*******If you are interested in sponsorship or advertising your business in the Greater Toronto / Southern Ontario area on this column, please send a message for more information by clicking on the “Contact” button at the top of the page.
The goaltending market continues to get more curious by the day and after the three-way trade between the Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers, the rumor mill percolated with the news that the Flyers were listening to offers for 24-year-old goaltender Carter Hart.
Hart has a year left on a contract paying just under $4 million and after next season is an arbitration-eligible RFA. Philadelphia is clearly going the direction of a rebuild and the Edmonton native has to be looking at the situation with John Gibson in Anaheim, not wanting to throw away the prime years of a career playing for a club that team that will be finishing outside of the playoffs for the foreseeable future.
Giving these rumors more juice is the chatter that the Toronto Maple Leafs may have checked in on Hart. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on the latest “32 Thoughts” podcast that a few of his sources pointed at Toronto as a team who could be a fit for Hart.
Friedman indicated that new Leafs GM Brad Treliving has put out a lot of feelers since taking over for Kyle Dubas and that Toronto’s name will be attached to more players than when under Dubas since Dubas kept things closer to the vest.
Unlike the Connor Hellebuyck situation (who is one year out from being a UFA) or longer-term scenarios like Jacob Markstrom (three years left at $6 million AAV) or
John Gibson ($6.4 million cap hit through 2026-27), Hart’s cap hit, quality, and retainability. (if that's a word) for two seasons would make him a good fit, but he would likely be the most costly of any of the available goaltenders for all of those reasons.