The Leafs will continue their search for a goalie. Only this time it is a backup goalie as last year's stand-in Corey Schwab agreed to a two-year deal with the New Jersey Devils.
Schwab served as the backup to Curtis Joseph in 2001-02 and filled in admirably when the starter missed the last six weeks of the season with a hand injury. He was offered a contract to remain in Toronto where he would have served as the number two goalie behind newly-signed Ed Belfour but chose to return to New Jersey, the team that first selected him in the 1990 draft.
Signing with the Devils "was a very hard decision for me to make because I probably had the best year of my career last year in Toronto," Schwab said.
"I have no hard feelings towards the Leafs at all," he added. "I was very grateful to (Leafs coach and general manager) Pat Quinn for how he let me run with the ball there when Curtis (Joseph) got hurt."
The Devils are happy with their new netminder
"Corey Schwab is a veteran who has spent a number of years as a backup goaltender," said Devils President Lou Lamoriello. "He was with our organization for five seasons and is familiar with our hockey team."
In 30 games with the Leafs, Schwab recorded a 12-10-5 record with one shutout and a 2.73 GAA.
It is possible that the Leafs could re-sign Tom Barrasso to serve behind Belfour or the club could elevate one of the young goalies from the farm such as Mikael Tellqvist or Sebastien Centomo. There are still other options with a number of second-tier netminders still available in the free agent market.