Sutter Offered Toskala “North of $1M”

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 15: Vesa Toskala #35 of the Toronto Maple Leafs rests during a break in the game against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center on January 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)


According to a recent article by James Mirtle, Darryl Sutter was aggressive in trying to re-sign the NHL’s worst goaltender in the league this past off-season:

 One of the really interesting tidbits I learned was that former Leafs netminder Vesa Toskala had a contract offer earlier this summer to play in the NHL from the Flames, but turned it down because he wanted to still be a No. 1 netminder. Calgary has Miikka Kiprusoff, making that all but impossible there.

According to my source, the offer was for north of $1-million

It should go without saying that such a signing would have been an obvious blunder. Not only because Toskala has been objectively dreadful for several years, but because this summer boasted one of the most favorable goaltenders buyers markets in recent memory. A $1M+ salary would have been too much for a commodity very much in high supply.

And more than the club could afford, as well.The Flames already complicated cap situation would have been further muddied by a needless addition of some $500k-$1M on top of everything else.

All I can say is…thank you, Vesa Toskala. Thank you for being delusional enough to turn down the offer.

  • Toskala played pretty well for us when he was here. I know he had that terrible start against Minnesota, and got yanked, but if Darryl had offered him are 850 k, I wouldve been pretty pleased. He wasnt coming here to play in 40 – 50 games, more like 10 – 15 games. I’m sure it wouldve been a good move by the Flames, as long as they couldve made cap room.

  • Greg

    Sheesh. I used to be a huge Sutter defender, but now I kinda hope the team tanks the first half just so they can fire him before he does anymore damage. Right now, it’s a mess for this season and possibly next. If he’s given another chance to make stupid decisions to try and get that 8th playoff spot again, it’ll likely take 5 years for the franchise to recover.

    On another note though, and in his defense, those who have criticized him for not picking Kabanov should not he’s already rubbing the Isles org the wrong way:

  • Greg

    From what I’ve seen Toskola played better then the average back-up goalie while he was here in Calgary. Possibly because our team actually plays defense and didn’t hang him to dry when things weren’t going so well in a game. The Maple Leafs made him look like the worst goalie in the league because they were a brutal team and his confidence is gonna be shattered after being the “whipping boy” for 2 years in the hockey capital . We had McElhinney at the start of last year (boo), now we have Karlsson (unproven. I think if Toskola signed with the Flames for 1 million it woulda been one of the better signings of the year. Too bad his ego got in the way of a possible career rejuvenation.

  • Folks, Toskala played all of two games for the Flames. That doesn’t trump 6 straight seasons of average to below average results. And for those blaming a lousy Leafs team – in his last two seasons with the Sharks, Toskala’s SV% was .901 and .908.

    He’s not a good goalie. In fact, he was probably the worst goalie available on the market, which is why he remains unsigned.

    As for the argument that Karlsson is unproven…I sympathize. Toskala has proven to be terrible however. At least with Karlsson there’s a chance he’ll be better than terrible.

  • Robert Cleave

    This is right up there with Nystrom turning down “Glencross money” as a piece of good fortune for the Flames, IMO. Overpaying for a goalie that might play 10-15 games is nuts, especially with the over-abundance of veteran NHL ‘keepers on the market. How’s that go again, sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make? That’s kind of where I come in on this story.

  • Robert Cleave

    Are we sure this report’s actually true? Sutter can be “that stupid” but the Flames cap situation literally forbids it.

    And consider the source. Mirtle? Psh.

  • Robert Cleave

    Are we about done with the Sutter hate train already? Who cares. Toskala could have provided value at 1m but he balked. We do not know what the better decision is either. It may take 5 starts from Karlsson to get a read. But again we just don’t know what Vesa would have provided. I think Toskala’s career ended as soon as he signed with the leafs. He may be one of the worst starters in the league (in toronto) but he was also one of the leagues best back-ups (In Calgary).

  • Robert Cleave

    Two games means absolutely nothing in terms of goaltenders, though. I mean really, McElhinney posted a .917 sv% in Anaheim over 6 games last year, and I don’t think any of us would defend him as being a good backup. The worst goaltenders in a league like the NHL are going to have a good game every now and again, but that doesn’t make them worth signing, keeping, or paying for.

  • BobB

    Yeah, I’m with RO. Who knows what the truth is to this. As well, who knows if there would be any other aspects to the deal other than money.

    Mirtle could easily turn something like this:

    Darryl: “Fine we’ll give you 1.025mil for X years, but it’s a two-way deal, you’re performance bonuses will be for a .930 ev sv % of higher, and you gotta keep my cupboards stocked with a steady supply of finlandia.”

    Toskala: “I want 20 games this season”

    Sutter: “How bout 8, no…6, …uhh 4. You can even make it Absolute, instead”

    Toskala: “I’m outta here”

    Sutter: “Have fun in Siberia”

    …. into “Look how stupid Sutter is!” headlines.

    The fact is it didn’t happen, so who cares? We got bigger worries. 6’6″ of them, now in Karlsson.

    Even if the kid is good in the future, he’s likely not to be that great in the 10 games we see him this season. Think of Gustavsson’s first ten games (or his .898 pre-allstar stats in 32 games!)… and again, this guy is no Gustavsson.

  • PrairieStew

    Keep in mind the source. The Globe needs to keep up with the Toronto Sun and the Star with silly stories. They are all that much better if they involve the Leafs or a former Leaf. A story that makes another GM look less than brilliant also plays well for the Leaflanders. They need company in their misery. It’s kind of like the folks who watch Jerry Springer “Look at how messed up those losers are, nowhere near a stupid as me…”

    What I want to know is how did you get in the room for the negotiation Lawrence ?