Toskala gone for season

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:40 PM ET

Goalie Vesa Toskala is done for the year, facing hip/groin surgery next week and necessitating a waiver claim today on Ottawa's Martin Gerber.

Criticized by general manager Brian Burke and coach Ron Wilson for poor practice habits at mid-season, Toskala had played very well of late, but after examination, it was thought best to shut him down after Tuesday night's 49-save effort in a 3-2 overtime loss to New Jersey. He's facing a four-month recovery.

"We're all on the same page now," Toskala told reporters today when the Leafs made the double announcement of the surgery and the acquisition of Gerber.

The latter is short-term insurance for Toskala's recovery and for rookie Justin Pogge, in case he experiences more growing pains next season.

Toronto also grabbed defenceman Eric Reitz from the New York Rangers off the waiver list.

Gerber has not been able to hold No. 1 status as he was usurped by Cam Ward during the Carolina Hurricanes' Cup push in 2006 and he had two or three cracks at being top dog with the Sens. But many believe the quiet goalie is best situated as a back-up.

He was 4-9-1 in Ottawa this past season with a 2.86 goals-against average, before the club went in another direction in search of a No. 1. The 34-year-old was born in Switzerland and played there in the lockout year.

Reitz is a 27-year-old fifth-round draft pick of the Minnesota Wild in 2000. The Detroit native played 42 games with a goal and assist. He is 6-foot-1, 215 pounds.


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