Enroth joins growing list of discarded Maple Leafs veterans

Hockey Central at Noon discussion on the Maple Leafs bizarre back up goalie situation and waiving Jhonas Enroth, which signifies Karri Ramo getting his chance.

TORONTO – We now know how thin the margin for error is if you’re a marginal member of the Maple Leafs.

Jhonas Enroth waited it out all summer before signing a $750,000, one-year contract with Toronto to be Frederik Andersen’s backup. He wound up making four starts – each in the second half of back-to-backs – and posted an .872 save percentage and 0-3-1 record with the blue and white.

Then he was placed on waivers when practice wrapped up on Monday.

“(General manager) Lou (Lamoriello) met with him today,” said coach Mike Babcock. “Obviously, it wasn’t going good enough. We’re just in a situation where we’re making a change.”

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This can’t completely be labelled a surprise, not with the Leafs taking the unusual step of having a third goalie hanging around all season.

The official word on free agent Karri Ramo has been that he’s taking advantage of the team’s practice facility while rehabbing after knee surgery. However, he’s also occasionally had a locker stall in the Leafs dressing room at Air Canada Centre and skated with the AHL Marlies last week while Toronto was on the road in Western Canada.

Ramo is believed to be very close to gaining the medical clearance he needs to play again after undergoing surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus damage in his left knee last February.

As of early Monday afternoon, the 30-year-old Finn hadn’t signed a contract with any NHL team. But standby on that one.

All we know for sure is that Andersen will start in goal when the Leafs host Minnesota on Wednesday. Even Babcock couldn’t say who will be backing him up: “That’s why I answered the question the way I did, and (Andy’s) starting on Wednesday.”

The Marlies have been using goalies Antoine Bibeau and Garret Sparks – plus veteran KHLer Jeff Glass, who remains on a professional tryout. They are potential options. Should Enroth go unclaimed on waivers, he could be kept on the Leafs roster as well.

While Enroth’s tenure here seemed uncertain almost from the beginning, the final straw came last Wednesday in Calgary when he allowed two goals on three shots in the opening minute. The Leafs ended up losing that game 3-0.

For a veteran of 118 career NHL games, this stay in Toronto will be a forgettable chapter. He was coming off a decent season in Los Angeles with a .922 save percentage in 16 appearances, but never got on track with the Leafs.

He joins a list of veteran players to be shuffled out by the team in recent months.

Joffrey Lupul didn’t pass his medical at the start of training camp and is currently on long-term injured reserve while Brooks Laich was sent to the AHL just before the regular season began. Milan Michalek joined him there after five games, leaving the Leafs with $11.4-million in buried salary in the minors.

Then last week centre Peter Holland was left home while the team went on the road. He didn’t take part in Monday’s practice and continues to wait for a trade.

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