readers on HTR have disputed this, arguing that the Leafs gave up too much to get Raycroft and cannot just give him up. Well, the sad reality, my friends, is that Raycroft is worth pretty much nothing. Maybe a few marbles, some playing cards, and an old rabbit’s foot.

Cox is blunt in his assessment. He says that teams are simply not interested in a $2 million backup goalie, and that most GMs are not convinced Raycroft can be a starter. Even Pittsburgh believes that Dany Sabourin is as good as Raycroft!

Cox also disputes the widespread belief that the Leafs offered Raycroft “little defensive help” last season. This is “just not true”, he says. He argues that the Leafs last year allowed fewer shots than they did when Ed Belfour was in town, and many goalies around the league faced far more rubber.

These are points that I have been arguing tirelessly for the past 12 months, almost to the point where I’ve turned blue in the face. Believe it or not, there are STILL people on this site that dispute these points, which most would consider obvious observations.

Despite all this, Cox believes that somebody may bite on Raycroft as the season goes along, but he doesn’t expect much in return.

Spector’s take is somewhat more bleak. He doubts any team will take a chance on Raycroft later in the season, and that the only way out of this is if the Leafs buy out the final year of his contract next June.

Therefore, both Cox and Spector concur with 3 of my chief arguments of months past:

1. Raycroft is drawing virtually no interest from other GMs around the league.

2. It is a myth that his failure was due to “little defensive help”.

3. A buyout is a possible option, perhaps at the end of the season if not earlier.

Damien Cox link:

Spector link:

20 Responses to Teams not interested in Raycroft

  1. the_next_agent says:

    what the Leafs have to do is trade Andrew Raycroft for a 3rd or 4th round pick or place him on waivers.  Then sign Curtis Joseph to fill the back up roll

  2. 92-93 says:
    i agree a lot with Cox on a lot of issues. but 3 things i’ve disagree with him on:
    – his take after the Kaberle signing in which he thought it was a terrible move 
    – his recent article on Tlusty condemning the kid and the organization for such ‘low moral standards’
    – his take on Raycroft and how the leafs had good D but JUST poor goaltending.
    Spector says nothing about that particular subject – just that no one is willing to take on Raycroft’s contract, which is fine.
    again, and i’ll say this for the last time: i never lauded Raycroft’s abilities between the pipes – just said that the problem for the leafs went beyond him and to the overall defensive play AND that people who simply looked at the stats (shots allowed as opposed to chances) were looking at the issue in a way-too-simplistic manner.
    this season is proving me right with Toskala’s ‘poor play.’ Last night proved me right as well – the leafs finally played a tight checking game with very few breakdowns and their goalie got a shutout. they played the exact opposite and Toskala was yanked in the 3rd period.
    go figure.
    the point is this – not that Raycroft is an amazing goalie, but that if (as Maurice said last night) the Leafs goalies “were given a chance” on most nights by their overall defensive play, their stats would look a lot better.
    for every article you can pull from Cox (or whoever), i can pull countless others (Berger, McKenzie, etc.) who called for a more well-rounded observation of Raycroft’s tenure with the Leafs. Edit-and-copying an article and saying ‘see, this ‘expert’ thinks the same way i do, therefore i am right’ is a little bit immature. its one thing to suggest that this person speaks for you and your opinions, but to CONCLUDE THAT YOU ARE RIGHT BASED ON THOSE so-called experts seems a little pathetic. no offense.
    The Leafs usually don’t give up a lot of shots but DO GIVE UP A LOT OF CHANCES (again, Maurice counted 17 … SEVENTEEN  … scoring chances against Boston the other night … and less than 10 last night … it makes a HUGE difference).
    But like cox, i agree that he won’t get much in return unless he is part of some larger deal.
    and just to be on the safe side, i’ll say it one more time: Raycroft is not a Great Goalie, he is average … even mediocre … but his numbers would not be as bad if it wasnt for the poor defense in front of him – a defence that finally had a system imposed on it last season, but that system (which is more condusive to a faster, skilled team) gave up too many odd man rushes and high percentage scoring chances going the other way. and a goalie of Raycroft’s limited capabilites could only do so much to stem the damage. Anytime teams can get that many high-percentage chances (REGARDLESS OF THE TOTAL SHOTS ON GOAL TOTAL) on a goalie who goes down too early into the butterfly, the results won’t be pretty. 
    Toskala is a better goalie, but again, unless the leafs can play soiid defence for the first time in 15 years, the same results will occur this season – another missed-playoff berth OR an inability to defeat sound defensive teams in the later rounds of the playoffs to move on to the cup finals. 
    The difference between a good goalie and an average goalie is MINIMAL when you have a lack of effort and sound judgement from your defense and forwards in your own zone. 
    plain and simple. 
    if you don’t agree – that is your perogative. 
    all that being said, (and i somehow feel the need to repeat the fact that i do not think Raycroft is a great goalie) … i dont see the leafs trading him unless its part of a larger deal.
    but here is the thing … i’ve typed this so many times, typed this and repeated myself so many times … and yet somehow, i’ll get the same damn response over and over … one that assumes that i think Raycroft is great.
  3. 92-93 says:

    and you know what? because i am procrastinating a bit here … i'll even PRE-EMPTIVELY respond to what is an entirely predictable leafy reponse by saying:

    n the end … to put so much emphasis on Raycroft (or as others did last week – McCabe) at the expense of the overall team defensive play is LUDICROUS.
    as a leaf fan, do you not want a consistent contender? a consistent winner like Detroit? a team that has the potential can go deep into the playoffs each year?
    well guess what, the leafs have not seen that kind of a team – or, lately, a team that can even make the playoffs – because they cannot ice a team that can play sound team defense and make sound decisions in the neutral, offensive, and defensive end. 
    so lets say the leafs replace Raycroft with another Cujo/Belfour-like goalie instead of  Raycroft (who knows maybe Toskala is that netminder) … what will happen?
    um, well, what do you think will happen? the EXACT SAME THING AS WHAT HAPPENED IN THE QUINN ERA OR EVEN WORSE. why? because the problems with this organization go so far beyond just Raycroft that is completely POINTLESS to single him out.
    i really want you to re-read that passage above leafy- because its super-important. the difference between a solid goalie like Cujo, Eddie, Potvin, (and who knows, maybe Toskala) and a medicore goalie like Raycroft when it comes to the fortunes of the leafs is ABSOLUTELY MINIMAL – regardless of how important that position is in hockey.
    the difference is a round or two of playoffs or just barely making or missing the playoffs. BUT FROM THE OVERALL ORGANIZATIONAL PERSPECTIVE – we're talking about dysfunctional ownership, dysfunctional/inept management, poor defensive play from the forwards and defence, – IT MAKES NO SENSE TO BLAME ONE PERSON for this teams' ills – whether that person be Bryan McCabe, Nik Antropov, Aki Berg, Andrew Raycroft, etc.
    because as soon as you narrow your focus to one player, you've LOST THE PLOT when it comes to assessing what is wrong or right with the Toronto Maple Leafs. THAT is all i have ever argued. 
    and if you come back at me typing some crap about how Raycroft sucks and that i am implying that he is a Great Goalie … i will officially conclude you cannot read.
  4. 92-93 says:
    I just wanted to refer back to what i typed saturday night after the Leafs win over the Sens:

    After the 3-0 win tonight, with all the positives therein, and with 5 games remaining in November and an 8-8-5 record, it is time for Leaf fans to pause.

    so often after a win, excessive positive hyberbole is used – 'the leafs are turning a corner,' 'the leafs are better than what their record appears,' etc. so often after a loss, excessive negative hyperbole is used to such an extent that you would think the leafs were 0-17-0.

    So lets reflect. the leafs won their best game of the year – one that Maurice characterized as the best game played since he has been there.

    there were so many positives:
    – toskala's shutout, including 2 SPECTACULAR saves late in the game (the one against Alfreddson is still baffling).
    – Jiri Tlusty continues to play well and showed just how skilled he was on his goal (to have this kid along with Steen and Stajan – two other players who have shown some very good positional smarts – is WONDERFUL news for a franchise that is in desperate need of smart forwards …. PLUS, he has speed!!!)
    – Kyle Wellwood is simply amazing sometimes – especially on the PP where he is so creative (as frustrating as his choices may be sometimes, when they pay off, they are mesmorizing).
    – Sundin continues the carry the team
    – Antropov continues to use his size well (as does Poni, but does anyone notice how much more skill Antropov has compared to Poni?)

    Perhaps the most positive aspect of the game and the one that might cause some to suggest that this is a 'turning point' for the leafs is the new one-man forecheck that worked wonders tonight.

    all of these things are wonderful and great. BUT, how can anyone be so positive and forget about how inconsistent this team still is, how far away they are from being a playoff-calibre team, and the dysfunction that still regins at the top of the organization?

    Don't want to rain on anyone's parade here, but whereas some non-leaf fans over-do it with the 'leafs-are-the-worst-team-in-the-league' stupidity … some leaf fans just put the blinders on after a positive, solid game. i understand the need to do this, but the problems with this team still remain and profound changes are still very necessary with this organization. any team that can beat Ottawa and Buffalo 3-0, beat Pittsburgh 5-2, and NYR 4-1 … but then lose to Washington 7-1 and Boston 5-2 … is a team that is BEYOND mystifying. they are simply too inconsistent.

    believe me, i hope that this game was a turning point. but i know it probably wasn't. all i can do as a leaf fan is be grateful for the young players they DO have (something that didn't exist during the slumps of the Quinn years with the exceptions of Antropov/Poni), be grateful for players like Sundin and Kaberle, and be grateful for those games like this one where all the negative hyberbole is exposed as just that – overly and idiotically negative and narrowminded.

    i'm still hoping for a significant change at the top though, one that will see an autonomous and experience President (i.e. Bowman, Mucker) guide an experienced and autonomous GM (i.e. Neil Smith, etc.) JUST LIKE the one we have seen MLSE have a hand in with the Raptors (i.e. Embry and Colangelo).
  5. 92-93 says:

    my apologies to how nasty that last message sounded (to tell you the truth, i restrained myself quite a bit).

    but the reason why its become so frustrating for me to respond to you is that I KNOW that your reponses to me are now officially going beyond you not understanding what i'm saying … i know you do understand … but now its gotten to the point where its an i'm-right-youre-wrong thing
    its gotten to the point where i think you are simply just clutching to a perspective you once thought was right and defended vigorously … and now you realize that its a little more complicated than what you thought it was but you feel you cannot turn back on what you once believed because you were so adamant in that belief … so you feel that you have to desperate cling, cut/paste others opinions that SOMEWHAT resonate with your opinion.
    i say 'somewhat' because Spector and Cox don't necessarily agree with your assessment: that Raycroft was the main problem for the leafs last season (both Cox and Spector have written precisely the opposite in their other articles/assessments). i may disagree with Cox on the weak-defence-myth that he doesn't believe … but he'll never EVER say that Raycroft was the main reason for the Leafs not being a contender last year. 
    all Spector is addressing is the untradeable-ness of Raycroft, which i agree with.
    in any case, it goes beyond 'expert' opinions anyways. it goes beyond not reading what i am saying or bluntly ignoring what i am saying … i think now its getting to the point where you are simply trying save face.
    my question to you is: who cares? let it go … move on … agree to disagree or to pay attention to the broader perspective and move on.
    i'll go forward with my beliefs about the leafs OVERALL defensive play (which includes the netminders) and you can go forward with your Raycroft-is-the-devil beliefs and we'll see in the long run who is supposedly 'right' or 'wrong' (although the last 15 years of history, post-Pat Burns, is on my side).
    by the way, i think Pat Burns should be the next coach of the Leafs
  6. 92-93 says:

    ideal structure of the Leafs:

    MLSE ————-[forest, alligators, bird flu, anthrax]—————Scotty Bowman (president)–Neil Smith (GM)–Pat Burns (coach)
  7. leafy says:

    I have been critical of the Leafs on many fronts over the past 2 months.  If you've been reading my posts lately, I have been critical of the defense, coach, GM and ownership.  So it is completely false that I am fixated on Raycroft.  If anything, I'm one of the few realists on this site.

  8. 92-93 says:

    its TRUE that youve been fixated on Raycroft (how many articles have you posted about him – 5???) … and i never said anything about you not being critical of the leafs.

    again, don't know where you are picking up your messages, but they aint coming from me.
  9. jarcpitre says:

    I believe us Leaf fans have to stop coming up with excuses. Yes the organization is run by the teachers union, but every team now has a cap and Toronto is to the max. They hired a crappy GM who was bound to fail with no experience. It simply boils down to the decisions this organization has made. It can be corrected, but it will take a few years thats for sure. We need a GM that knows hockey and we need a defensive minded coach. The NTC has ruined the Leafs for a few years and a few more years to come. But you know what, I remember every Leaf fan on here wanting Ferguson to sign McCabe, he was coming off of his best year. I believe the Leafs should bit the bullet and start dumping salaries by buying some players out or by putting them on waivers. I just know that the team is in a sticky situation for years to come.

  10. 92-93 says:

    agreed – and i think Pat Burns would pretty nice behind the leafs bench right about now (even though i like Maurice).

    actually, aetherial and I were too people who did not want McCabe signed with a NTC (in fact we were calling for him to be traded at the deadline).
    i still say the term and amount for McCabe is fair market value for him … but its his no-movement clause that just kills me.
  11. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    a buyout will cost roughly 1.3 mil, at 700K you cannot aquire a better goalie, therefore keeping him, or trading him for little to nothing is the best option.

  12. jarcpitre says:

    Agree with Burns, he would be great behind that bench. I also agree with the McCabe signing, at the time he was real good, but like you said the NTC is what ruined the deal. I like Maurice too, but for some reason other than Sat night the players weren't responding to him. Not sure if you seen the interview on Leafs TV, but they said what do you think about your players doing the exact opposite of what you preach in practice. This was the question after the Caps beat them. God I hope they get rid of WOZ, he is the worst D-man I have seen in years for the Leafs. At least Stralman and Kronwall have a lil speed and talent. Woz right now has the most PIM's I believe without looking it up. I hope the Leafs show signs of improving or it will be heartburn after heartburn all year, god my stomach.

  13. smooth4488 says:

    You forgot to mention Bryan McCabe's best defensive game since I can remember. If he is playing with Kaberle, can he regain his old defensive form ona  consistent basis? That could be the difference between them making the playoffs or not.

    I still want them to tank the season and get a high draft pick. It would sure help for the future…

  14. smooth4488 says:

    The article below belongs in 92-93's comments….sorry bout that folks.

  15. KingCanada says:

    Ive always thought the Raycroft/Rask trade was a mistake from the start.  I remember watching the draft and SCREAMING at the tv when i heard the news because i knew the leafs were going to pay dearly.

    Lets analyse how badly this deal has gone sour shall we..

    Andrew Raycroft (26 years old) in 2 seasons as a leaf has gotten these numbers.
    2006/07  won 37 out of 72 matches (roughly half) with 2.99GAA and 0.894save%
    2007/08 hes won 2 games out of 9 (roughly a quarter) with 3.32GAA and 0.887 save%

    Tuukka Rask (20 years old) was in Findland for 2006/07 but has had a marvelous start in Providence for 2007/08 going 7 for 9 in the wins column with a 2.10GAA and a 0.894 save%

    If im not mistaken there arent many big names on the Providence team besides Matt Lashoff so he is doing most of this on his own and has meritted a callup to backup Thomas.

    Overall bad trade by JFJ and we are stuck with him.  No use in buying him out because we will save 2/3 of his 2.2 million salary which rounds to 733k which is less then significant.  The other option is to put him on waivers, have him picked up by a team (we would save 1.1 million instead) OR save 2.2 million if nobody picks him up.

    That extra 2.2 million will be useful in re-signing Wellwood, Steen, Stajan and Sundin next summer so it is important that we get rid of him somehow.  The leafs only have 7-8 million to resign all 4.  9-10 million would give the leafs a chance to sign all 4 and possibly avoid having to trade their captain.

  16. KingCanada says:

    Another thing, it seems as if tonight (tuesday) Rask is getting the start against the leafs in his first NHL game.  WOW i almost hope they play Raycroft just to magnify JFJ's mistake and see who gets the last laugh.

  17. 92-93 says:

    well i think they had to give Woz a chance because he had play well in training camps.

    well now they have given him that chance and we seen what he can do … (flushes toilet) … so its time to move on. send him down, dont resign him in the offseason. 
    bring up Stralman and keep Kronvall – let them battle it out on the third tier and limit their minutes below 10…. until Coliacovo or Kubina come back. 
    the Rask victory last night makes me feel worse than i did the morning after previous playoff eliminations. just brutal … its probably the most symbolic loss the leafs have ever had.
  18. leafy says:

    And, indeed, Rask won his first ever NHL game against the Leafs…..

    Reminds me of the 1999 Leafs-Islanders trade when we got Bryan Berard for Felix Potvin.

    First Leafs-Isles game after the trade, Berard gets the OT winner against Potvin!

  19. jarcpitre says:

    Yes, it definetly puts an exclamation point on the job that JFJ has done.

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