Goaltender Ben Scrivens is trying his best to ignore all the trade rumours surrounding Roberto Luongo and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I know (Leafs goalie James Reimer) ignores it, I ignore it to the point where we’re not affected by it, but it’s impossible to completely shove your head in the sand and not acknowledge that you know those rumours are out there,” Scrivens told Brady & Lang on Sportsnet 590 The Fan on Wednesday.
Scrivens has played nearly his entire professional career with the Leafs organization, but is looking to make the 2013 the year he permanently breaks into the NHL.
In a hockey-crazy city like Toronto, being surrounded by rumours could have negative effects, but the 26-year-old chooses to look at the positive side to speculation.
“Honestly it’s kind of flattering to have your name brought up in conversations like that,” Scrivens explained. “It just shows how great this fan base is. When people are genuinely interested and genuinely care about the product on the ice and the team.
“When people don’t have an opinion on their team it’s generally a bad thing.”
In 22 games with the Marlies this season, Scrivens is 14-7-1 with a 2.22 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and has momentum behind him heading into Leafs training camp where he will be joined by several of his AHL teammates.
“I’m extremely proud of the way I played and the team played as a whole over the past few months here and I’m really proud that the guys that are going up (to the NHL) are leaving the guys down there (in the AHL) in a perfect spot to continue success,” he said.
Last year Scrivens made 12 appearances with the Leafs, posting a 4-5-2 with a 3.13 GAA and a .902 save percentage. The Spruce Grove, Alta., native also led the Marlies to a Calder Cup final appearance.
“I’ve got a dozen games under my belt right now, which isn’t a lot, but I’ve played over 100 games in the AHL now and I think I’ve put up a pretty good showing there so I’d like to think that I’ve earned the opportunity to test my hand at the NHL level.
“All I can do is go up there and play the same game I was playing with the Marlies and let the cards fall where they may.”
Scrivens added that he is going into camp with no expectations on how the team should do, despite lofty goals from fans.
“Honestly I’m just going (into camp) focusing on my job and my job is going to be — if and when I’m asked to play — to give the team good goaltending and give us a chance to win on the nights I’m playing,” Scrivens said. “I don’t think it’s fair for me to speculate on what our team goals are. All I can ever do is control what I’m going to do on the ice. I’d like to think that both myself and James can give this club good solid goaltending and give our team a chance to win each and every night that things are going to go well for us as a whole.”
Scrivens will not be accompanying the Marlies this weekend when the team travels to St. John’s to play the IceCaps on Friday and Saturday because NHL training camps are expected to open on Sunday.
Will Ben Scrivens earn a spot on the Toronto Maple Leafs this season?