Yet another Leafs goalie

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

The Maple Leafs' goal crease is getting more crowded with Andrew Raycroft looking like he could be the one packing his bags.

On top of trading for San Jose's Vesa Toskala and awarding him a fat two-year $8-million US contract, the Leafs yesterday added unrestricted free agent Scott Clemmensen from the New Jersey Devils.

The latter's addition ostensibly gives the Leafs a mentor for Justin Pogge, who had a rough initiation to pro hockey last year with the Marlies of the AHL and officially closes the door to any hope Jean-Sebastien Aubin had of coming back.

It also gives the Leafs a 6-foot-3 backup goalie who studied a few years under Martin Brodeur and could fit right in should Raycroft be dealt. It is believed general manager John Ferguson has been trying to deal Raycroft since his less-than-scintillating finish last season, with greater attempts following the acquisition of Toskala.

Agent Jordan Neumann represents Raycroft and Clemmensen.

"Basically we understand Scott is the third goalie until further notice," Neumann said. "There's no question that Scott is an older player (turning 30 this month), but he still has a lot to offer. He played behind the best goalkeeper in the world and for one of the best goalie coaches in the world (in Jacques Caron).

"If he ends up with the Marlies, he can help Justin or with any other circumstances that might arise."

Neumann insisted he knew of no imminent plan to move Raycroft by trade or request of trade, pointing to the comments the latter made after the Toskala deal with regard to the No. 1 job being open at training camp.

"Andrew has said there are going to be plenty of games to go around," Neumann said.

Naturally, Brodeur does not require a lot of maintenance days, and as a result, Clemmensen has only played 25 NHL games since 2001-02. He played in 13 two seasons ago and has kept a 2.82 goals-against average.

The native of Des Moines, Iowa, was drafted 215th in 1997 by New Jersey. He blossomed at Boston College and with Albany of the AHL.


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