Saturday, 25 February 2012
02/25/12 Khabibulin and Toronto
The Maple Leafs may be looking to solidify their goaltending situation and they have been linked to the Oilers and Khabibulin recently. If a trade were to occur between the two teams, what would the Leafs give up in exchange for an aging goalie with another year left on his contract?
As mentioned above, Khabibulin's contract - $3.75 million with another year remaining - is an albatross that is getting in the way of moving him just about anywhere. In order to move it the Oilers would probably need to take a bad contract back. Do the Leafs have any of those? You bet!
The Oilers don't need to add another forward, and certainly not another expensive one, which leaves defensemen. Toronto would like to shed Mike Komisarek's salary at $4.5 million per season; a deal which goes on for another two years after this one. Komisarek, 30, has been a healthy scratch several times this season, which is certainly not what you want from a player with that price tag. He's appeared in 29 games and posted 1-3-4 and a minus-2 with 30 penalty minutes.
According to Behindthenet, Komisarek has had the toughest even strength zone starts of any Toronto blueliner, starting his shifts in the the offensive zone 42% of the time. He also seems to face some of the easiest competition, but has the second-worst relative Corsi of all Leafs defenders at -10.4 at even strength. Komisarek plays an average of 16:28 per game, which is third-least of Leafs defensemen. He's used on the second penalty kill unit, but not at all on the powerplay.
In short, he's not a solution for the Oilers. Komisarek is basically a much more expensive version of Andy Sutton, and the Oilers already have one of those that many fans and analysts feel will be overpaid next year at a $1.75 million cap hit. If the Oilers must take on Komisarek to do a deal with Toronto, they're better off standing pat.
There are other options (Chicago or Tampa Bay perhaps) for a trade involving Khabibulin, but don't be surprised if he isn't moved. The veteran goaltender's contract is a bad one, but it's less onerous than what the Oilers may need to take back to get him gone.