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Worst Trades in Maple Leaf’s History: (Final Part)

As we get closer to the NHL trade deadline on March 21st, we will look at the five worst trades that the Toronto Maple Leafs have made in their 105-year history. This brings us to our last trade, the one that should be deemed number one.   

#1: Prospect for Calder Winner

On June 24th, 2006, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a huge mistake, when trading the rights to Tuukka Rask for Calder Trophy Andrew Raycroft. Rask was drafted by the Maple Leafs in 1st round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft; and could have very well been the goalie of the future, which would have solved a lot of issues for the team. As we all know Raycroft’s time in Toronto was shaky at best, and looking at both of their careers, this trade was one that makes you sad to be a Leafs fan.

The Package:

The Maple Leafs sent goaltender prospect Tuukka Rask to the Boston Bruins for their young star goalie Andrew Raycroft. Although Rask was never signed by the Maple Leafs, they traded the rights to him, and former GM John Ferguson Jr. and his staff felt that this was the right move because they had a highly-touted prospect; Justin Pogge in their system. By trading Rask, it gave Pogge a chance to develop, as the Maple Leafs relied on a more proven goaltender in Raycroft. Sadly, it didn’t work like that and Pogge didn’t develop as planned, Raycroft became a complete bust in his time in Toronto, and Rask, who recently retired is a potential Hall of Fame inductee. The only question that comes with this trade in terms of the outcome; is would Rask develop to be the goalie he was with the Bruins within the Maple Leafs system? I believe he is a natural talent who would have a very good career in the blue and white. 

Rask’s Resume: 15 years with Boston

  • 308 Wins
  • 165 Losses
  • 52 Shutouts
  • .921 SV%
  • 2.28 GAA
  • 2013-14 Vezina Winner
  • 2x All-Star
  • 2019-20 Jennings Winner
  • 2011 Stanley Cup Champ

The Return:

Andrew Raycroft, that’s it.

He was one win away from being a career 500 goalie, with 113 wins and 114 losses. He was a goalie that could have been a good backup or found success in a 1A, 1B style setup, but the Maple Leafs played him a lot in his first full season. Raycroft appeared in 72 games in the 2006-07 season, going 37-25-9. He tied Ed Belfour for the team record for most wins in a season by a Maple Leafs goalie with 37, which was later broken in 2017-18 by Frederik Andersen with 38. In his second season, he only saw 19 games before he was placed on waivers on June 24th, 2008 and was bought out on June 27th of the same year, he was signed by the Colorado Avalanche. He went on to be a backup for both the Avalanche and the Vancouver Canucks before his career came to an end in 2011-12.

This trade was one that shouldn’t have happened and makes you wonder what the upper management and their scouts were thinking when they went through with the trade. The idea that the Maple Leafs couldn’t have had two goalies who were young in their system is a head shaker, especially because Pogge didn’t ever develop to be an NHL goalie. They traded a future Vezina and Stanley Cup winner, who was a mainstay in the net for the Bruins for the better part of a decade. Meanwhile, Raycroft played a total of 91 games in a Maple Leafs jersey.

Raycroft’s Resume: 11 years in the NHL

  • 113 Wins
  • 114 Losses
  • 9 Shutouts
  • .900 SV%
  • 2.89 GAA
  • 2003-04 Calder Winner
  • 2003-04 All-Rookie Team

Main Image Credit:

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