Ta-Ta Toskala

TORONTO - JANUARY 30: Vesa Toskala #35 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the pre-game skate wearing 'Camo' sweaters to honour the Canadian Armed Forces January 30, 2010 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada before the Toronto Maple Leafs play against the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo by Abelimages / Getty Images)


While I’ve seen and heard many folks hope for a Toskala signing this off-season, I personally count the news of his imminent departure in the "plus" column. He had a spotty record with the Flames (a couple good games, one miserable one) during his brief stint in town, but the truth is Toskala has been one of the worst puck-stoppers in the league over the last 3 seasons. He may be a veteran, he may have been good once upon a time, and he may in fact be Kipper’s best buddy, but just about any other available NHL goaltender is a better option.

The perpetual insecurity surrounding the Flames back-up situation is probably what is driving others to hope for a Toskala re-signing. Afterall, he isn’t an unproven youngster (McElhinney, Sauve) or a washed vet (Noodles, Joseph). Well – he is a washed up vet, but he’s not too far removed from his 30th birthday so there’s at least the possiblity of some gas being left in the tank.

Dude’s flat out terrible though (his first couple of starts in Calgary nothwithstanding). Whats more, Toskala doesn’t even seem to know it.

"Vesa made it very clear that he wanted to be a one or 1A in the league," said Sutter.

Yeah. Good luck with that, Vesa.

Also, from the linked article, Sutter hints that Eric Nytstrom’s days as a Calgary Flame may be numbered.

Sutter said there have been discussions with Nystrom and that those are likely to continue. However, he cautioned that the Flames do not want to pay a hefty price for "role" players.

"For an offensively challenged team, we are not going to overpay a 10-goal scorer," said Sutter.

This is (and I haven’t said this much about Sutter recently) a very sensible tack for Darryl to take. Nystrom is popular in town, but is strictly limited as a hockey player. Given their cap situation and holes elsewhere, re-signing Nystrom at $1M per year or more isn’t in the cards.

  • I had to blink and rub my eyes when I read that part about not overpaying for Nystrom, I couldn’t believe something so sensible was coming out of Sutter’s mouth. Of course, it’s all talk at this point.

  • Oh yeah, look at that $4M in cap space we got for free!

    (that we had before the trade went down)

    Anyways, the bigger part of that article is the mention of the other three players.

    Glad to see there were no negative things said about Higgins (other than the medical clearance). And for Chrissakes I hope they just cut Nystrom loose, just to piss off a whole bunch of people.

    That bit about White is concerning though, it sounds like White wants a lot. And he’s entitled to it I guess, market demands for players with his surface numbers and all, but it’s worrisome to us who actually think of who players will help us win. Hopefully Sutter puts the screws to him.

  • White is restricted so when someone signs him to a deal this summer that Calgary can’t/won’t match Calgary will get a 1st and 3rd rounder from that team, which is a better deal than the ones Sutter has been making as of late if you ask me. The only way I see that not happening is if he goes to arbitration and then is signed and traded, hopefully for a top-6 forward.

  • jeremywilhelm

    From what he is said, I feel he will extend Gio before the end of next season, go to arbitration with White this season. And see what he can figure out for a contract on White after next season when Pardy and Staois are gone (Dear lord, please get rid of Staois NOW!!)

  • jeremywilhelm

    I really ahve a hard time believing someone will offersheet White for more than 3 million. He’s a 4th dman when he is playing at his full potential.

    I like him, but White does not deserve more than 3.

  • Balthazar

    When is arbitration season anyway? I suspect Daz will go to Arbitration and then make a decision to keep him for the year unless the award is outlandish (i.e. > 3). But does a trade of White (at a hypothetical $3.5 for 1 year) get you a lot in return?

    only listened to the first segment, and I’m impressed that Daz is content with 4 picks in the Top 100 at this year’s draft which isn’t exactly correct: 64th, 73rd, 103rd, and 108th

    He’s confident that he’ll “get 4 good players”. Wow. Glass is half-full in Darryl-land today.

    I hope he’s right.

  • jeremywilhelm

    I’d be more inclined to trade White for a useful forward.

    Still, I can’t say I’ll be too upset if he gets offer-sheeted and walks, because A.) his contract won’t be our problem, and B.) we might actually be able to parlay those draft picks into useful players via other trades, since there are GMs that drool over them like candy.

  • How can you say that Toskala is washed up. When he played in TOronto he played behind one of the worst teams in the NHL, and had an entire city screaming for his removal. When he came to Calgary, he played two excellent games. As a fan, you really dont expect your back up goalie to play that well, and TOskala looked like a number 1 goalie in those games. Also, he had the 1 bad game. Everyone has an off night, and that game was his. If the Flames had brought him back for less than 2 million, it wouldve been Sutters best move in a long, long time.

  • dustin642

    Things are looking better and better for the Flames everyday! We are not going to pay the worst goalie in the league to be our backup and we are almost in a win win situation with Ian White. Either we move him for another good player, or Darryl negotiates a decent deal with him, or another teams puts in an offer and we get 1st and 3rd round picks which would give us 2 first round picks next year for the first time in…. Ever?! Then hopefully Kelly Kisio will be Darryl’s babysitter by then and prevent him from using said first and third rounders to acquire 2 more Jokinens and another Staios. Can Chicago hurry and win the cup already cause I want to see me some wheelin and dealin!! Wah hoo GO FLAMES GO!

  • CitizenFlame

    I keep hearing about other teams puting in an offer sheet for White and the Flames getting a firs and third rounder. Does anyone seriously think that a team would give up a first and third rounder for White? I doubt it. I like White but that would be a steep price to pay for a 3-4 dman who arguably is made better by his partner.

  • CitizenFlame

    Have you or Kent done an advanced stats comparison of White and Regehr? I’m not good with these things, but when I looked at behindthenet with my unattuned eyes, White looked pretty good when the two were being compared (again, caveat being that I don’t understand the massive amounts of data collected there particularly well).

    I’m not sure a head-to-head comparison is necessary. We’ve seen lots of Regehr so we know what he is (an excellent tough-min D). When White came over from Toronto he was riding something like a 3-to-2 offensive-to-defensive zone starting ratio, just crazy.

    I have no problem stating that the former is much better than the latter.

  • CitizenFlame

    Well, now at least we know the root cause to Vesa’s struggles. He’s was spending so much time in T.O. practicing the art of being invisible with camo, that soon all the players just started seeing only net and no goalie!

    Yuck, yuck!


    When there are 30 teams in the league, and 28 UFA goalies (nevermind all the RFA’s) and you are the 4th most expensive on that list, it is hardly the time to go demanding a 1 or 1A job. Toskala will be lucky if he has a job in the NHL this coming year, cause I don’t see him taking a 3.0million dollar pay cut, and that’s about what it will take.

    We’ve got:
    Nabakov, Theodore, Turco and Toskala all who will be fighting it out for jobs considering their current overpay.

    Then there are pretty solid potential deals with:
    Leighton, Auld, Sanford, Niittyimaki all likely to sign for

  • … (it cut off the rest of my comment)

    Then there are pretty solid potential deals with:
    Leighton, Auld, Sanford, Niittyimaki all likely to sign for less than 1 million.

    And worthwhile 1-1.5million gambles with:
    Budaj, Biron, Backlund and Ellis…maybe McDonald and Hedberg.

    Not sure where Toskala imagines he fits in as a 1A.

    Sorry Vesa, I never liked you, and I’m not sad to see you go when I think of the Flames problems. We need a 600k goalie who can (not lose us)win games. Full stop.